Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ah Hell, Halloween

A river of sweat is pouring down my back and it has nothing to do with the exercise I just did or the fact that my children gave me some kind of head cold (the little petri dishes), it has to do with the Halloween season approaching. In my home Halloween is a month-long celebration that entails decorations, pumpkin-picking, toasting seeds, and trick-or-treating with the kids as well as celebrating my husband's birthday which is actually on Halloween. All of these events do not strike fear in me or induce panic, I rather enjoy them and waited a lifetime to do these things with my children. What does affect me to the point of night terrors is what to dress up as this year. We've been invited to a Halloween costume party and I have no earthly idea what to wear!
This is a common refrain from my past. From the time I was a child I struggled with what to be for Halloween. My mother was not a creative mom when it came to crafts and costumes, so I was restricted to what the dime store offerings were or what I could piece together out of her closets. My costumes ranged from a store bought Wonder Woman costume (Lynda Carter was and is my ideal woman for looks and Wonder Woman/Diana Prince as a strong female role model) that was so ugly and uncomfortable that I'm not sure it ever got worn for trick--or-treating, to a homespun witch's costume wearing my mother's black velvet skirt, black velvet shawl lined in a hot pink satin, a witches hat, and a fireplace broom for my primary school hands to wrangle. One year I tried  to be my favorite doll, Barbie. My mother purchased a blond wig and I wore designer jeans and a little rabbit fur jacket. No, no one knew who I was. As I teen my boyfriend and I wore matching Tommy Hilfiger oxford cloth button down shirts to my husband's Halloween birthday open house and arrived as "the Bobbsey Twins". (Note: My husband and I were high school sweethearts for most of my high school career. He had a yearly Halloween Open House. I only was around for the last one as he was a senior and I was a freshmen. I attended that party with a boyfriend, but shortly thereafter my husband and I were together). Once again, most didn't get it. As an adult I've usually steered clear of costumes and opted for more seasonal attire, although there was a period when I tried to be a relic from the 1980s when I taught school in the later 1990s. I wore a great dress circa 1983 that was my mother's and was in my everyday wardrobe as it was a classic design, teased my hair, piled on my make-up and rhinestone jewelry and was fairly successful with the kids. That is until I wore the dress again toward the end of November that year and one of my fashion-forward students pointed out that I was in the same dress as my Halloween costume and that ended my coolness factor (in her eyes). I've tried a cape with my own wardrobe but could never commit to white face paint and vampire fangs. I've tried a witches hat with my normal mommy clothes but the hat kept flying off (too small?). My costume history is really a string of Halloween failures. Once, as a mom of one, I had my husband wear his tuxedo and stuff a mini digital camera that looked like a pen into his lapel and I wore a slinky black evening gown. My husband created a tattoo on my shoulder in black eyeliner that read "007" - he was James Bond and I was a Bond Girl. That was pretty good, but that dress is not for a mommy who will be with her 3 little ones. In recent years I did have luck at the local Wal*Mart and became a Queen one year and a Devil Woman in Red the next, but I'm not sure those costumes currently fit in the wake of  baby number 3 either. Normally my costume dilemma would be minor as it was only my children I was trying to entertain and impress, but this year is different. Some long lost friends from our high school days are hosting a Halloween costume party and our entire family was invited. The boys are deciding between Transformers' characters (the oldest loves bad guys and would go as Megatron, the youngest is all about Optimus Prime) and both being Batman. I, however, have no idea what costume to don to get in the spirit, be comfortable, look great, and give into the look completely. I'd love to do a pair of costumes so my husband and I would complement each other, but I have no clue which direction to go. Moreover, money is certainly an issue as we don't have any to spend for a one night engagement (although we'd wear it again on Halloween as well). And our daughter is also costume-less at this point! So, any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated as would your tails of Halloween Hell or happiness. We need solutions quickly so I implore to type your responses to help me out of my predicament. I would like this Halloween to be the one I did RIGHT! Of course, if I didn't (again) it would sure give me great fodder for another blog in the future!


  1. Well, your daughter should naturally be a princess! ;)

    You and husband could continue the super hero type theme and be Princess Lei & Han Solo (since y'all aren't brother and sister). What about your karate outfits (sorry, I don't know what they are called)?

    My favorite costume to this day was sometime during high school. I was Peg Bundy from the hit TV show "Married with Children". My hair was teased and styled like Peg's then sprayed orange (the only time my hair has been a color other than its true color). I wore black leggings, a flowered tunic with a stretchy belt and heels. I managed to be able to "stay in character" and WALK like Peg the entire night. I was taking the girls I babysat for trick-or-treating, since I felt I was beyond the age to do so, and ended up having my photo taken by several people.

    I've also been the oh-so-easy and comfortable Baby- wearing PJ's, slippers, eyeliner freckles, pigtails and carrying a stuffed animal. I was also a roller skating cheerleader (a la Better Off Dead). I was a Playboy Bunny (looking back was a rather inappropriate choice for 7th grade). I was never anything scary or "dead." Not really my personality.

    For the most part our family doesn't do much for Halloween. We will probably go to our church's "Fall Festival" and enjoy those festivities. My oldest son (age 13 and 6' 1" tall) has chosen to go as a leprechaun this year- because that is stinking hilarious!

    I hope you all have a wonderful time as a family and I can't wait to see what you decide (hint, hint, we want pictures). :)

  2. BTW, Go retro and be Peg and Al Bundy for Halloween! :)

  3. Lil' 187 was doing a good impression of a terrifying Ninja warrior on FB a couple of days ago just dress her up from head to toe in skin tight black and she'll be good to go :-)

    BTW it's not even October and your planning Halloween already over on hour side of the pond every one dives into Woolworths, well used to before it disappeared, on Halloween day !

  4. Thanks for the suggestions, Jules, we'll see where they take us. Pics will definitely be posted!

    Art, because Americans do things bigger and longer than any other country, Halloween is a month-long celebration! But I brought this topic up now b/c I need time to execute a plan for the Oct. 23rd Halloween party we've been invited.

  5. Gumby is always a winner:

  6. We want to be a couple - Jules had the right idea.

  7. With Racers recent surgery, a nurse was the first thing that can to mind.

  8. Thanks for the suggestions everybody! I think I've found the 'perfect costume' for this year. I'll post a blog with pictures after the party!