Don’t tell anyone but I have never liked Halloween. And now I like it even less.
As a child, I found the costumes itchy and I was often disappointed by having to wear a winter coat over the itchy costume for cold, New England trick or treating. It seemed really unjust to suffer through the itch when no one even saw the costume.
When I grew older, finding costumes was horribly stressful. I didn’t want my costumes to look overdone so I tended to ere on the side of caution. I was a witch or a black cat for most of my teen and college years. And then I would be disappointed when other people looked better and more creative than I did.
There were a few years when the girls were young and I could tolerate Halloween because who doesn’t love an infant dressed as a pumpkin? But then, the girls grew older and actually began to have opinions on what they would wear and it turns out, costumes are still itchy.
This year, Katherine chose a costume pretty early on but Caroline has been procrastinating. She is solidly on my side with this whole Halloween thing (don’t tell anyone else this either) and is really only in it for the candy. Therefore, choosing a costume has been pretty low on her priority list.
Over the weekend though, reality hit and I ventured in to Party City on my own to find something for Caroline to wear. I am so glad that I was by myself because I was able to stare at the wall of costumes and let my jaw drop to the floor. I have been reading articles and blog posts about the over sexualzation of girl’s and women’s costumes for a long time but I think I had forgotten how bad it truly is. The costumes on display were lingerie and nothing more.
Now as I sit and type this, I wonder what I have done to contribute to the problem. I bought a costume. It was the best of the bad. A witch costume with far too much lace but long sleeved and floor length. What I should have done is left the store, taught myself to sew and created an appropriate costume before Thursday. But I didn’t do that (obviously) and also for Caroline’s sake. She is of an age where she wants to do what her friends are doing and I remember that age well.
I struggle to find the balance between passing my values and beliefs on to the girls and allowing them to form their own opinions. For now that struggle takes the form of a lacy but long witch’s costume. Perhaps by next year, I will have a better answer but now, the best of the bad was the best I could do.