Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween Humiliation

Growing up, the only holiday better than Halloween was Christmas. What's not to love about dressing up and insisting strangers give you candy? Even better when the occasional stranger would toss in a trick as well. After all, what was better than filling your pillowcase with candy after filling your drawers with...well, you get the point.

However, as an adult and a parent, I find myself not loving this particular calendar day. Don't get me wrong, I'm not so much a miser that I can't enjoy the sight of a toddler stuffed into a ridiculous costume and waddling about holding a lollipop, nor does the sight of well-disguised pet annoy me. Quite the contrary. I even appreciate an artful costume, one so involved and realistic that it looks like it should win best costume design at the Academy Awards.

No, my beef is with my mother.

She set the bar high, that woman did. My first real memory of my baby sister was her as an infant Pocahontas. Complete with a little braided wig and a leather tunic. She wasn't even a year old.

Then there was the year that Raggedy Ann and Andy made their appearances. My brother and I won every costume contest there was. It was the adorable hooked yarn wig she made for us, that made it all worth it.

We also had the Tooth fairy, where I had gossamer wings so light and airy that I probably could have flown if only I tried.

None of that tinfoil crap for my mom.

No, when my brother wanted to go as Chewy from Star Wars, my mom went out, found herself a bigfoot, killed it, skinned it and made it into the damndest little Chewbacca costume you ever laid eyes on.

She set that bar so damn high, even an Olympic pole vaulter couldn't clear it.

Which makes my sorry attempts at costume design even sorrier.

So to the woman whose rib I elbowed at Costco last week, while trying to grab the last damn dragon costume they had, I sincerely apologize. I can't say I didn't mean it, or that I wouldn't do it again, but please, understand my desperation.

I have huge clown shoes to fill. With small, little elfin feet to go in them.

And my mother is watching. Shaking her head, and wondering where in the world she went wrong with me.


Blogger Mrs. Chicken said...

I have a mom like that, too. And I'm fortunate enough to have a crafty sister (in every sense of the word) who makes The Poo's costumes. If it was left to me, she'd be dressed in a garbage bag with an old carrot for decoration.

I got lucky with the pumpkins. I was sure I'd cut my thumb off.

Hapy spook day! :)

9:07 a.m.  
Blogger Mrs. Chicken said...

I mean HAPPY spook day. Yah, I went to journalism school. It shows, doesn't it?

9:08 a.m.  
Blogger stefanierj said...

My mom's a sewer and a crafty-chica of the first order, but I don't even know how t use a sewing machine. *sigh* but lucky for me, I couldn't care less about Hallowe'en (except for the candy!), so there's that.

Good luck.

10:34 a.m.  
Blogger B.E.C.K. said...

The last thing I sewed was a too-short beach coverup when I was about thirteen, so I don't sew Halloween costumes. Gimme a cardboard box, though, and I can do things (robot, Thomas the Tank Engine...). Of course, my son doesn't really care much about his costume as long as he has one. I'm the one who gets all freaky about Halloween. This year he wanted to go as a ghost. Whose child is this?? ;^)

11:05 a.m.  
Blogger toyfoto said...

It's an excellent reason to hate Halloween. I suffer from the same affliction, only my mom couldn't sew. She did, however, do wonders with makeup.

And all around me are friends with amazing talents with such things. I even know a costumer.

My kid is going to have such dorky (or chintzy store-bought) costumes that it pains me to think about it.

12:41 p.m.  
Blogger Mrs. Chicky said...

I had that same Raggedy Ann costume, complete with handmade wig! Me? I bought my kid a chicken costume from Old Navy. Right now my poor mother is spinning in her grave.

Happy Halloween!

12:53 p.m.  
Blogger Daisydee said...

I would have been lucky to get a mask from my mom. She had no care to make me scary or pretty. She HATED the holidays!!
That's why I've taken up make up...lol

5:04 p.m.  
Blogger jellyhead said...

Oh, yes, my mother is the same...capable, inventive, and can make anything she puts her mind to. Makes me feel so terribly incompetent.

I mostly buy the outfits, too (see latest post for Ben's most recent dress-up)

Happy Halloween T!

5:27 p.m.  
Blogger Kat Campbell said...

Oh no! Is this what I've done to my children??? No problems, I'll just start making their kids costumes too.

9:26 p.m.  
Anonymous Jojo said...

Ah, but being an intricate part of your family, I know first hand that you outshine your mother at almost everything else, you could at least let her have this one thing...it's only one day.

9:31 a.m.  
Blogger Abandoned in Pasadena said...

As kids, we pretty much dressed ourselves as hobo's or whatever we could throw together. No help from adults.

6:35 p.m.  
Blogger Kerri. said...

The idea of you rmother killing and skinning a yeti to make a proper Chewy costume had me snickering at my desk this morning.

Great writing. :)

6:42 a.m.  
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