Monday, October 4, 2010

Halloween Choice

My kids change their Halloween ideas a few times before settling on one costume. It's kind of a ritual that they go through. Well, I should say Emma and Philip do this. They always loved costumes, dressing up, all that stuff when they were little. Christopher wore a Batman suit as his sole foray into dress up world, and every Halloween he knew what he wanted to be by Labor Day and he stuck to it. Of course, his particular weirdness was to eat all of his Halloween candy on Halloween night and sort of know the rest if you've ever run a highly necessary wash at 3 am.

But not being able to make linear decisions is genetic. Emma and I went into the basement to look at all the Halloween stuff we had lying around. I saw a bunch of coats in a box and remembered the coat drive for the homeless. I was trying on a coat that I once really loved: this red, wool coat with big buttons that I haven't worn since I was maybe 25. I thought I looked pretty good when Emma looked over and said, "Wow, Mom, you look just like Clifford in that." In case you haven't traveled with the under 12 crowd recently, this is Clifford:

I put the coat in the box. Then Emma announced what she wanted to be for Halloween. "I need a new wig," she said, "since Snooki has long, black hair."
This is my interpretation of Snooki: 

Needless to say, I got judgmental. The Jersey Shore is everywhere around here, particularly since we live at the Jersey Shore, only here's the thing: they act and speak just like people from North Jersey or Brooklyn or Staten Island do. They don't act at all like the folks down here who spend a lot of time quilting and quadding and thinking about ducks. After explaining to Emma all the reasons why she shouldn't go out dressed as her, she shrugged and said, "That's my final decision."

I appealed to Philip. "You talk to her," I said, "since she'll listen more to you." I was going on and on about what a terrible role model she is, how I was not happy, and he looked at me and smiled.
"You don't get it all, Mom. You act like this is serious. It's Halloween."
"Yes, but..."
"You're acting like she's going to be Snooki as a career or something. Emma thinks Snooki is a joke. She laughs when she sees her clothes. She's going out as her to make fun of the whole thing."
I was thinking about what he said when Emma walked in, her face red. "Philip, there is no way you are going out as that."
"As what?" I had been so preoccupied with Emma's choice that I hadn't asked Philip about his.
"A clown," she wailed. "An evil clown. I can't stand clowns. I won't go in the parade with you if you do this. Clowns are like my worst nighmare."
I'm fairly certain neither one will budge about their costume choice. This should be an interesting Halloween.

Maybe I should dig out my old favorite coat and just get a pair of big red ears. 


Jemi Fraser said...

I'm SO glad my kids are too old!!! Good luck with all the decisions and trauma time to come! :)

Bish Denham said...

Oh man, I can wrap my head around an evil clown, but I'd be uncomfortable with my daughter going out dressed like whats-her-name too.

Anne Spollen said...

I have this nagging feeling that Emma and Philip are going to dress up right through college. They really, really love Halloween, not just the trick-or-treating. But then, I won't be responsible for their choices...

Oh Bish, she's going to have the hair, but not much else about that outfit, believe me. (And she even said she would have to wear leggings...kind of wish the real Snooki would, too)

Bish Denham said...

MUCH better Anne.

Mary Witzl said...

I've only just found out about Snooki today because apparently she is going to write a book of her memoirs or something similar -- have you heard? I bet she'll get it published straight away too. Sigh...

Fortunately, here in Scotland it is FREEZING, so if my kids want to go as something vampish, they're pretty much limited to ex-Soviet Union or maybe Scandinavian vampish.

My kids claim I look like Syndrome in The Incredibles when I fail to use hair-subduing muck after shampooing. At least Clifford sounds peppy and fun.

Anne Spollen said...

Yes, Snooki has a book deal. Writing that sentence has just given me a tiny quell of panic.

I realize the more I protest with Emma, the more attractive the Snook will be. What a way to individuate...
It will probably be 70 degrees here, so no Nordic wear.

Syndrome! LOL, Mary. You should post a picture of that. My kids generally say, "Mom, get a haircut; it's not the 80's." I love that one.

Anne Spollen said...

Thanks, Bish.

And Mary, I meant I love the Syndrome comment - I told my kids and they thought it was great, too.

Medeia Sharif said...

My thoughts on Snooki: Someone dresses like that every day?

At least this is only one day out of the year.

Glynis said...

LOL, thank goodness I didn't go through this in the UK. Our son could never make up his mind what candy to buy, let alone costumes to wear.

I love Halloween and we always celebrated it in our house...because it's my birthday. ;0

Anne Spollen said...

I know, Medeia - strange to think she does that every day.

I think Emma might be right in seeing her as sort of a cartoon; I'm the one putting all sorts of meaning into her. (Still, fingers crossed that she'll get a different inspiration some time in the next two weeks)

A Halloween baby, Glynis! That must be tons of fun. And yes, the decisions of Halloween are mind boggling for kids sometimes. I've heard Halloween is more subdued in the UK than here (then again, that wouldn't be so hard)

Glynis said...

Anne, Halloween only came about in the UK roughly in the late 80's. I would have loved to have had the US version for my birthday. We had a Guy Fawkes celebration instead. My brother was the 4th Nov so we went to bonfires and had fireworks. We Brits celebrate someone who tried to blow up government. LOL

Here in Cyprus for my 50th(3yrs ago),I had a big Halloween fancy dress BBQ. The moon was full and orange that night. It was wonderful. The Cypriots have a low key celebration as well. Some of the American expats really go to town, it is fun.

K.C. Shaw said...

I think you ought to dress as Clifford! That would be adorable, and of course I demand pictures. :)

I'd never heard of Snooki until last week. Yikes. Just remember all the little girls who dressed as Madonna for Halloween during the 1980s. They all turned out okay (at least, I hope they did).

Anne Spollen said...

Everything about Cyprus sounds so romantic and wonderful, Glynis. I definitely have to get there one day. And yes, you would love all the stuff here -- there are multiple parades, even in this tiny area of the world.

I actually thought of Clifford, K.C. Nothing would "show" in a big dog outfit.

Ugh, yes, I remember the tons of Madonnas - some even had a Sean Penn along with them. Some cultural "icons" are like a virus -they infect a certain age group and you just can't get rid of them.