Friday, October 31, 2008
The Rooster and Boba Fett
Today is Halloween.
Because our city is weird, Trick or Treat was last night on October 30th. I don't know why it is on the 30th and is called "Beggar's Night."
The build-up in our house has been positively fierce, particularly for 7-year-old Wesley, who declared in July that he was to be Boba Fett. We put off buying the costume as long as possible because the price on the thing was outrageous and, unlike other families who enthusiastically embrace Halloween and all of its spookiness, I see money spent on costumes equivalent to money flushed down the crapper.
The only time I can say that this wasn't the case was when Wesley was four and he went as Spiderman. Like every other four year old boy, Spiderman was his obsession, and was egged on by the rapid-fire releases of the Spiderman trilogy.
"Spiderman" was one of those polyester, highly flammable jobs that tied up the back and had the fake, fluffy muscles in the front to intimate the massive strength of the pint sized Spidey . Wesley wore the thing for four weeks leading up to Halloween (even to bed), and throughout that winter. I think he might have continued to wear it into the summer, but by that time it was too tight, specifically in the crotch area, and created a frontal wedgie that would be deemed, by any reasonable person, highly inappropriate to wear in public .
Unfortunately, unlike the Spiderman of yore, Boba Fett's novelty wore off after the first day or so. By the time October 30th rolled around, he wouldn't even put on the helmet. I made him carry the helmet around the neighborhood so folks could AT LEAST get the gist of the costume and would satisfy my own concern with getting my money's worth out of the over-priced ensemble.
The baby's costume was bought on Ebay because I felt I had to, pressured by the endless questions about "what Maggie was going to be for Halloween" and the fear of reproach if I said she wasn't dressing up. Sadly at thirty-something, I am highly affected by peer pressure (in a thirty year old's sort of way). But by this age, peer pressure no longer occurs in the areas of beer and bongs... it moves onto things that bring out fundamental issues of guilt. In this case, depriving a child of the experience, even if only through photos later in life, of participating in holidays of which the importance is grossly inflated and driven by retail sales.
The baby's costume was .99 and shipping was a mere 3.00. I felt that this was very reasonable. It was a costume of a chicken, although Chris pointed out that the comb on top of the hood technically made it a rooster, thus all wrong for a baby girl. But it was cozy for a chilly October night. I couldn't have anticipated that Beggar's Night this year would be unusually mild and the minute I put the stifling costume on her she would flip out.
We set her in the stroller and she cried even harder.
We started walking and the freak-out was impressive in its ferocity and intensity.
By the end of the block, we had to pick her up and carry her.
My trick or treat experience was souring by the minute and as we made our way up the hill one block over, I had experienced enough of it already. The dirtballs were out en masse and we were walking through plumes of cigarette smoke and dodging doggies dressed in costumes (which is no simple feat with an SUV sized stroller). The parents yelling and dragging their children around reminded me very much like the last time I visited the east side Kmart.
I had Chris plunk her down in the stroller and, the as the ferocity of the flipping out reared its ugly head once again, I half walked/half jogged the rest of the way to our house where our oldest son was sitting on the porch handing out candy, trying to look cool and uninterested, and receiving positive attention from girls. At least he had a good night.
Which leads to today, October 31st,the actual "holiday." I will probably fire up more tea lights and put them in our jack-o-lanterns outside (we went all out this year). It will feel very anticlimactic until I see the 75% off sale on seasonal items at the local Target, my highlight of every holiday season.