October 31, 2011


I am not a “crafty” person. I say that in the most generous interpretation possible…I mean, I’m just completely clueless when it comes to decoupage and papier mache and all that good stuff. I have lots of ideas for things (I could make a whole list of failed or not attempted craft ideas-tiled coffee table, mosaic pictures frames, handmade skirts) but I have neither the time nor skills to pull them off. Except for one thing: Halloween costumes. I come from a long line of Halloween devotees. My father has always dressed up in increasingly sophisticated costumes and he’s set the bar pretty high. So when my kids came along, I picked up the family tradition and starting making costumes. I released my inner Martha Stewart. I think what saved me is that I could use any material, and no one expected the costumes to last longer than one night. (Industrial strength Velcro straps? Why not! Plastic garbage can with the bottom cut out? Perfect!) For the first few years, my children were happily dressed as the cutest kids on the block; creative, comfortable (well, maybe not), and custom. I even managed to get a few coordinated outfits in there, before my son realized what was going on. But when they got older, they started having opinions. Lots of them. And they were voicing those opinions quite clearly around their Halloween costumes. That is why I found myself staring down a wall of bagged costumes in an overpriced party supply store, surrounded by plastic weapons and tubes of fake blood. My children were in heaven. I was in highly flammable synthetic material, um, not-heaven. Instead of being in the art supply section of my local craft store, I was in line with practically the entire elementary and middle school class, paying for a costume that would likely fall apart in two seconds. But on Halloween night, I must admit, I will get a bit of a kick out of seeing sixteen “fire-ninjas” tromping down the street. Guess it’s time I retired my Velcro for good.

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