Sunday, October 27, 2013

Day 26

Today was a day of catching up, doing some paperwork, and starting Halloween preparations. Putting up the decorations took 60 seconds: I hung up two bat-like things on the front porch, one happy pumpkin on our door, and one black spider on the railing of our front steps. Done. When our Japanese friends came to visit, they asked if we didn’t celebrate Halloween in Canada. They had come from New York (New Jersey actually) where they said every single house and yard was already decorated for Halloween in early October. And not just a pumpkin on the porch – there was serious time and effort involved. I love the neighbourhood fun part of Halloween, but all that decorating doesn’t interest me. Right now I’m in more of an anti-stuff phase than usual, so all I can think of is ‘Where would I store all that stuff for eleven months of the year?’

Besides, I need every second I save by not decorating to help the kids get their costumes organized. I like to keep it simple, and by keeping it simple, I mean instead of just going to Party Stuff in mid-September and shelling out $50 for a costume they’re thrilled with, I drag it out until the day before Halloween, scouring the internet for hours looking for costume ideas that you can make at home; making multiple trips to thrift stores, dollar stores, and department stores, culminating in a lame costume that the kids are embarrassed to wear. But I’m sure I’m teaching them important values. I don’t know which values those might be, but I’m not going to waste time thinking about that.
 


Neve copied her friend’s idea and is being an old lady. She’s wearing an old black skirt, a lovely yellow cardigan, and a scarf tied in an old-ladyish bow. White tights, sensible black shoes, a wig, and glasses round out the costume. But the shining star of this ensemble (in Neve’s eyes) is the walker that she plans to walk around the neighbourhood with. It’s a logistical nightmare: we go trick-or-treating with friends, and it’s crowded enough with a bunch of kids clustered at the top of people’s stairs. Then when the storm door opens outward, standing room is hard to come by. Throw in a walker and you’ve got a recipe for mayhem and frustration. Guess who’s going to end up carrying it around the neighbourhood. 

Spencer wanted to be some obscure character from some book that I’m pretty sure no one on our street has even heard of. I finally convinced him to be a ninja. Black pants, black turtleneck, black ninja mask made with a t-shirt. He’s not pleased because he thinks it’s one of those costumes that people only wear when they’re desperate for a last-minute costume. Whatever. At least he agreed to one of my ideas. I had a lot of good ones, including the old man from the movie Up. Helium balloons tied to a walker with tennis balls on the bottom of the legs. Oh well, I’d probably have ended up carrying two walkers.   

Chloe decided she was getting too old for trick-or-treating and would stay home, dress up in her cheerleading outfit (costume #1) and hand out candy. Great, I thought, one less costume to help plan. But no. She still wants to dress up for school, so she decided to be Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s) (costume #2). Fortunately she has a dress and pearls and is borrowing some accessories, so the only thing we bought is long gloves. She’s also going to borrow some shoes, but we don’t know yet if they will fit. That would be a glitch.

Then her cheer coaches told the girls they could dress up for cheer practice on Wednesday evening, as long as they could still stunt and cheer in them. Holly Golightly in a fitted dress isn’t going to work. So Chloe’s going to dress up as an 80s fitness girl (costume #3) with legwarmers and neon and a headband, all of which she has.

Finally, the friend that’s coming over on Halloween wants to go out trick-or-treating a bit, so Chloe decided that she would actually like to go too. This presents a new problem. It would be optimum if she could disguise her face and age so that people think she’s a very tall 11-year-old instead of a 15 ½ year old who can drive a car. Neither costume #1, #2 or #3 fits that bill. Things started getting ridiculous when we started talking about costume #4. I finally told her to wear one of the first three costumes and if anyone asks her if she isn’t a bit old to be trick-or-treating, just say “Yes, but I’m also old enough to buy eggs and be out late at night.”

I feel like I’m forgetting to insert Worth Its into my posts. This bothers me, but I don’t know why. There’s no prize money on the line. Skipping a day, abandoning my theme, what’s next?? Things are going crazy.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

ok - what I need to know is, where are you getting all these walkers from???

xo

Sio

Daniel said...

Ahhh, remember the pillow-case ghost costumes we had as kids? That was enough, of course, when we only had two houses within walking distance that had even the slightest chance of having candy!

Love the eggs threat!!

Stephen said...

I second Sio's comment.

Anonymous said...

Today on my bus ride home as I was taking in the Halloween decorations and was thinking about why Halloween decorations are out so early every year (i.e. in September). I am a firm believer in celebrating the 'holidays' as they appear in the calendar year and not skipping ahead...therefore Halloween decoration can't be put up until Thanksgiving is over. And then, it struck me...American Thanksgiving is not until November and there is a long gap between 'holidays' in their calendar year where Halloween fits in...therefore the Americans get their Halloween decorations up much earlier. That's my theory. Feel free, but not obligated, to share it with your Japanese friends.

Also, I don't like to put Halloween decorations up too early because I think it just begs for teenagers to smash pumpkins...plus the pumpkins get all mouldy gross as they fester out on the front step. If my pumpkins get smashed then I am liable to drop raw eggs into teenager pillow cases if they come to my door with crappy costumes. But, of course, I am willing to give candy to anyone who comes to my door with costumes that require effort and thought...no matter what their age. For real. I love dress up. :)

Well, that was rambling.

Tell Spencer, my boys have some of the hokey-est costumes I've every assembled. You can show him my facebook picture I post of them and then he'll be soooo thankful he got to be a ninja.

Sheri-Lee

Anonymous said...

Today on my bus ride home as I was taking in the Halloween decorations and was thinking about why Halloween decorations are out so early every year (i.e. in September). I am a firm believer in celebrating the 'holidays' as they appear in the calendar year and not skipping ahead...therefore Halloween decoration can't be put up until Thanksgiving is over. And then, it struck me...American Thanksgiving is not until November and there is a long gap between 'holidays' in their calendar year where Halloween fits in...therefore the Americans get their Halloween decorations up much earlier. That's my theory. Feel free, but not obligated, to share it with your Japanese friends.

Also, I don't like to put Halloween decorations up too early because I think it just begs for teenagers to smash pumpkins...plus the pumpkins get all mouldy gross as they fester out on the front step. If my pumpkins get smashed then I am liable to drop raw eggs into teenager pillow cases if they come to my door with crappy costumes. But, of course, I am willing to give candy to anyone who comes to my door with costumes that require effort and thought...no matter what their age. For real. I love dress up. :)

Well, that was rambling.

Tell Spencer, my boys have some of the hokey-est costumes I've every assembled. You can show him my facebook picture I post of them and then he'll be soooo thankful he got to be a ninja.

Sheri-Lee

Anonymous said...

I second Daniel's comment. Jim.

L said...

Walkers are easy to come by. Just grab them from old people - it's not like they can run after you.

Yes, I remember the ghost costumes. Every year at 6:30 pm on Halloween evening, we started assembling our costumes. At 6:30:30, we were done.

And S-L, your theory on American Halloween makes sense. I wish I had your wisdom so I could've shared that with my Japanese friends.