When I was growing up, neighborhood parents rarely spent money on Halloween costumes. It was less of a holiday based on consumerism and more of a contest to see who could be the most creative with a roll of duct tape. Wrap yourself in toilet paper, you’re a mummy. Wrap yourself in aluminum foil, you’re a robot. Wear your dad’s brown track suit, you’re a baked potato.
These days, my children often lobby for expensive masks and full-blown costumes off a Hollywood movie set. Still, I resist spending the cash. Besides, most of the costumes are so ridiculous. No teenage girl dresses as a witch, a pirate, or ghost. They are all slutty witches, slutty pirates, slutty ghosts. It is all about cleavage and miles of bare thigh. This year, thanks to the recent presidential debates, they have even begun making a slutty Big Bird costume. I am quite sure Sesame Street characters are not allowed in costumes that also require a strapless bra.
Last night my sixteen-year-old daughter needed a costume for an event. She decided to use some face paint and a few feathers and go as an Indian. When she came downstairs, I said, “Look, it’s Poc-HO-hontas.”
“No,” my husband said. “It’s Slut-a-jawea.”
Fortunately, my children understand one thing about our family. At least once a month (OK, maybe twice a month) the entire family will gang up on you and laugh at your expense. If you play along with the teasing, eventually Mom will apologize and buy you a frozen yogurt. It is our personal dance of dysfunction, but it works for us.
My daughter is a champ when it comes to family humiliation. In the end, she rolled her eyes and changed her shirt.