Can someone please explain to me why Halloween costume shopping has turned into such a bloody nightmare.
And no, I do not mean that as a pun!
I swear, going to Party City during this time of year is like hitting the basement sale at Filene's Department Store. It's enough to make me become a member of one of those religions that forbid the mere mention of Halloween in their households.
It's starts right after you enter the store and bump your way through the 1000 or so people that have already raced to the store before you. Once you're at the back of the store, it becomes complete mayhem as one stares at the never-ending selection of Future Sluts of American costumes for my daughters, and Future Serial Killer's Anonymous for my son.
I don't quite remember any of these clubs being available when I was in high school.
Once you've made your selection, then it's time to head for the line that has now wrapped itself back at the front door of people waiting to give that ONE salesclerk a number so that ONE salesperson can check a HUGE stockroom room for your costumes ALL BY HERSELF.
During these economic times and the fact that unemployment is reaching 10 percent (actually 25% if you are able to read between the lines of most news articles), I think it would be a good idea if Party City hired just a few extra people on Halloween to handle the ga-zillions of people that seem to want to go on the exact same day as we do.
Just a SUGGESTION!
It would eliminate the mob mentality that generates when each and every mother is not able to purchase that costume that each and every child is having a hair-raising, lay-on-the-floor, screaming so China can hear them, tantrum over.
It would also eliminate my need for grabbing my meds for that next migraine that is gonna happen as a result of said tantrums going off beside each ear of mine. This is the time when I dig deep into my bag of parenting skills and I get the kids into Zen mode before approaching this scene.
I ask them all to close their eyes, breath deep, ask them to remember to slow down and be calm, think happy thoughts, and remember that if mom gets a migraine, there is no Halloween for them this year.
Cause after 17 years of knowing that man I married, he still wants nothing to do with participating in holidays of any kind unless forced with a hot cattle prod. Unfortunately, the cattle prod disappeared this year and I have no leverage over him. God only knows what I'm gonna do at Christmas this year without that thing.
After waiting, like.... another ga-zillion years it feels like, it's our turn to give that ONE salesclerk the numbers to the costumes the kids want to try on. But no, it's not that easy. It seems that there is this group that have forgotten all about the "don't-break-the-line" rules that everyone learned in kindergarten except THEM, and they think it's a really good idea to just walk up to the salesclerk in the middle of my rattling out the "call numbers" for the costumes, and ask if they could exchange sizes - for FIVE OTHER COSTUMES they have been trying on.
"No. You need to wait until I can assist you.", would have been the appropriate response I thought. But the salesclerk instead tells ME to wait while SHE disappears into that ominous looking stockroom to get THEIR costumes.
I think my four year old midget hit the nail on the head when she looked up at one of the women requesting the change of sizes and loudly, yet firmly said with hands to her hips:
"Hey, it was OUR turn you Big Dummy!".
I shouldn't have been, but I was proud. Oh, not about the dummy part, but the fact that at her little stature and age, she was observant enough about the situation to speak her opinion about it; and damn she did!
This when I turned to the kids and asked them, "Do we really need these expensive costumes and all this hassle this year?" As I watched each of them turn to one another, then around to look at the encroaching mass closing in, I was even more prouder when Nadia said, "Nah! This isn't worth it.", as they all shook their little heads in agreement.
As we turned and were walking toward the store exit (as Nia is begging one more time for the extra large bag of Halloween candy), Julian and Nadia both asked if we could hit the thrift store near our house that had all those "cool" clothes from the 60's and 70's. We had been there a few times before and my just-turned-12 twins had produced a brilliant idea from their emerging maturity. But I'm still half dragging Nia out of the store and away from that gigantic bag of candy.
Who the hell gives out that much candy anyway?
After watching my kids in that thrift store, I think I'm gonna promote the twins to entertainment coordinators because they were going through and picking out the coolest costumes for themselves and their younger siblings, and they had to try on everything. But not before I spray the wigs and hats down with a quick hidden spray of disinfectant, because once you've experienced lice in your household, no hat or wig is ever safe again. Am I THAT paranoid - oh yes I am!
Instead of shucking nearly $100 at Party City, we satisfied a party of four for just under $10. I didn't mind that they didn't come wrapped in a shiny plastic liner with some idiot on the front posing in the "must have" costume of the year. The kids all taught themselves a lesson this year that, for once, I didn't really have to get involved in with one of those long-winded parental lectures about saving money during an economic catastrophe. Observing animals pretending to be human beings is a great motivator for children to grasp the meaning of common sense.
I am now the proud parent of one John Lennon look-a-like, one vampiress with purple hair, one renaissance princess, and one goth "blood queen" (what-EVER the hell THAT is), and they did without breaking the bank this year. I'm recycling my renaissance costume from last year an the hubs wearing the same thing he did last year too:
jeans, t-shirt, and his New Balance tennis shoes
As for that man I married, he just sat in the chair, played with his iPhone as we piled our coats, purses, and our costumes galore upon his lap. He is turning out to be of some use after all this Halloween season.