I don't like Halloween.
It's not from a lack of trying. I've bought the Halloween flag and gone to to the pumpkin patch to haul back pounds and pounds of pumpkins which we then carved into astonishing works of art, Pumpkin Picassos if you will! (Seriously. If I showed you pictures you would have total SQUASH ENVY.) I've flung fake spider webs hither and yon across trees and shrubs and scoured the aisles of Target for the perfect scary-but-cute door hanger! And I've passed out candy - lots of candy and not the cheap kind but the kinds with brand names - and taken my girls trick-or-treating faithfully every year! But I confess I find it extremely difficult to hide my apathy for this 'holiday.'
Witness a recent conversation:
Mommy, what are you going to be for Halloween?
That is so boring.
Okay, what about toxic mold?
I don't remember being particularly fond of Halloween as a child, either. I can't really explain why, although I'm sure a detailed psychological profile would reveal a latent fear of orange or perhaps an aversion to my neighborhood being invaded by tiny superheroes and wee princesses. I recall that when Rigel and I first started dating he suggested we go to an 'industry' (read: lots of geeks that do the same thing you do) Halloween party. I agreed, and then started stressing over a costume, because when you first start dating someone it's all about the sexy clothes! And the hair! And I wasn't about to go to a party and mingle amongst my peers (no matter how geeky) dressed as a Viking or a penguin (those two come to mind because for some reason I remember them from the party. Along with a Woody Allen and his Soon Yi, and a guy with his parasitic twin. Creative people are such cut ups!) Rigel came up with the idea of Morticia and Gomez from the Addams Family. This was in my early artist days when my wardrobe consisted of all things black, so I didn't have to do much in terms of preparation. At the party, someone commented "Great costume!" as I mused to myself, "Sucka! This is what I wore to work today." That was one of the last times I remember dressing up for Halloween.
Becoming a parent increased the stress tenfold, what with the frantic rush in the first days of October as your child decides what to be and then you go about attempting to make it from scratch. Because you know, if you don't make your child's fairy costume from an old car cover, some homemade paste and a toilet paper roll your child will NEVER GET INTO COLLEGE and you will be tormented by taunts of BAD MOMMY whilst she slithers through the Halloween parade in her store-bought travesty. The last costume I actually made was around four years ago. Kira wanted to be Pocahontas, so I found a dress at the thrift store and set about sewing on trim (actual SEWING, people - real mommies DON'T USE GLUE GUNS), making her 'Indian' jewelry and even making some moccasins out of brown felt that slipped on over her shoes. Here it is:
This little costume, this getup that she wore for exactly two hours, took me around three hundred hours to make and probably cost as much as if I flew to the Smithsonian and bought a authenticated and hermetically sealed Pocohantas garment. Rigel put the kibosh on any further Halloween do-it-yourself projects after he witnessed my manic all-night sewing session and the morning after when I was spewing real flames from my nostrils.
Now, I whip out the Party City catalog, have the girls circle their desired costumes and go wait in line with all the sane parents, sipping our cappuccinos and wondering what to do with all our spare time while our counterparts are at home, hunched over sewing machines fastening on the last of the five-thousand hand-woven tassels on little Apple's cabaret ensemble. Sadly, I don't know if my girls will ever don a homemade costume again, unless they want to be something that's easy to make like, say, a toll-booth operator or a walking trash bag, and you know then I'll be all about the glue gun.
Archive File: Offspring | This Life
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
I don't like Halloween.