Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Costume Crisis

October 31st is nearing and I don’t want to make Halloween costumes for my kids. This wouldn’t normally be a problem, but I also don’t want to buy Halloween costumes for my kids.

3 years ago, I purchased a Darth Vader costume for Ethan for $60. This did not include the light saber or the black gauntlets, (which, I later learned, was a fancy way of saying “gloves”) and had to be purchased separately. My rational for buying such an expensive costume was that it would be worn by 3 boys over the coming years and in effect “pay for itself” as they say.

Without going into too much detail, let me just say that the $60 Darth Vader costume would have caused the Sith Lord himself to administer that creepy phantom choke maneuver on whoever designed it. It began to fall apart after only one night of tricks and treats. Ethan wore it again last year, sans helmet, which never fit correctly anyway, and it took even more of a beating.

Unless Jonah or Isaac is interested in going trick or treating as the Darth Vader who was all ratty and falling apart after Darth Sidious nearly killed him when it became clear Vader would not kill Luke, then I think our Darth Vader costume needs to be retired.

Last year Jonah and Isaac dressed up as matching pirates in costumes made by me. I spent about $60 on both of them and even though the shirts are a little funky in the collar area, they are vastly superior to the overpriced costumes you can buy in the store.

I would make creative costumes this year for all my boys, but 3 things stand in my way:

1. Two of the boys change their minds almost hourly on what they want to dress up as for Halloween.

2. One of the boys wants to be a character from a fairly obscure sci-fi show that almost no one has ever heard of: Apophis, a Goa'uld based on the god Apep of Egyptian mythology.

3. I don’t want to sew any Halloween costumes (as mentioned above.)

Yesterday I asked Isaac and Jonah if they would like to go as pirates again this year. I told them we could change up the costumes a bit by drawing fake scars on their faces and adding an eye patch. They were thrilled and quickly agreed.

Today, thoughts of being a pirate were abandoned when “The Ultimate Halloween Catalog” from Party City came in the mail. It has pictures of hundreds of Halloween costumes and all three boys couldn’t take their eyes off it. All quickly determined which costumes I would be buying them (in their dreams) and none of the costume selections included “Doctor Without Borders Doctor,” “Nobel Prize Winning Scientist,” or even “Future Tycoon.”

No, my boys wanted to be Zombie Doctor, Ghoul with Light-up Eyes, and Bleeding Chest Skeleton. Lovely.

It doesn’t really matter because I’m not buying any of those overpriced, poorly constructed costumes.

If I had to choose one part of “The Ultimate Halloween Catalog” that disturbed me most ( and there were more than a few things to be disturbed about (i.e. sexy costumes for pre-teen girls)), it would be the youth sized costumes of Freddy Kruger (Nightmare on Elm Street), Jason (Friday the 13th) and Michael Myers (Halloween). It makes me sad to think that an 8-10 year old would actually know who these characters were and want to be one of them for Halloween.


Singing Ragamuffin said...

I can relate to a lot of what you are saying here. A lot of the costumes you mentioned from the Ultimate Halloween catalog did sound quite disturbing, and you're right: The costumes are usually not that well-made.

Unfortunately, my stepson knew who Carrie was when he was only eight years old. I used to be so embarrassed whenever he would talk to other people about characters from horror movies, because I knew these other people would only say to me, "He shouldn't be watching things like that." Which I knew of course, but couldn't control.

Yes, Halloween's probably my least favorite time of the year. But look on the bright side: You have adorable pictures of your kids thanks to the costumes you've bought or made for them before. Halloween can be looked at as a dress-up party with extra candy thrown on top.

But I do hope that you are able to convince them to go as characters that they will look good dressed up as. Not only now but for the many years to come when both you and them look back over the old Halloween costume photos.

Catherine said...

I got that catalog yesterday too! I threw it away before the kids could see it. Bruce is already saying he needs a new spiderman costume with padded muscles and gloves and boots! Criminy.

Maybe buying the face paint for the scars and stuff will reignite your kids' passion for pirates. Good luck.

megan said...

I need that catalog! The girls have been crazy about Halloween this year and keep changing their mind. I just want to get it over with, but don't want to get some lame, poorly made costume. I guess I could spend $100 at Pottery Barn. I don't think so!

claire said...

I went to party city on a sale day and got a (poorly constructed) jedi costume for only $10. I would try ebay or second-hand kid stores.

claire said...

Also TJ Maxx. I got Preston's vader costume from there last year for only $20 and it is actually holding up well. It even has a battery pack that lights up in front. Blake was yoda for only $15.