Sunday, October 29, 2006

Halloween Horrors

Agh. The older my kids get, the more trauma they put me through come Halloween time every year.

Year before last, I made frantic searches through every flea market, resale shop and junk store in town in an effort to find a gypsy blouse, skirt and scarves. I think that was also the year I drove to Joplin to the very scary costume shop looking for a Lone Ranger mask. They didn't have any, so I went to the adult toy store and the clerk said, "Honey, I have plenty of masks here, but none of them have eye holes."

Occasionally we luck out - like the year I found a Beast costume (From Disney's Beauty and the Beast) at the Disney Store for $10. And last year when both girls wanted to be witches. Or the year Abby was Kim Possible. That was wayyyyyyy easy. She still grumbles about how no one recognized who she was, too.

I don't know why I put myself through this. It's not like when I was a kid - they don't have costume contests at school. I don't know why I strive for such perfection when it comes to Halloween costumes.

I don't know why this year I have probably spent close to $75 on the kids' costumes. Well, not Kady - she going as Tinker Bell and using her cousin's borrowed costume. Totally $0 spent.

The other two - agh, my husband would kill me if he knew how much money I've spent on their stuff. It's a good thing I won at the casino last night. I have to use my gambling addiction money to pay for my irresponsible spending of money at the mall yesterday.

Abby has known for months that she wanted to be Goth for Halloween. And Sam has also known for months that he wanted to be Napoleon Dynamite. And he was so excited about it that he refused to tell anyone at school what he was going to be. I am so thankful for his desire to keep it secret because now his Napoleon dreams have been shattered. Last year you could've choked on the overabundance of Napoleon stuff - this year NOTHING.

Three weeks ago I braved Spencer's on the mall - a store that quite frankly gives me nightmares - and found a ND costume. For an adult, though. But really, the dude wore a Vote For Pedro t-shirt and jeans. Moon boots can be bought at The Friendship House. All I needed was a wig and glasses. Unfortunately they were out, but would be getting some in the next Tuesday. Obviously I missed that Tuesday boat and upon inquiring yesterday of the very scary witch-thing behind the counter, they were out and "You kind of waited till the last minute, didn't you?" If I'd wanted her witchy comments I'd have rammed her broom up her hoohah and asked her.

So I said, "Son? How would you like to be your sister's very scary and depressed Goth little brother?" He was totally on board because he is such a good kid and he could see the panic on his mother's face that oh holy night we are three days away from Halloween and you, my child, have no costume!

So then we began a new search on the mall - for black clothes. My son is a little junior redneck. He wears cowboy-cut Wranglers and cowboy boots. He wears the occasional pair of windpants and tennis shoes. He doesn't own black clothes. He is also a skinny little fart and there are no size 8 slim black jeans or pants anywhere in the SW corner of Missouri or the NE corner of Oklahoma. None.

We went to Hot Topic on the mall. We were lured there by the screaming, raging noise emitting from the speakers and wafting out onto the mall, causing every person above the age of 35 to cut a wide berth around the entrance and shield their small children from the possible corruption in the airwaves. Now, 18 or so years ago, I'd have been all over that store. The noise, the darkness, the bleakness, the utter rebellion in the woodwork - yeah, I'd have brought my sleeping bag and moved into the stockroom just to be a part of the perpetual gloom. I figured we'd hit the jackpot - even if we couldn't find clothes, we'd be able to find accessories and makeup.

Now, for the record, I totally dressed "Mom" yesterday. I normally wear my flare-leg jeans and low-cut tops when I venture out of Daycare Land where the official motto is "All Sweats, All The Time", but yesterday I grabbed the one pair of straight-leg jeans I own and a Halloween t-shirt with a stupid smiling scarecrow on it. I should've gone with my Old Navy Halloween shirt from last year to at least give me some street cred, but nooooooooooooo I had to go with the t-shirt that just screams "I am a 33 year mother of three that now only reads historical romance novels and flosses daily." Seriously. The shirt screamed that. It didn't state plainly that I abhor historical romances and I haven't flossed since the last time I ate a steak and had a piece of meat caught between a couple of molars. It blatantly covered up the fact that I would've SO been Goth had my father not been a Southern Baptist music minister when I was a teen.

So when I asked the pregnant Goth clerk with red eye makeup and approximately 27 piercings (yes, I tried to count) for some help, she looked me up and down and gave me a look that said, "You're friends with my mother, aren't you?" I wanted to show her my tattoos, tell her I secretly desire a tongue piercing and that I dressed as a funeral mourner for Halloween the year I was 18. But instead I said, "Could you help me? I have two kids that want to be Goth for Halloween and you look to be a fairly good source of this kind of information." And instead of just giving me the look, she said, "You're friends with my mother, aren't you?" She - without making eye contact - told me that she didn't have clothing in his size and maybe he should dress up as a Ninja or something. I tried to not be offended. I tried to look impressed and sound cool when she showed me the Bloody Mary brand Goth makeup and I said, "Oooh, this is the best stuff on the market." But instead of sounding cool I sounded like I'd read Consumer Reports.

Finally I just purchased a compact of corpse-white makeup and ran from the store with two very frightened daughters in tow and one head-banging son. When we got out onto the mall again, Abby let out a big breath and said, "Mother. Please. don't. ever. take. me. in. there. again." So I really don't think we have to look forward to a teenagehood of Goth for her. Not if the stores scare her. It took promising Kady something from The Great American Cookie Company just to get her to let go of my leg. She was pale, wide-eyed and shaking. Sam, however, was all but writhing on the floor, yelling, "Mom! Can we get that CD?"

We went to Claire's after that and found Abby a clip-on nose ring and Sam some magnetic skull earrings. We also loaded up on black plastic barbed wire-looking bracelets. At Wal*Mart I found a black turtleneck for Sam, (no pants) got more black plastic bracelets and a chain for Sam. It's actually a women's necklace, but I'm going to rig it up to his wallet somehow and have it hang down his leg. I saw a guy with that at Wal*Mart yesterday and stared at him so long while trying to figure out how it was done, that he looked at me and said, "You're friends with my mother, aren't you?"


Carrie said...

I SO hope there's pictures of your little Goth children on Wednesday morning! I can't wait!

Cazzie!!! said...

Cannot wait for pics either :)

Stewed Hamm said...

Some friendly advice here. Hot Topic used to scare my niece, too. Two years later, she's responsible for their record 3rd Quarter profits.
(she could easily double as Abby's twin, too, for what it's worth.)

Forewarned is forearmed, Diva.

(WV: fiyne. What you have to pa-yee when you ge-ut a ti-uh-ket.)

LLB said...

hey. over here in sapulpa at washington elementary they do halloween the way it was meant to be done! they have a "ghostwalk" costume contest, parties, the whole nine yards. at another elementary school in the district (freedom) they don't even have parties, nada, my friend just moved into that district from another elementary district in sapulpa (liberty) which goes out about half as much as washington, and is so sad cause she can't even bring cookies to his class as they don't do any of the holidays. it's weird the gamet we run over here!
love your blog...

Cazzie!!! said...

magnetic skull earrings..way cool , LOL

Carmel said...

OK. I've picked myself up off the floor. I'm laughing so hard. This was a funny funny post.

"Ms. Cornelius" said...

Tee-hee-hee. Very funny.

I love that store. It's where I got my Smiths T-shirt.

We....the people

Originally published in The Miami News-Record, July 2020 Everything is different now. I’m not just talking about masks and social distancing...