We’re haven’t gotten over the fact that our local Borders bookstore went out of business three weeks ago. Apparently, reading is no longer economically viable. It only took two weeks for a Halloween Adventure store to move into the space.
We know the temporary Halloween stores quite well. In fact, we’ve been dragged there many times against our will. When our kids were younger, they would beg us to go and waste money on buy a $12.99 plastic pirate sword that would be used exactly one time before it was stashed in the basement. The day before Halloween, they would desperately remember they needed glow-in-the-dark green hair gel – and we would arrive just as the store was closing, just in time to make a purchase.
Our kids are on their own for costumes now, but we couldn’t resist taking a peek for old time’s sake at what’s popular this year. Here’s what we found:
Those Marvel superheroes are as popular as ever. Chances are, Superman, Captain America, Thor and Wolverine will be trick or treating at your door. So will children dressed as Transformer robots. All these superheroes are fine with us; we’re in favor of kids choosing good over evil. We’ve had enough of Jason and Freddy Krueger. We were happy not to find any grade-school-size costumes of Dexter, the popular TV serial killer.
Speaking of evil: Maybe old-time vampires fit in that category, but modern ones are cute, sexy, and only come out at Twilight. We should be so lucky to find Robert Pattinson knocking on our door. We’re expecting to see many teenage girls dressed as vampires, in their cutest capes and sexiest fishnet stockings, hoping to meet their vampire soul mate on Halloween.
Years ago, Mario and Luigi made the transition from video game to Halloween costume. This year’s video game entry is Angry Birds. The bright red, adult-size Angry Bird costume comes with giant pockets that you can stuff with pillows to plump yourself up. We also saw a neon yellow, triangular-shaped Angry Bird that you can stuff your angry toddler into. The adult costume retails for about $45. We think that’s a big investment – because next year you’ll want to dress up as the horse, the pig, or the corn stalk from Farmville.
It’s bad enough that your teenagers sometimes watch Jersey Shore. God forbid your daughter wants to be Snooki for Halloween. The Snooki costume dress is advertised as “a sexy, metallic, leopard print mini-dress with lots of cleavage.” Hair bump sold separately. For $9.99, your son can get plastic abs and go as The Situation.
Lady Gaga is in costume year-round, so it’s no surprise that she’s big for Halloween. Let’s hope your daughter goes for the sequined black and white poker face outfit or the green sky-high platform shoes and you don’t find a steak missing from your refrigerator. Personally, we prefer candy. It is the theme of the holiday. And if you want to celebrate it in style, you can go as Katy Perry. Just order her blue wig, with or without the molded cupcake bra. Or maybe you want the candy dress imprinted with ice cream, cupcakes and candy treats.
Have a party to go to but don’t want to concoct an entire costume? Just dig out an old prom dress – of course, ours still fit us – and buy a crazy hat. Ta-da! You are Princess Beatrice at the royal wedding. We’re still fascinated by her fascinator.
So your kids are gone, and your husband won’t put down the remote and put on that white coat to play doctor to your nurse. Your cat won’t hold still. You can always dress the dog. Wal-Mart offers 91 different dog costumes including a giraffe, a bumblebee or a killer whale. We’re on our way to buy a puppy right now…
P.S. When writing this article, we realized that we both have strong principles about what can be bought ready-made and what should be homemade. But we’re opposites: Ellen refused to buy store-bought plastic Ninja Turtle masks when her kids were little; she made them sit with her and make their own costumes using glue, magic markers and felt. Joyce, on the other hand, gave in to her daughter’s wish to be the most beautiful princess ever and usually made a purchase from the Disney store. This year, our kids are mostly grown and trick-or-treating in their own neighborhoods so we’ll have to be content with welcoming the neighbor’s little ones, handing out the candy and voting for our favorite costume –home-made or store-bought.