Tuesday, October 28, 2014

4 Days Till Halloween: "Please, Mom, Don't Make My Costume!"

Halloween Fear, Kid Version:

We've all heard a version of the cheeky saying about how we are all unique - just like everyone else. No where is that more apparent than with kids and Halloween costumes. The scariest Halloween fear for some kids is that they won't get the purchased costume that will make all their Halloween fantasies come true.

Costumes made by Mom were the pits in the minds of my friends. No hot plastic mask? No shiny, flammable material (I'm a geezer)? Are you crazy?

Marketing executives everywhere should be patting themselves on the back. 

In my various excursions into the deep, dark recesses of my local "department store" I keep running into mothers with children in the throws of full-on costume angst. Begging, pleading, rejecting and cajoling; it's an art form, really. I feel sorry for these poor parents when those children are teenagers. 

If you listen to the banter, everything kids say indicates they want something special...and then they pick a costume on the rack of thirty exact copies. Apparently, Elsa from the movie Frozen is a hot ticket this year; it was mentioned over and over. 

I also feel sorry for the parents who have to put up with tantrums from teenagers. Really? What are those kids doing in the midst of a bunch of kiddies? And girls - what are you thinking? Oh, wait...they're buying costumes that look like working women involved in some kind of roll playing (in a bad way). 

Special alert: Fathers, pay attention to your teenage daughter's costume purchase. Sheesh.

Halloween Fear, Adult Version:

Somewhere on the path to adulthood, the serious Halloween enthusiast will look in the mirror and say "I will not be caught dead in the same costume as someone else at that party." Yeah, buddy...that's the spirit. 

Wearing the same costume as another adult...oh, the humanity! And the sure-fire way to make that fear a reality is to purchase a costume. This is the Halloween flipside.

I've won a few Halloween costume contests because I am not afraid to humiliate myself. While working for a healthcare company, for instance, I dressed as a Witch Doctor and wore one of our "preferred provider" name tags. I've carried around a cereal box with a knife in it (serial killer) on one Halloween when I needed to be in important meetings. Once I dressed up as a cow, put a ring in my nose, wore a bell around my neck and carried a bucket for a purse all day. 

Poor Hubzam is not immune. We went to a party as a Caveman and his Cavewoman once. 

You get the picture...delayed adulthood masquerading as true adulthood. When adults do Halloween, they're serious about it.

[No...I don't look like that anymore...it was a long time ago. A bit of trivia: I couldn't see without glasses and I had one wandering eye, yet I walked around like this and I still don't know who was at my party.]


  1. Oh lovely '80s Disco Vampire, despair not! My kids still generate homemade costumes for their children, and Daughter --my youngest-- has been a theatrical costume designer on both sides of the Atlantic. Store-bought costumes? Pffft! The tradition of household creativity persists and always will.

    1. That sounds great!! I love all things creative and I cycle through different things. A costume designer sounds like a wonderful, fulfilling job for the truly creative soul. Well done, Geo.- daughter!

  2. << I couldn't see without glasses and I had one wandering eye, >>

    Shecky Shady has a wandering eye...
    and me likey you, Cherdo: Mistress of the Dark!

    Good morning, dear friend!

    As I remember it from my middle class upbringing in the 50s and early 60s, most people created their own costumes. At least that's how it was in my family, probably because we were on a tight budget and couldn't afford store bought ghosts, goblins, witches and fairy princesses (the latter being the costume I begged and begged mummy to buy for me). Last time I told you about the York Halloween parade. One year I was blown away by a particular costume. A guy walked by dressed as "pea head." His real head was hidden beneath a large coat with small holes cut in it enabling him to see where he was walking. Through the neck of the coat and rising three feet above him was a pole with a ball attacked to the end and a goofy face painted on it. I was so inspired by the pea head guy that I asked my dad to make me a similar costume that year for trick-or-treating. Dad got busy and came up with his own brilliant variation - a large coat with holes, a wood and coat hanger framework that rested on my shoulders, a mop handle pointing skyward and a softball with a piece of white sheet wrapped around it and a face drawn on it. I had the most unique costume in my neighborhood that year but remember falling in it several times due to limited visibility. Even so, I had a ball.

    Thanks for the Halloween fun, dear friend Cherdo. Happy Tuesday!

  3. Thank you, dear Shadyopolis - that was many years ago, pre-geezerhood. I used to have a Halloween Party every year it was possible. Finding the costume was the best part. I wore a similar costume to work once and another employee dressed as the butler and did my evil will. He had a silver tray with a head on it. Ah, good times, good times...

    Your costume sounds great! I've seen some really memorable ones through the years. One friend cut out the bottom of a plastic garbage can, added a striped tube coming out of the top and covered it with a sheet tucked in to the can. The final part was a big red ball (with eye holes). She was a milkshake. It was hilarious.

    I think the 70s were the high point of kids wanting the store bought costume, so I was surprised to see the kids begging for them.

    Almost Halloween - what are you going to be this year?? Have a great day!

    1. << Almost Halloween - what are you going to be this year?? >>

      What am I going to BE? To avoid getting kicked in the pants
      by Mrs. Shady...I'm going to be-have! :)

  4. That costume is very creative! Why play the same boring person?

    1. Why, indeed, Maurice? The more creative, the better!! (Love your site, by the way.)

  5. My mom was quite inventive in costume making. She made my witch nose from bandages and even put hair on the tip for the wart effect. I had a dress on and my Bavarian sweater-right out of Grimm. I looked at outfits yesterday (I needed blue face paint and they had every colour but blue!) and if i have to see another sexy kitten, devil or witch I will scream. They must want to look like Hookers on Ice...oops that will be the adult Frozen theme.

    1. My mom is very good at that sort of thing, too, but i remember that we all thought the purchased costumes had to be better. Kids can be silly.

      I'm with you on the sexy kitten costume - it's Halloween, people! Stick to the scary, creepy program! Ha ha ha.

  6. I just wrote a brilliant comment and clicked on Publish and my brilliance disappeared. My comments on your blog, and only your blog, are like socks that get lost in the laundry. No one knows where they go. I am not rewriting that brilliant comment, and if this one doesn't show up, then I'm going to bed.


    1. I think you need a top notch computer whiz to fix type publish button. Consider it a kindness; I need all the brilliance i can get on this blog. I can't have your comments in the black hole of the Internet.

  7. I'm so glad you included that picture, Disco Vamp!

    I'm not getting the Elsa thing. I didn't watch Frozen but my daughter did and her favorite character was the snowman ...

    1. I've never seen it - I have sons and the youngest is 16 (then 30, 32). Every little girl I talked to mentions Elsa or Frozen. I hope those folks are getting stinkin' rich. Love ya, Suze!


Thanks for your personal yada, yada, yada,
Love, Cherdo