Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Why I Hate Halloween Costumes

I love candy. Always have, always will and I have the extensive relationship with the entire staff of my dentist’s office to prove it. I even owned a candy company for several years, which afforded Mrs. Dude and me the opportunity to attend the International Candy Convention several times, which nearly sent me into a diabetic coma and I don’t even have diabetes. Needless to say, there’s a lot I’d do for candy, but there’s one thing I absolutely won’t: dress up for Halloween.

When I was a kid in the 1980s, I used to get packaged Halloween costumes that came in one of those boxes with the cellophane window to check out the mask you’d inevitably almost suffocate in during the quest for another Baby Ruth. Having worn glasses since I was 3 added another level of discomfort to that soft plastic face cover held in place on the wearer’s head by a tourniquet-tight elastic band stapled to both sides. Beyond that, I was raised in the Midwest so my mother-mandated heavy winter coat further compromised my attempt to look like a superhero and made me into more of a supergeek. Thankfully most of the other local kids were equally unlucky and geeky at the same time.  

Needless to say those costumes discomfort and general awkwardness was a nuisance and as soon as I was capable, I figured out a way to reach my objective (pillowcase overflowing with mini Snickers bars) without not only avoiding one of those lame boxed costumes, but really any costume at all. I’d simply throw on a baseball hat and become a member of the Cleveland Indians. Another year October 31st wasn’t quite as cold, so I wore my regular clothes and went as a “student”. Creative, right? Thankfully there were no minimum requirements for costume qualifications, but had there been so, I would have skated by, like the “ice skater” I dressed as another year with my parka, gloves and wool hat costume.
I'm pretty sure I had this GI Joe costume, complete with the trashbag quality bodysuit.
Ever since, and especially since becoming an adult, I’ve been baffled by adults who not only dress up for Halloween, but go all out to do so. When I first moved to Los Angeles, I lived in an area called West Hollywood, which holds a massive Halloween extravaganza every year. After attending during my first couple years in town, and seeing an inordinate amount of costumes which can’t be described in a family blog among the impossible-to-cross swarm of people, I had no need to ever do so again.

So now that my boys are 3 & almost-6 and super into Halloween, they asked me to dress up with them this year. They both chose to be Darth Vader this year after having spotted the costumes a couple months back during a trip to Costco, shortly after their first viewing of Star Wars. Though costumes have come a long way since the old cellophane-box days, there’s still no chance I’d wear an official costume. Instead, I think I’ll complement their costumes by dressing as intergalactic smuggler Han Solo. After all, he wore relatively normal clothes, and more importantly he was a smuggler, which will be useful when I pilfer the mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups from their Halloween bounty without them knowing. And when the calendar flips to the 1st of November later that night, we can all rest our heads comfortably knowing that we did what we had to do to reach our objective, a handful of sweet treats and, for me, another year without a silly costume.

My Junior Vaders prepping for their big night out. I'll wash my jeans to do the same.


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