22 Oct
Between ‘Boo’ and Me, I Hate Halloween

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

Just between “boo” and me, I hate this time of year. I’m surrounded by mothers who actually sew their kids’ Halloween costumes every year. My kids wouldn’t recognize a sewing machine if it fell out of the sky and cracked ’em in the head. When I grew up, a plastic Darth Vader mask and cape from Target was what everyone wore. It used to not bother me, but the neighbors keep upping the ante. They hosted a Haunted House in their yard last year that made my scarecrow and bird display look like it came from the Dollar Store. I hate to be a party pooper, but I’m ready to just turn out the lights and keep the candy to myself.

Signed,
Halloween Hater

__________________________________________________________________________

Dear Halloween Hater,

When I grew up Target barely had any stores, so obviously I’m dressing up as an old granny this year, no costume required. I have the opposite childhood experience: my mother did sew our costumes every year. Of course, I think she did it because we were too poor to buy store costumes, and not because my mom had a large ego she had to express through her children.

Now I’m grown up and, as a recovered over-achieving mom, I’ve both bought and made costumes. I have one son who always chooses wacky costumes, I’m sure just to cause me anxiety attacks. No store carries his kind of costumes, such as a naked sole. My other son, though, dresses up as a Star Wars character almost every year and I can zip right into Target to buy his.

I admit I enjoy the ease of purchasing a costume since it leaves more time to plan special Halloween-themed cocktails. Yet I enjoy the challenge of making the wacky costumes, too. I can’t speak for your neighbors, but my intent was never to one-up anyone by hand-making a costume. My purpose was very self-centered – to have fun with my kid.

Don’t boo-hoo over Halloween because of your neighbors. Remember: their over-achieving tendencies have nothing to do with you. In fact, they are probably a bit self-absorbed like me and aren’t even thinking about you.

Enjoy the fruits of their labor by having fun at their haunted house. This is a win-win situation for you because #1 you didn’t have to do the work and #2 it frees up your time to think of crappy treats to hand out to those teenagers who are way too old to be trick-or-treating. (Personally, I plan to hand them cute Halloween treat bags filled with cat litter.)

Years down the road, your children won’t remember their outdoor decorations. What they will remember is the fun, so forget about the Joneses and do whatever it is that makes Halloween fun for you.

Happy hauntings,
Heather, TMH

11 Responses to “Between ‘Boo’ and Me, I Hate Halloween”

10.22.09#1

Comment by assomeoneelse.

I’ve done the whole make your own costumes thing for years now. I love the look on my kids’ faces when they put on their special hand made costumes…but what I love just as much (maybe even a little more) than that is the clenched teeth, white jawed, look of envious fury on the face of my sister in law who every year makes a mad dash for the costume isle at the drug store at the last minute for her kids.
Some of my neighbors were getting annoyed at my zeal. But after a few beers at a neighborhood barbecue the ladies understand my passion. Now they themselves annoy in laws vicariously through me.
Realistically your neighbors are probably trying to one-up someone, but it’s more than likely not you. So just enjoy.

10.22.09#2

Comment by Mary.

Erma Bombeck wrote that one Halloween she put paper bags with eye holes over her kid’s heads and told them to just tell everyone their mom was having surgery. lol. I heart Erma.

10.22.09#3

Comment by hokgardner.

I hate Halloween, always have. And I even had a mom who sewed my costumes for me, ungrateful brat that I was.

And now I have four kids who need costumes. Gah. Most years, I send the biggest diving into their dress-up bins to put together their own outfits. It’s worked so far, but I’m seeing the writing on the wall that my easy days are numbered. And I’m dreading having to be creative.

10.22.09#4

Comment by DisgruntledOfficeGal.

It’s worse when it’s the GROWNUP costumes that make your life a living hell. Every year, my office has this uber-competitive group-themed costume shindig that wastes a bunch of time and costs a ton of money. This year, after a furlough day (fancy for take a day off and we just won’t pay you for it), the hoohahs insisted that we have the Halloween celebration, complete with costume contest, because it is a bonding experience and it increases morale. Really? I guess the executives didn’t get shafted one day of pay this month since they seem to think it’s not a problem to come up with a costume that matches the rest of your group, when you’re a day shy of money. I believe I speak for all the underlings when I say “there’s nothing that raises morale LESS than requiring us to buy a costume when some of us are going to have trouble covering the bills this month.”

admin Reply:

I worked in an office that tried that Halloween BS once. So we underpaid girls in the office banded together and all bought a cheap cow costume (with an udder!) and acted like cows all day, which means we basically stood around doing nothing but chewing food.

They didn’t have the costume day the next Halloween.

Heather, TMH

10.22.09#5

Comment by GrandeMocha.

I’m cheap & lazy. The kids are going as Alvin & the Chipmunks. I bought 3 hoodies, red, green, & blue. I bought a $1 piece of yellow felt, cut out a A & sewed it on the front of the red sweatshirt. I taught them to sing the Christmas song from lyrics off the web. Nov. 1, I’m taking the A off the sweatshirt & somebody is wearing those hoodies.

Marinka Reply:

I think you may be a genius. Except for the part where they won’t stop singing that Christmas song for the rest of the year.

thepsychobabble Reply:

I don’t see cheap and lazy, I see freaking brilliant

10.22.09#6

Comment by Wendi.

Where I grew up, we always had to trick-or-treat in 3 feet of snow, and put snowmobile suits on over our costumes. My mom always said to tell people we were The Michelin Man.

Minipeds Reply:

I distinctly remember one year I was about 6 or 7, My hopes of a scary “vampiress” costume were shot because I had to wear a big winter coat over it. Nobody knew what I was and I got fake blood all over the collar. This year I’m going as a Cthulhu cultist with 3 other people. Handmade has never been so much fun.

LauraL Reply:

Ooooo! What exactly does a Cthulhu cultist look like? A smaller version of Cthulhu? Davy Jones from The Pirates of the Caribbean? Inquiring (and very admiring) minds want to know…

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