Today is Halloween, I will be heading off to teach high school English dressed like I normally do which, according to my teen age daughter, is boring. All of the high school students will also be dressed in their normal clothes: jeans (pulled up or down to varying degrees and with varying degrees of “fashionable” holes), sweatshirts, and t-shirts. Anyone who dresses up in costume will be sent home to change.
Why? You might ask. Does the administration not have any sense of fun? They do, but not this day. Let me explain. If you’ve gone shopping for teen or adult sized costumes anytime in the past ten years, there’s not a whole lot for guys and all the girl costumes are some variation on a stripper theme. You can choose to be a stripper nurse, a stripper witch, or sexy stripper pirate chick; you get the picture. The sexier, the better. It’s not just the girls, boys push it too. If given the opportunity to dress up, they’ll often stuff balloons down their shirts and become some sort of scary fantasy woman with breasts that would make any normal woman tip over, literally.
Two weeks ago, my daughter and I were in Wal-Mart looking for bright tights. We found them, right next to a much larger assortment of fishnet stockings. It seems that if a costume isn’t sexy, it isn’t a costume, and hormone-laced high school kids love this. Hence, the sad ban on costumes.
This makes me miss the days when I spent hours constructing costumes for my kids. My favorite ever was the rose bush costume. My daughter was two, and I made her a pink jumpsuit with leaves on it, and then she donned a bonnet to which I glued a bunch of fake rose petals. She looked like one of the babies in an Anne Geddes calendar. One year my son was a skeleton, and then on Oct. 30, he broke his foot. We got to put a break in his costume “bone.” Another favorite was his 4th grade costume. He went as Bo Duke of “The Dukes of Hazzard.” We dressed him up in a plaid shirt and cowboy boots, and I got to curl and feather his blond hair.
I spent hours at my sewing machine making a tiger costume, a dinosaur, a ladybug, and an itsy bitsy pumpkin outfit to celebrate their first Halloween as infants. I think I still have most of these costumes in a box in the garage, or my sister has them in her basement.
Every Halloween, the kids would get all dressed up for school and then parade around the elementary school gym to the tune of “Monster Mash” before the class Halloween Party which consisted of as much candy and goodies as the room mom could get the other parents to donate.
This is all over. No more monster mash parades or class parties, and I’m guessing my participation in creating their costumes is over as well. Though there will be dress-up days at school for Homecoming week, its just not the same. They won’t dress up again for Halloween until they leave home, and then I may not want to know what sort of costumes they choose. I’m fairly sure they won’t dress up as an adorable a rose bush or broken skeleton.