Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Ghost With A Hat

For Halloween this year, my eldest nephew will be dressed as Mario, the video game character.  This news was greeted by my husband and I with a mixture of relief and disappointment.  It seems this year, our boy's going to look decent, even good.

Every year, Logan's costume choice is big news, not because it's so cool but rather because it's so not cool.  We've often joked that the child has nerdy costume radar that enables him to hone in on the lamest costume in the universe year after year.  He's provided us with hours of entertainment.  One time, he was the goofiest Mickey Mouse you've ever seen.  Another year, he was Thomas the Tank Engine,  a terrible costume that merely hung from his shoulders like an advertisement for dorkiness.

For such a groovy child, he really knows how to nerd it up.  Case in point, last year, his little brother went as a scary bat.  The costume ended up being both hip and adorable and Jayce pulled it off majestically, waving the soft wings around and wearing the fuzzy ears like a champ.  Poor Logan tripped along next to him in a cheap-looking ghost costume, which was so bad that I really think an old school sheet with holes cut out would've been a better choice.  Picture a white shiny sheet with a goofy face and googly eyes that Logan couldn't see through at all topped off with a blue baseball cap.  Yes, he was a blind ghost that, um, plays baseball?  It's as if every year he walks into the costume store and says, "Give me the dumbest thing you have."  So, we think Mario will be the first good costume in a long line of duds but we're reserving judgement until we've seen the photos.

Thinking about Logan's costumes got me to wondering about my sister and I and our old Halloween getups.  Would we have made the same mistakes as children if we were given the freedom to walk into Target and pick out anything we wanted?  I think we probably would have.  I feel sure that I would've shown up at the school carnival dressed as Vanity Smurf.   As it was, my mother barely tolerated Halloween.  We never had store bought costumes, possibly saving us from being ridiculed by our aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.  Even so, I coveted the grocery store costumes that the kids at my school slipped over their Oshkosh B'gosh overalls.  Oh, the rubber band masks!  Oh, the chemical-smelling plastic costumes!  I thought they were magic, like McDonalds and those little rubber balls you get from machines.

When we were very small, my Meemaw, who was incredibly handy with a sewing machine, made our costumes.  I wore the above witch outfit many years in a row, hopefully not always over those brown shoes.  My sister was that clown one year and another year wore an adorable soft grey elephant costume that my grandmother whipped up for fun.  As we got older, my mom told us to reuse the dance costumes she'd shelled out so much money for which resulted in some pretty funny outfits like:  scary can-can girl or roller skating car hop that also wears a tutu.

In my twenties, I embraced my new found costume freedom.  I've been Slash from Guns N Roses, countless vampires, Little Red Riding Hood complete with a basket of candy to hand out, the Sugar half of Sugar & Spice from Batman Forever and, of course, a slutty nurse.  (I mean, who hasn't?)

My costumed days finally petered out when I met and married my husband, who might be even less enthusiastic about the holiday than my mother.  These days, instead of dressing up, I live vicariously through my three nephews and my friends' kids.  I look forward to busting out photos of Logan in the aforementioned dorky costumes and showing them to his future significant other, who will laugh and squeal and most likely take the polite route and not mention how terrible the costumes are.  That's my job.