Sunday, November 8, 2009

Halloween Fail

Dear Halloween,

I'll do better next year.

Love, Lisa


Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. I can identify a few reasons:

1- Halloween is very close to my birthday, so it kind of seemed like "my" holiday to me when I was growing up. I think I had costume birthday parties at least three times as a kid.

2- My mom came up with and created great costumes for me and my sisters when we were little. Probably the highlight was the year we went as The Cat in the Hat (me, age 8), and Thing One and Thing Two (Kara and Krista, ages 5 and 2). The lowlight was the year I turned six, when I insisted on having my one store-bought costume: Strawberry Shortcake with a plastic dress and mask. My nice mom indulged me, even though I'm sure she didn't want to spend money on that tacky costume.

3- I love thrift store/vintage shopping, and costume creating/shopping is a natural extension of that.

4- I enjoyed the attention that a well-executed costume brought me. Looking back, I probably enjoyed it a little too much. Prime example is the year I went as Wonder Woman to The Howl at Utah State (the first time - I did reuse this costume for another Howl four years later). I had been working on my costume since April, and I was so proud of how well it turned out that I wanted to have AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE see it. Vain, much? Yes. So anyway, I volunteered (in a "Pick me! Pick me! Pick me!" sort of a way) to be hypnotized on stage in front of a whole ballroom of people. My date and I were selected as finalists for the costume contest that year, too. (Somehow I lost the pictures I had of this costume, boo.)

Notice "candy" did not make the list. I don't really care for candy all that much.

My Halloween love continued right up until I married Tyson, or as I call him, "Grinchy McScroogester, the Hater of all Holidays". Those who know the details of our courtship know it was rather brief. We didn't actually experience any holidays together before we were married. That year, I was too busy planning our wedding and getting married to give much attention to Halloween, so I just recycled my Wonder Woman costume again for dress-up day at work (this time wearing it under a conservative '70s skirt suit a la Diana Prince). Tyson didn't dress up, but I didn't give it much thought. Soon, however, the Christmas season revealed his true Grinchy McScroogester-ness, and I realized I had a holiday-hater on my hands.

Nevertheless, I convinced him to dress up for a Halloween party in 2006, but instead of planning and creating coordinated costumes months in advance of the holiday, we instead threw them together the night of the party. I went as Janice, the Muppet, and he went as a cowboy. Not exactly a matched pair. See the shirt I'm wearing? That's Janet, and I just copied the outfit she was wearing. Yeah, I made that "wig" out of an ugly clearance Victoria's Secret nightgown I had had lying around with tags on for quite some time.

And that was it. That was the last year I dressed up for Halloween. Granted, the next year I had a week-old baby. But then last year, Sawyer was a cute lion, and I took him trick-or-treating in my old hometown neighborhood in Centerville, and I don't even know where Tyson was. He could not care less about it!

This year, with the moves, the pregnancy, the birth, the newborn, etc., I again didn't put any thought into costumes. I bought a skeleton outfit for Sawyer at Ross for $3.99. Beck had been lent a hand-me-down pair of orange fleece pajamas that I intended to make into a pumpkin costume, but I never got around to it. I guess he went as a "hunter" in his orange clothes and hat.

I even failed at getting any good pictures of the event. I will blame the lack of decent photos on the presence of candy. How can you get a two-year-old to hold still when there is candy nearby? He pronounces it "canny?" and always says it like that, with a hopeful, questioning upswing at the end of the word. "Canny?" he will say, several times an hour, every time I open a cupboard, or when the doorbell rings, or any other random time.

I did have one success this Halloween: jack o'lanterns! It's some small comfort. Oh well, better luck (to me) next year. Any great costume ideas for a family of four?


  1. Mike dressed-up last year as ninja. He completely blew me away. I'd already given up hope that he would ever participate in anything involving dressing-up. So maybe there's still hope for Tyson...does he have a tight black shirt, black face mask, and a pair of nunchucks laying around?

  2. Hey...last year, kev and i were mimes. tyson might like that. if you go to a party and he doesn't want to talk...he can blame it on his "mime costume." We just got white and black paint and black clothes and it ended up being so freakin fun!!! i would have to say i really loved being Lara Croft from Tomb and two...yes, two years in a row. :) This last year I wanted to be a bee and Keven was going to be the "Orkin Man." That could be cute for next year!! :) Have the kids and yourself be an insect and Tyson can be Pest Control! :)

  3. This year J & A wore store bought star-wars character costumes that we already had, I was Word Girl (from the PBS cartoon), Kyle was supposed to be Chuck the Evil-Sandwich-Making-Guy, but never finished his costume. C was Captain Huggy Face, my monkey side-kick.