It’s the most horrific time of the year
October really is the scariest time of the year for me. It’s not the ghouls and goblins that cause me concern. It’s not masked monsters, hooded hoodlums, or even the abundance of sugary treats that really terrifies me. I don’t waste my time worrying about poisoned candy, hidden needles, or lurking weirdos. Really, it’s the princesses that scare me the most. They are everywhere this time of year and I promise you their shrilly voices and ridiculous makeup choices could do much more harm to a person’s soul than a zombie could ever hope to do.
Growing up, Halloween was actually one of my favorite holidays. I had grandiose ideas for costumes, much to your grandma’s frustration, and I would spend months plotting up the most unique outfits I could think of. Such as this:
I’m sure it’s quite obvious what I am, but just in case there is any confusion about what you are seeing there stands a 7 year old (slightly deflated but incredibly proud) 7-Up Dot. A few years later I upped the costume challenge creativity points and attempted to pull off a pickle costume. The closest anyone came to guessing correctly about my disguise was “What a cute little pilgrim.” I’m really good at the ideas part of planning, and not so much the implementation.
As I grew older Halloween started to become less and less fun. Costumes started becoming less about expression and more about short skirts and revealing clothing. I’m sure I fell guilty to the trend myself for a few years but luckily I missed out on most of my 20s thanks to the two of you.
Last night I had to face my fears and go costume shopping for your outfits. I couldn’t stand to bring you along because I knew the experience would be stressful enough without your constant incredibly unhelpful input. I had mentally pep talked myself to face all the princess costumes and I had a plan to keep walking and not even look their way. I wouldn’t even acknowledge them nor would I spend a second of my energy getting angry about how they are trying to encourage my two incredibly bright, funny and articulate little girls to be identified merely by their looks and fancy outfit. I was prepared for princesses, but what I got I could never have been ready for.
photo from: http://www.costumecraze.com/BRATZ19.html
The above costume, which comes in size youth small, is disturbing because it obviously shows so much skin and is such a grownup look for such little girls. But by and far the MOST disturbing thing about this is that it’s supposed to be a DOCTOR costume. A DOCTOR. Have these people ever seen a doctor before? Does anything about this aside from the stethoscope she is so coyly holding around her neck look like something a doctor would wear? Are we talking the type of doctor that would show up to a bachelor party and check the vitals of all the men in attendance? I digress. Reluctantly. But I digress.
I wasn’t overwhelmed by the costumes you two selected for this year. However, I had to remind myself as I often have to, that it’s not always about me. Evan, you are going as a fairy. Although you are a fairy who 1) Loves Mother Nature and is working to save the world 2) Wears leggings and a turtle neck under your fairy dress and 3) Is nice to everyone and grants good wishes. Lulu, you are going as a butterfly. With the way life has gone the last few weeks I’m not setting any rules for your costume because I have no doubt you will be going as a “kicking screaming hitting cussing four-year-old butterfly who hates everything.”
Ultimately I wanted to try to persuade you to use your imaginations a little bit more. But then I remembered that I’m an “ideas” person evidenced by when you have used your imaginations in the past I’ve frozen and told you to keep thinking. (But really, how was I supposed to make a bicycle costume?!) Truly though, I wanted you to go as whatever you want (except a princess or scantily clad imposter doctor) because I want you to enjoy Halloween while it’s still fun. I want you to have many years of joy before you have to face the temptation to use Halloween as an excuse to show off and grovel for attention. I want you to have many, many years of fun before a boy tells you that your costume isn’t “cute enough”. And I want you to have many, many, many years of enjoyment before you have to walk into that costume shop and face the idea of your own daughter being turned into an object. A scantily clad one at that.
So go out there girls and enjoy yourselves as a four year old and six year old should. And as you grow older if there does come a day when a boy makes a comment about your costume not being cute or your skirt needing to be shorter, please take that opportunity to overindulge in candy and subsequently throw up all over his shoes. Because a person who would judge you based on the cuteness of your costume, just like a person who would make a costume like the “doctor” one above, deserves NOTHING but shoes full of candy puke.