“We need costumes,” I said in a panic, just two hours before my family’s annual Halloween party. How could I have been so unprepared?
My husband, Thad, was sprawled on the sofa watching football.
“Yes!” he shouted to the players on TV, oblivious to my comment.
“The party is in two hours,” I pleaded. He’s normally great at coming up with costumes – but he apparently wasn’t feeling it.
“I’m wearing this,” he said. He had on a Chiefs shirt and a pair of jeans with a NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) patch on the knee. You may draw your own conclusions on what kind of costume this would be, but it was not satisfactory for me.
The kids’ outfits were in order. Thad’s mom, a talented seamstress, snapped her fingers, twirled three times, sprinkled her fairy dust and magically whipped up an adorable, fluffy Dalmatian costume for our daughter.
Our son’s was store-bought. He found a long black robe (Warning: do NOT call it a dress under any circumstances), a “scream” mask fashioned after the famous Edvard Munch painting, and of course, as a creepy phantom/grim reaper, he wanted a weapon. He requested a scythe, to match the stereotype. I proposed he carry a spiky foam ball on a chain on a stick, his prized purchase from the Renaissance Festival.
“Mom,” he wailed, “I can’t be walking around like some sort of hobo Grim Reaper carrying the wrong weapon!”
Even the Grim Reaper’s worried about his image, it appears. I laughed so hard that I ponied up the cash to buy my little phantom a bona fide rubber scythe, an indulgence earned by humor points.
That left me and Thad.
A Google search found me Rosie the Riveter — the pinup girl from the famous “Yes We Can!” WWII posters. Perfect, I thought. I rummaged for a denim shirt, found a red bandanna, then I glanced sideways at my husband. I instantly knew he’d be a much better Rosie the Riveter than I. His bulging muscles, his manly beard, all he needed was lipstick, mascara and a red scarf for his head. He agreed, leaving me without a costume. Still.
I wandered to our basement to dig through costume odds and ends from days past, when I happened on a turtle costume.
It happens to be our dog’s costume.
“I wonder…” I strapped the shell on my back, the bottom belly strap not quite proportioned correctly for me, but still, it was a shell. I put on the little dog hat, designed for a canine, not human, head. I fastened it behind my pony tail. I quickly cut a piece of foam rubber into a bottom shell, drew lines on it, painted my face green, and voila! I was a turtle.
My family’s jaws dropped when I appeared in the dog’s costume.
Once again, Mr. Reaper was concerned about image.
“Ohmygosh, my family. Dad’s dressed like a woman and you, mom, well you’re just… loopy,” he complained.
Dressed with time to spare, our Halloween celebrations commenced. And now, we have at least two more costumes to add to our arsenal for emergency costume situations. One can never be too prepared for a party.
Overland Park mom and 913 freelancer Emily Parnell blogs at mom2momkc.com.