Friday, October 28, 2011

Costume Conundrum

Is it just me, or does Halloween seem to get bigger and bigger, and last longer and longer each year?  We've already been to several Halloween events already, and the kids' "treat box" is currently overflowing with all manner of sugary joy.  I would normally be disgusted by the kids slobbering over the treat box like pigs that had just heard "Zoooweeee!!!"... except that I myself have been guilty of rummaging around it in it for the choicest goodies over the last week.

Tonight is trick-or-treat night in our neighborhood, and my son is very much looking forward to adding more booty to his trough of junk food.  One would think that, with so much candy suddenly pouring in, the kids would stop begging for treats in the checkout lines of stores and at the windows of banks, but alas, the plethora of candy seems to have actually raised my children's awareness of how much junk food is readily available.

If I go through the drive-thru at the pharmacy, my son will shout, "Do they have lollipops?  I think they have lollipops!!  I want one!!"  If I'm in the grocery store, the kids will keep their eyes peeled for any candy that might be lying about "for the taking."

"I bet they have Halloween candy!" has become my son's new battle cry. 

This gets tiresome, but not nearly as tiresome as the obsession over Halloween costumes that has been going on for the past month.  Apparently, to children today, the choice of costume has a significant bearing on one's social standing.

I don't remember it being such a big deal when I was a kid.  I have fond memories of Halloween when I was little: I happily went out as a punk rocker year after year—a costume which required little more than some bright clothing and colored hair spray.  I remember one year when a friend of mine defaced a gown with some ketchup and went trick-or-treating as a bloody bridesmaid.  That was perfectly acceptable back then.

Now it seems that the Halloween costume has become some sort of crazy indicator of social status.  I saw this trend when I was a teacher too—the popular kids would show up in school with Scream masks that dripped blood down the inside (have you seen those things? They're dreadful!).   Or they would have fancy superhero costumes expensively modeled after the star of a recent blockbuster film.

The shy kids would arrive in dubious homemade costumes that were difficult to identify.  "Awww, look... it's an elephant!" an unwitting teacher would say, only to have the child don an injured expression and yell, "I'm not an elephant... I'm a kitty cat!"

I think last year was my final chance to outfit my son for Halloween before pop culture dominated his little mind completely.  I had found an adorable costume at the thrift shop, paid three dollars for it, and happily dressed up my boy as a dragon.  Evan proudly announced "I'm gonna be a dragon for Halloween!!" to anyone who would listen for an entire month leading up to the big day.

Unfortunately I was rather uneducated about the details of imaginary animals at the time, so it wasn't until Evan went to school in his costume and all his teachers said, "Awww... what a cute dinosaur!" that I realized I had been mistaken.

Evan donned the familiar injured look and announced that he was, in fact, a dragon.  My husband took the opportunity to laugh at my ignorance and blame me for possibly scarring our son for life.

"How was I supposed to know it wasn't a dragon?" I asked.

"It doesn't have wings!!" my husband replied.  "That should have given you a clue!"

"Well, not all dragons have wings, do they?"  Um... yep... they do. 

Apparently NOT a dragon.

To make matters worse, we went trick-or-treating with friends last year, and my son's best friend went as... you guessed it... a dragon.  With bright, shiny wings.  I could see Evan looking at his friend's costume with envy, so I pulled a ridiculous explanation out of my ass.

"Evan, your friend is a flying dragon, but you're a fire-breathing dragon.  You don't need wings. Isn't that cool?"  He bought the story and even added the "fire-breathing" description to his "I'm a dragon!" chant.  This lasted right up until we started canvassing the neighborhood and were greeted at every door by a well-meaning adult who said, "Awww...look!  A dragon, and a dinosaur!!  How cute!"

Apparently I'm the only moron who didn't know a dinosaur when she saw one.

Well, this year there will be no mistaking what my son is for Halloween—for the past several months he has been obsessed with Spider-Man, so I shouldn't have been surprised when he demanded to be Spider-Man for Halloween.

We searched for costumes online, and I let him choose the one he liked the best (which, fortunately for me, cost a mere $9.99 on Ebay).  Unfortunately, when it arrived I noticed a significant flaw in the design—where there should have been some sort of transparent fabric for eye holes, there were merely tiny pin-holes.  My son looked awesome but couldn't see to save his life.  He insisted he was fine, posed for a picture, then promptly stumbled into a nearby wall.

What the heck?!
So, what I really should be doing right now, instead of writing this blog post, is sewing the white mesh fabric I purchased into the eye holes of his Spider-Man costume.  I also have to use a Sharpie to draw webbing on a pair of cheap red gloves I bought for fifty cents (Evan saw another child in a Spider-Man costume, and the other kid's costume had gloves.  Needless to say, he had to have them too).

Eh, I have a couple more hours.  Plenty of time.

You know, this all seems like a whole lot of unnecessary fuss for what used to be a one-night event. My son is already telling me what I should be for Halloween next year.  Apparently he thinks I should dress up as Tinkerbell.

"But, then you couldn't wear a shirt," he said.

"Tinkerbell doesn't wear a shirt?" I asked.

"Nope," he answered, "she just wears nipples."

Ahhh.... I see.  Nipples.  Silly me.  And here I was, thinking that I might just get away with being a punk rocker next year.

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  1. lol - oh my word! Those eye holes are hilarious.
    Just cut them bigger - that should work. And I KNOW! When I was a kid we put together our own costumes out of whatever we could find around the house. We never got store bought stuff. Today's kids are soft.

  2. Spiderman can see with his spider senses, silly.

  3. I can't wait to take my girl trick-or-treating in a few year - even if it's just so I can steal a candy or two. Although I hope costumes stop being so complicated by then. I once went out wearing one of those huge white suits that you wear over your clothing when you're painting. I think I was a ghost. And I had a Teletubby winter hat, so I wore that once with random clothes and fake blood and went as a killer Teletubby. My costumes could not have been any easier.
    I laughed out loud at the Tinkerbell nipple part. Too funny.

  4. Jenn,
    Halloween has gotten to be a way bigger deal. I'm so glad my kids are grown. My 15 yr old is wearing some camo's that my brother in law gave him from the Marine Corps.
    OMG, those eye holes in Spidey really crack me up! Have fun tonight!

  5. Oh my goodness Jenn, you are so hilarious. I love reading your posts. So next year I will beware of anyone in a Tinkerbell costume. lol

  6. too funny, I'm in the process of writing Halloween or Hannukah, because you are right, it seems to go on forever. Love the pics, little kids in cute costumes never get old, even to a cynic like me.

  7. Great post! You're right it was not as big a deal when we were kids. I think Halloween has become much more commercialized.

  8. Ok, up until you said the costume was a dinosaur, I was totally thinking it was a a cobra or something! I even scrolled back up to look at the picture like 3 times. A dinosaur? Really? I don't see it. I see snake. :-) Lol!

    I agree with you! Halloween has turned into this major ordeal compared to when I was a child. We've had an entire week of events around here and I've intentionally put my foot down this year and said we will only participate in one trick or treating event and then we're done until next Halloween. Of course, Faith came home from school today with a goodie bag filled with candy and I've been digging into our giant candy box too. I better get back to running soon or my pants will no longer be fitting me.

    Enjoy your festivities this weekend!


  9. For the record, Chinese Dragons do not fly, nor do they have wings. They have large claws and walk on the clouds. Unfortunately, the costume shown above is not a Chinese Dragon either. Sorry.

    I know. I'm a geek.

    Anyway, I have very fond memories of the multi-colored hairspray, denim jackets and skirts, and neon EVERYTHING that made the homemade costumes we wore year after year. As an adult, however, I find myself REALLY getting sucked in. I have fake eyelashes in every color. I have hair gel and makeup for zombies and vampires, clowns and go-go dancers. I have many wigs. I have costumes simple to extravagant. And on Monday, when I go to work, I am taking the ENTIRE BOX with me to make sure that anyone who came unprepared can be properly adorned for the festivities.

    Wow... some of my holy-roller friends from back in the day would be shocked....

  10. It's not just you. Halloween is just as big as Christmas anymore. I guess the stores went "DUDE WHY ARE WE NOT MILKING THE PUBLIC FOR AS MUCH $$ AS WE CAN? LET'S TAKE DOWN HALLOWEEN. YEEEAHHHHAHHAA!"

    And so it is.

  11. Oh Jen, girl you've got me laughing as usual. Your little man is going to be an awesome Spider Man especially after mom's loving touch (sewing the mesh eyes). Btw, please post a picture of you being a punk rocker!-)
    Your girl Char,

  12. The eye holes keep making me laugh. I laugh every time I think about it. I'm laughing as I am typing this. Hilarious!

  13. "Tinkerbell just wears nipples." Ha ha! Oh, you are absolutely right, Halloween IS much more than it used to be. Commercialism rears its ugly head.

    Loved your story about the "dragon" costume. Looks like a dragon to me too!

  14. Oh funny. I love that Spidy shot! What is it with Halloween now? The thing that drives me a bit crazy is that I have to live at my local fabric store pretty much for my handmade business, and when I have to go there this time of year, with all of the people winding through the store in line for their Halloween costume fabric, I want to scream!

  15. Oh man...this was hilarious! Sooo glad my daughter has passed that stage, LOL!!! Following you from the FNF Blog Hop (MBC)...

  16. Too funny. I thought it was just me, that Halloween had gotten bigger and longer. I'm visiting from the Welcome to the Weekend blog hop. I'm now following you on GFC as Ericka T. Please check out my blog and consider following it. Thanks.

  17. i always get so excited when i see you've written another post! SO FUNNY!! those eyes are so tiny! omygosh...what were they thinking!? even funnier, you're going to be a nipplebell next year, "she just wears nipples!!"
    what version of Peter Pan was he watching! ;) lol something from the producers of "Impy's Wonderland?"
    wishing you a wonderful week, jenn!
    maria <3

  18. Sounds a lot how things go in my house too Glad it's 'normal'. lol.

  19. sStopping by from Six in the Nest Tuesday Blog Trail

  20. Loving the dragon costume!

    Stopping by from Wednesday Window link up

    Come by, say hi and stay awhile -

    xo Kristle

  21. LOL at his description of Tinkerbell's clothes! And I sooooo know what you mean about the treats! Good Grief! Of course, I was sitting on the floor last night after our haul, digging through looking for what I wanted. Thanks for stopping by the Sit and Relax hop again. Have a great Wednesday!

  22. Hi Jenn! I love the pictures, and I'm still laughing at "she just wears nipples".. hahahah

    But I can't really opine about Halloween lasting longer or not; in my country (Brazil), Halloween is not a big thing. I wish it was, I always loved it, but it's not. So, imagine a year without Halloween?

    Here, all the houses look like they are under a witch's spell, I feel like I'm walking in that valley where Hansel and Gretel got lost..

    I just love it so much! However, I must confess, those skeletons and ghosts hanging out of the house still catch me in fright.. :)

    I'm a new follower from wonder wed hop!

    You're very welcome to visit us at http://we-makepeople.blogspot


  23. Halloween is way over the top since I was a kid. We would run from door to door, fill our pillowcases and drag them home exhausted knowing we would NOT be getting candy again until Christmas. Kids today have access to candy, fast food and junk food 24/7 which I believe really takes the magic out of all the holidays. Now the focus at Halloween is more on the costume details instead of going door to door. Personally, I prefer the old way :)

    Thanks for finding my blog, I'm happily following you back.

    Happy Thursday!

  24. TOO funny! That dinosaur/dragon mistake sounds like something I would do!! I love the nipple comment hahahah.

  25. That's a cute story!!! Love the pics too!!! Following you now GFC from the hop! I will follow you FB and Twitter too! =)

  26. I love the comment about the children asking for candy where ever they are. I was just in line at A.C. Moore and the kids behind me were begging for candy the mom saw my baby bump and said "this is what you have to look forward to lol!" I am a new follower from the blog hop. I hope you have sometime to stop by my blog too

  27. New follower from Give a Hoot Wednesday blog hop. My daughter is 8 and wanted so badly to be a dinosaur this year, but try as we might, we couldn't find a costume. Finally, last week I saw a piece of fabric at WalMart that had a cap/cape with a baby dinosaurs printed on it. Of course, that meant that I was standing outside our vehicle for three hours on Monday afternoon sewing the darn thing by hand. *lol* Feel free to visit my blog, Back Porchervations, any time! :O)

  28. Thanks so much for participating in my wednesday hump day blog hop. Following you now via google friend connect and facebook! Please follow back if you don't already.

  29. I was so happy my son picked a train conductor costume this year, after first running right for the costumes with guns and swords. I was hoping to eke out one more year of little kiddie costumes.

  30. Spider man costume is one of favorite costume and recently I purchased toddler spider man costume for my kid for halloween.We enjoyed this halloween a lot.

  31. I LOVE it--and I LOVE the costumes (of course, I, too was a happy punk rocker)! I actually have a few posts about my current disdain with Halloween these days! I also loved your potty post and look forward to reading more. I hope you are as entertained with my blog!

  32. I was laughing reading your post. I would do the same thing too. My son has also changed from not wanting anything "cute" to wanting superhero and scary costumes. He was Spiderman last year a race car driver this year. Although, he truly wanted one of the very expensive scary zombie or horror movie costumes. I think next year will be more of a challenge. My daughter is very easy to please, she wants to be a princess--every day of the year.
    I found you through the Exposure Hop on One Moment In Time and I am now following you.

  33. OMG! It took me forever to stop laughing at this and the other post with the Sit N Spin LMAO! I literally have been wiping tears from laughing so hard. My hubs is sitting here looking at me like I'm crazy. Oh my goodness. I have 3 boys and a little girl so I know how funny they can get sometimes. Lol. Anyway, found you on Monday Mingle and glad I did so. I'm your newest follower.

  34. Looking great! Reminds me of the fun I had as a kid. I guess I was lucky and just never grew up because Halloween is still my favorite!

  35. This is great and thanks for the cute post this reminds me my sil kids.

  36. Keep on writing, great job!

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