I am certain I have used this vehicle as a platform to proclaim my strong disdain of store-bought Halloween costumes. I am as passionate about this as most are about political beliefs. Those who really know me know where I stand and I know bringing it up in mixed company would be deemed uncouth.
This immutable view took hold in college when my roommates and I needed little more than a glue gun, felt or fabric, pipe cleaners and duck tape to create our Halloween alter egos. We missed the memo that every other girl on campus received stating this holiday was for unleashing our inner punishable Catholic school girl or naughty nurse and, instead, took pride in making magic from common big-box store items.
One year, we were the Three Little Pigs and The Big Bad Wolf. What were we really? Three girls in white shirts with pink felt wraps at the waist, hot glued with felt "Pig 1," "Pig 2," or "Pig 3" letters and a menacing wolf in a brown dress, brown tights, brown clogs, and an oval piece of light brown fur pinned to her stomach. There were also pipe cleaner ears and tails and store-bought snouts in case our felt-on-felt costumes didn't make our ensemble clear.
A few weeks ago, my roommates and I had a chance to get together and spend a solid 15-30 minutes regaling a new boyfriend in the mix with our Halloween stories.
"We could do anything with felt and a glue gun!" one of us shouted, still proud of the truth in that statement.
Last night, my husband and I aligned on our son's Halloween costume. He will trick-or-treat as Bob the Builder because he loses his shit when he espies the inept handyman and Elmo just feels so trite and commercial.
Before the conversation was over, in my mind's eye, I was running down the aisles of Michael's, Hobby Lobby, and Jo-ann Fabrics filling my cart with Bob the Builder raw materials.
My husband's stern voice broke my virtual craft shopping spree.
"I need verbal confirmation that you WILL NOT make this costume."
"What?!" I said, surprised that he had followed me on my journey but sounding like I'd been caught with a pipecleaner hot glued to my back.
"Say it, Ann," he continued leaving the "ie" off my name which meant business. "You will not make this costume."
"Why?" I said buying some time to peruse my brown and yellow felt options and wonder what aisle would hold a hard hat.
"I swear to God, if our son has a felt toolbelt pinned to him, he's not leaving the house."
"But it's fun!" I shouted back.
"Fun for you. 15 years ago. Not fun when your son is the little boy in the felt costume. Buy it."
Defeated and misunderstood, I texted my college roomate with my husband's ultimatum.
"PINNED?" she wrote back, mocking my husband's knowledge of felt costume-crafting, "I think he means HOT GLUED! If the belt's off the table, make the tools!"
And there my friends, is the loophole. Like Sandra Lee, we will have a semi-homemade Halloween.