Halloween, I’ve decided, should be an adult-only holiday. As a parent, Halloween is just a giant pain in the ass. Kids stuffed into costumes that are itchy or tight or too hot or too cold, driving to a subdivision and then walking for miles in the freezing cold to get candy that I’m either going to sneakily eat myself or throw away because it’s “bad.”
And I didn’t have it any better as a kid.
In this picture, I had just cried out, “Don’t hurt him, Pop!” But I was talking about the pumpkin, not my little brother who is clearly about to lose a hand.
And here’s me as the saddest black cat you’ve ever seen:
Or maybe I was supposed to be a pumpkin. I’m not really sure what the hell that was.
Then there was the year of the butterfly. As far as I know, no pictures exist of The Butterfly Costume.
That year my mom bought a yard of the most beautiful, shiny fabric for my wings. Then, instead of making me wings, she draped the fabric over my shoulders and sent me on my way. I was a kid in black tights wrapped in a yard of satin, more cocoon than butterfly.
I believe that same year my brother wore, taped to his chest, a piece of yellow paper from a legal pad with an ‘S’ drawn on it.
Then you’ve got pumpkin carving. I always start out with such high hopes. Then I spend an hour pulling gooey strings out of 5 pumpkins and I remember that I hate pumpkin carving. This year my oldest kids didn’t even participate and my youngest spent most of the time crying because we wouldn’t let her use a knife.
Next you try to actually carve the damn things and realize that pumpkins were not meant to be carved. They are hard and dangerous and I don’t even know why this is a thing. When you’re finally done, your pumpkin ends up looking like the jackass no one wants to hang out with and the other pumpkins are giving him the side eye.
Before kids, I used to leave haunted houses laughing and shrieking as the chainsaw-wielding clown chased us out. The last haunted house I went to, I had a kid wrapped all the way around me and I was literally yelling at the actors to “LEAVE US ALONE! WE ARE DONE HERE!” I almost got into a fight.
This week at school my daughter gets to dress up EVERY DAY. The school wants me dead, I just know it. She’s already been to one Fall Festival and has two more left. The boys have parties to attend. And of course Friday we will load up and go trick or treating.
If Halloween were just for adults, I would have exactly one event to attend. I would only worry about my husband’s costume and whether or not it was offensive. I would drink beer by a large fire and not eat any candy. I wouldn’t knock on a single door or attend any Fall Festivals.
I wouldn’t hear my children laugh as they dunk for apples. I wouldn’t take a picture of my daughter smiling proudly by three half-assed jack o’lanterns. I wouldn’t pick my oldest up from a party and listen to him laugh about all the fun he’d had. I wouldn’t hear a sweet little voice say, “Trick or Treat!” and “Thank You!” at every house. I wouldn’t watch them dump their candy bags in the floor for inspection and theft. *sigh*
At least there’ll be candy.
Are you dressing up this year? What was the worst Halloween costume you ever wore?
October 27th, 2014 at 6:55 am
Since my sorry ass will be at work on Friday I got myself an orange t-shirt with a pumpkin face in black face on it to wear. I also bought a sugar skull-esque mask with the intention of wearing it when I hand out candy. In reality, I got it because it’s cool as fuck. And the only thing I really like about carving pumpkins is cooking the seeds so I can eat them and then have unhappy potty time.
October 27th, 2014 at 7:05 am
LMAO, unhappy potty time. Oh my. We live so far out that we don’t get to hand out candy. I always thought that would be more fun than trick or treating. Except for all the getting up to get the door.
October 27th, 2014 at 7:22 am
Yeah, there aren’t a ton of kids in our area anymore so it’s usually pretty sporadic. I’m not sure what it’ll be like this year since it’s on a Friday.
October 27th, 2014 at 7:11 am
Nope..I won’t be dressing up. People at work do and I’m strangely fascinated by it.
I loved Halloween when I was a kid and I didn’t mind trick or treating with my kids. I miss the yearly candy gorge…but not a lot.
I did carve a pumpkin though, only because last year we started a new tradition. We filled the pumpkin with lamp oil and set it on fire. Yes, alcohol was involved. I’m looking forward to the annual pumpkin burning. 🙂
October 30th, 2014 at 6:37 am
You have the coolest traditions. I like that they mostly seem to involve alcohol, fire, paint, or all three.
October 27th, 2014 at 7:17 am
I don’t really get into all the Halloween shit either. I don’t like dressing up, and the candy is too much of a temptation. And trick-or-treating SUCKS.
October 30th, 2014 at 6:39 am
Do you have to go this year? I’m dreading tomorrow but Sophia is just young enough and the boys just old enough that it might not be total hell.
October 30th, 2014 at 8:15 am
I’m sure C will be going, yes.
October 27th, 2014 at 7:19 am
I love this night every year. My bestie is on speed dial and for two hours I see kids having a blast, I get to be a hero for a) dressing up and b) for handing out wine. But the trauma of my youth is still there… Wearing a snowsuit under my plastic princess costume making me a fat plastic princess. We all know plastic princesses are far from fat. Mortified!!
October 30th, 2014 at 6:40 am
LOLOLOL! A snowsuit. I’m dying over here. And I want to trick or treat at your house if you’re handing out wine!
October 27th, 2014 at 7:25 am
I was thinking about wearing the only costume I have–the Silk Spectre one touched on in my search term post. But that might be better for NOT trick-or-treating with the kids!
October 30th, 2014 at 6:41 am
Sometimes I dress up with the kids but this year I’m not feeling it. And you’re probably right about the costume.
October 27th, 2014 at 7:37 am
This year, Holden, Jack and I are going as characters from Little Red Riding Hood. I’m a sucker for the group costumes, as lame as they may be.
My worst costume was probably when my cousin and I decided to go as “blue girls”. All we did was dress up in all blue — pants, shirts, hair, lipstick. I have NO idea why we thought that was a good idea.
October 30th, 2014 at 6:42 am
HA! Blue girls. People are like “What are you?” and you’re like, “Uh, we’re blue. Duh.”
October 27th, 2014 at 8:16 am
As a 40+ year old mom of 2, I can no longer pull off the “slut ____” costumes, as in “slut pirate,” “slut fairy,” or ” slut nurse.” As for costume? I always felt my own mom was inadequate at costuming. I tried to make my own M&M costume using wire coat hangers as a frame and a yellow sheet. It was awful. I looked like a pasty hairball.
October 30th, 2014 at 6:42 am
A pasty hairball! That might be worse than my butterfly. How funny.
October 27th, 2014 at 9:35 am
I feel this way about most of the holidays now! We have a large family and my parents are divorced, so there’s so much running around that it just gets to be a pain. It’s all just a game of load up the munchkin, get her unloaded, spend an hour trying to get her to warm up to family members, load her back up and do it over somewhere else. So much hassle.
October 30th, 2014 at 6:43 am
I know! It’s even worse when they are younger and you’re doing the carseat thing. I feel for you.
October 27th, 2014 at 10:31 am
When I was 7 my mom didn’t come up with a costume for me until 6:30 on October 31. She dressed me in a kilt with a matching cape and said, “There–you’re Mary, Queen of Scots.” WTF? I was a weird kid, so I had an idea who that was, but seriously? She was equally outstanding at coming up with lame costumes every other Halloween of my childhood. I hate Halloween and always have.
October 30th, 2014 at 6:44 am
HAHAHAHA. I hope my mother feels better reading these comments. She was a *little* defensive about this post on FB.
October 27th, 2014 at 10:40 am
OK my best costume was when I taught pre-school (long before I had my own kids) and I dressed up as The Cat in the Hat complete with salt-dough green eggs and ham. I worked hard on my costume and looked really authentic. ALL 19 of my pre-schoolers freaked out when they saw me – one little girl cried and said I was a “scary clown”. Sigh. Luckily at the bar that night all the drunk adults completely recognized me and one tool even ate the green ham – even though it was salt dough. yuck.
October 30th, 2014 at 6:45 am
I’m cracking up imagining someone eating the “ham” that you’d carried around all day.
October 27th, 2014 at 10:59 am
We lived with our step grandparents for one year while my mom and dad were in Japan. For halloween, they dressed us up for trick or treating as “pimp and hooker.” I wore my grandpa’s hat and suit coat, which went almost to my feet (I was in 1st grade), and my sister wore someone’s fancy sleeveless dress and makeup (pretty sure she was a 4th grader). When we got home, I complained, “I wanna be the hooker next year!!”
Clearly my parents should not have left us with those people. LOL. And this is all a very confusing memory for me too, because I was dressed as a gumball machine at school that day. So I had a perfectly acceptable costume, but somehow, to take us to their neighbors, pimp and hooker seemed a better idea.
October 30th, 2014 at 6:46 am
Pimp and hooker in the first grade! AHHHHH! This is great.
October 27th, 2014 at 11:29 am
Every year in March I have lofty plans of what I’ll be dressing up as for Halloween, because I decide I’m going to be the cool kind of adult that wears cool adult (wait, what?) costumes. Every year I just end up leaving a bowl of candy on the front porch with a sign to not be greedy or a witch will steal your soul or something. My poor future children… I will remember the tip about draping them in shiny fabric though. That’s good.
October 30th, 2014 at 6:47 am
There are so many ways you can go with shiny fabric. You’re welcome.
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October 27th, 2014 at 11:57 am
What we do for the sake of memory-making! This may be the last year I can steal my daughter’s candy w/o her noticing and taking inventory so I’m going to wear my loosest yoga pants and have some fun. I can’t pick a worst costume myself because I was always half-assed. Maybe the year I borrowed my mother’s long black wig and went as Morticia from the Addams Family, if only because my blond bangs were hanging out of the front, ruining the effect.
October 30th, 2014 at 6:50 am
A half-asser after my own heart!
October 27th, 2014 at 2:02 pm
Screw Halloween, I am so happy my kid is almost 18.
October 30th, 2014 at 6:51 am
Lol. I’ve only got, what, 5 to 8 more years of this?
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October 27th, 2014 at 3:11 pm
I was about to answer the question but shit, it’s a terrible enough memory that it’s a blog post. Maybe I’ll even get this one written. By Halloween, I mean. No guarantees it’ll be Halloween this year, at the rate I’m going, of course…
October 30th, 2014 at 6:51 am
Ha! Looking forward to it.
October 27th, 2014 at 5:15 pm
Aw, the saddest black cat in orange plastic pants. 😉
October 30th, 2014 at 6:53 am
I’m pretty sad, right? I wish I had some plastic pants now and I’d redo that photo for my mom. I just know she would love it as much as she loved this post.
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October 27th, 2014 at 10:07 pm
So looking at the sad black cat….gotta say it looks like a plastic jumpsuit designed for parents who didn’t want to pay a lot for a costume and who live in a place where it’s likely to rain.
This pretty much describes my costumes as a child. It always rained, and our costumes were really just clothes under rain gear. Sad cat, sad clown, sad weather reporter….
October 30th, 2014 at 6:54 am
Lol. Sad, wet, cold, and encased in plastic. Yay Halloween!
October 28th, 2014 at 7:51 am
I have to say, I loved Halloween as a kid. In Connecticut, the leaves would almost be off the trees, leaving them bare against the night sky. The air would be cold and nippy, perfect spooky trick-or-treating weather. In a strange way, Halloween kicks off the holiday season for me.
October 30th, 2014 at 6:55 am
Your comment almost makes me look forward to tomorrow night. Almost. 🙂
October 28th, 2014 at 8:25 am
My most offensive costume was the year I went as a hobo. The best was the year I went as Santa – no one short-changes Santa on candy.
October 30th, 2014 at 6:56 am
Oooh, Santa, that’s genius!
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October 28th, 2014 at 12:33 pm
Last year my oldest son wanted to be Super Isaak (that’s his name…Isaak). He had a red cape that someone had given him for Christmas that he wanted to wear, so we made an “I” logo and taped it on to the front of a white shirt. This was his choice at 2 1/2. This year he wants to be a scarecrow named No Noggin. He picked out a $2 costume at the consignment store and is on the hunt for the perfect straw hat with a feather before Friday. I love that he is good with whatever, and cute and creative about the whole thing so young. Maybe that will save me some stress as he gets older? Or maybe he’ll write a super future blog post about how his parents were cheap and let a young child decide his costume with as little effort as possible so that he looked like we didn’t care? Either way….less stress for me right now at least.
October 30th, 2014 at 6:57 am
Too funny. I’m picturing my children writing blog posts about me now…those poor, poor children. Lol.
November 4th, 2014 at 1:32 pm
And here I was, thinking that I have NOTHING funny to write about, maybe ever–like I’ve used up all my ‘funny’.
You just reminded me that I have, in my possession, SEVERAL photos of me at various years, looking angrily out from various homemade costumes.
Ahh, yes. There it is.
*goes off to rummage through my mom’s old photo drawer*
I owe you one– thanks!!
November 4th, 2014 at 5:24 pm
*high fives self*
September 8th, 2015 at 7:50 pm
Frig carving, my hands don’t work that well and i need to save them for opening up the candy. This year, i am presenting my children with Mr. Potato Head pieces to stab into their pumpkins. No fuss, no muss, fair odds no bloodshed or cursing.
September 10th, 2015 at 6:57 am
THAT IS GENIUS! We used permanent marker last year, then let the kids shoot them with bb guns and the biggest kid (my husband) used a slingshot. I would be in tears trying to carve a pumpkin this year. There is just no way.