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this is halloween(6): Costume Party

It's another busy day 'round these parts, so for now I'll just regale you with our Halloween costume shopping story from three years ago (first posted at the defunct Raising Hell).

The following is a true story that took place in Party City in October of 2001, during a last minute (think 10/30 at 7pm) costume shopping trip.

Me: Oh look, Natalie, Teletubbie costumes!
Natalie (who is almost 13): Mom!
Me: What about Bob the Builder?
Natalie: Mooooom!
Me: Fairy princess?
Natalie: I don't know you.

We look around a bit more and Natalie decides on wearing a black t-shirt that has a candy corn on it and says "sweet," black and orange striped stockings and a black skirt that used to be mine. I used to be thin. Sigh. She picks up orange hair spray and her outfit is complete.

Me: Now, what about you, DJ?
DJ: I don't know.
Me: Baseball player?
DJ: I've been a baseball player the last three years.
Me: Ninja?
DJ: No.
Me: Yu-Gi-Oh?
DJ: No.
Silence. Long pause while we look around.
DJ: Can I be Christina Aguilera?
Me: Umm....no.
DJ: You were going to let me be Britney Spears like two years ago.
Me: Thankfully you changed your mind.
DJ: Why can't I be Christina?
Me: Because she's a slut.
DJ: What's a slut?
Me: (stammer...stammer)
Natalie: A slut is a dirty girl who sells herself for money.
DJ: Like those girls we saw in the city last year?
Natalie: Yup.
Long silence. More looking.
DJ: Ok. I know what I want to be.
Me: What?
DJ: A hooker!!
Me: A baseball player.
Natalie: A baseball player in a dress?
DJ: Oh! Mike Piazza!

Sigh. Again.


More on Halloween costumes later. I'm a bit on the busy side today. But feel free to recount your own tales of costume hell. Plastic masks, anyone?


I have to say, I love the way your kids think, and I love the way you handle them. A true inspiration to parenting. If I had kids, I'd definitely be inspired.

Ya know, no-one ever questioned Piazza's sexuality back when he had the mullet. It wasn't until he got the bizarre boy-band haircut, complete with the dyed and frosted hair, that people started to think he might be of the limp-wristed sort.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

I used to be a Mets fan, but I just can't stand to watch them anymore. They were so amazing during the subway series, and they've just crumbled since then. I haven't even seen one of their games this season.

Besides, my friends here in DC are all New Englanders who love the Red Sox, and you know how those people are.

I don't think I ever had cool costumes for halloween when I was a little kid.

The only memory that sticks out is realizing, afterwards, that I'd used an indelible marker to draw my devil goatee

When I was six, I was a vacuum cleaner. Probably the coolest Halloween costume I ever had.

I went as static cling one year. I dressed in black, stuck my hair up and out with tons of hair products, and pinned underwear, socks, bras and used dryer sheets to my clothes.

And you have wonderfully funny kids, Michele. They sound like a joy.

I am in love with your kids! They crack me up!

Halloween costumes bought at a costume shop almost always suck. I never gave my mom the simplicity and ease that would come from acceptance of scratchy plastic masks and those plasticky outfit things. I went as a hobo, a mummy (torn sheets galore: then I had to unwrap and pee--plan ahead, dumbass!), a cowboy, a cowboy again, or whatever simple thing that would net candy.

As an adult, costumes got easy: whiten my hair and don a bowtie and suspenders and be Orville Reddenbacher, take some duct tape and make pointy shoes to be a Leningrad Cowboy (the hair excited at least some of the ladies, frightened others), and others.

As a parent, I am grateful for my wife's insistence on and ability to make costumes for our children. We've had a baby carrot, Robin Hood (I was willingly condemned to be Little John that year), and a Greek goddess in the family. And the costumes, if interesting, get used throughout the year. I have had some hesitation in letting my son go out to breakfast dressed in a felt Robin Hood hat (the bow and arrows must stay in the van), but I got over it. If a kid can't wear a funny hat at age six, when can he?

When I was a wee lad, Tom dressed me up as a little devil for a neighborhood Halloween party. In truth, I was a six-year-old wearing nothing but longjohns, a paper tail, and a set of those headband devil horns. Apparently, I was pissed about the entire situation and refused enter the party. Mom was like, fine ya lil bugger, sit on the front step. She ended up bringing a few cookies out to me. The only thing I have to remember it by are a few faded flash-memories. I wish there was an old photo of me as a grumpy devil sitting on someone's front porch steps. I would hang it in the office.

This year I'm going as a moonbat. The AFL-CIO and George Soros already bought space on my costume and signs. I mean, there's no way I'll be just another wholly-owned subsidiary of MoveOn. It's not like I'm some slut just selling myself. You and PayPal can help prevent prostitution... just reserve what's left. So don't be un-globalvillagelike. Or a meanie. You don't want the guilt of causing my bad choices, do you?

Nothing tests a mom's love like Halloween....I remember the year Cary was in kindergarten and wanted more than anything to be Garfield. He talked of nothing else but Garfield, Garfield, Garfield for three months prior to Halloween. Money was very tight and any costumes had to be made from scratch - I couldn't afford anything store-bought.

So I found orange sweats at a second hand store and found a remnant of orange fun fur at the fabric store...and proceeeded to sew - by hand, no sewing machine - a tail, complete with wire to be able to keep it from drooping, and stuffed it with paper towels to give it shape. I sewed it to the sweatpants and then made ears with the remaining fur and affixed them to a small black plastic headband. All he needed was the face makeup and he was set.

The day before the kids were to wear their costumes to school for the annual party and parade around the playground, he decided he'd rather be a pirate.

And so he was. I didn't mind, really....after all, Halloween just isn't any fun if you don't have that thrill and excitement of being in a costume that you think is the coolest thing since Voltron or HeMan.

Um... I probably created monsters in a way [looks left, looks right] I confess... I sew

I've always made my girls' costumes (and mine, too)

Though, my wild child Heather last year had a riotous party here and a group of her and friends did the toga thing of their own crafting ...

Amazing how one small square of white fabric can be divided among three girls .....


Mike Piazza.

heh, Mike Piazza. That was a good one Don't kill me. :-D

The worst costume i ever had was a black eyed pea. That is, wore all black, put a giant "P" on my back and chest and blacked out around my eyes with a pencil. It was pretty damned lame as i look back on it, but it got a lot of confused looks from folks, so in the end i was happy.

Spreading confusion since '83.