Tag Archives: costumes

Why Halloween Is Just Really Weird

It’s just about Halloween, that time of year when tricks and treats and spooks and scares dominate stores and social media. It’s a fun fall tradition—mostly if you’re a kid, of course—but have you ever really thought about how weird most of this stuff is?

Of course you haven’t, so I’m here to do it for you.

hauntedhouse

Haunted Houses

Let’s start here because the fact of the matter is that people are paying a minimum of $20 to wander through a darkened establishment in which aspiring actors dressed as creepy clowns and ghouls jump out and attempt to scare them. Any other time of year this would most likely result in attempted assault/harassment charges and a stint in a much scarier house—the big house.

But in October? Fun! Let’s pay strangers to freak us out! I don’t need to do that. You know what scares me in equal measure for no cost at all? The psychotic level of excitement parents have in eating their kids’ Halloween candy, Facebook notifications that I’m tagged in a picture, sneezing while driving, or losing the Internet for more than five minutes.

In other words, if I want candy, costumes and creepiness, I can go to WalMart and wander among the shoppers any day of the week.

Apple Bobbing

Let’s fill a giant basin with water, throw in fruit, tie peoples’ hands behind their backs, and shove their face into the water in an attempt to force them to grab the apples with only their teeth.

In other words, it’s waterboarding for fruit. Let’s move on.

Decorating

I covered Halloween décor last year, but in October those cobwebs in your house normally considered something to be removed are now festive and fun. And while hanging a skeleton or ghost from a tree in August would put you on the Neighborhood Watch list, it’s now a sign that you’re a house that probably passes out candy come Oct. 31 instead of turning off the light and hiding behind the couch to ignore the doorbell (hypothetically speaking.)

That’s right. You can dress up as a sexy nurse and hand out candy to children and not wind up on “To Catch a Predator.” Just put a wreath on your door and leave your porch light on for the little beggars.

Corn Mazes

My internal GPS is MIA and I get lost in a walk-in closet. In other words, the idea of wandering through a maze of maize with strangers bumping into me while we all try and find our way out before desperately gnawing on a corn cob in desperation for our survival isn’t at the top of my list. I’ve done it before, and the only way I’ll pay money to do it again is if at the end I’m awarded with an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet and luxury spa.

Pumpkin Carving

The fact that they sell pre-cut apples and butternut squash, pre-hardboiled eggs, and “Uncrustables” at the store proves that people have become ridiculously lazy when it comes to prepping food.

However, when it comes to Halloween, people round up the troops and often trek through pumpkin patches—pumpkin spice latte in hand— to pick out a giant fruit they will festively disembowel over the span of several hours, bent scooping spoons, and broken carving knives.

They will then shove a candle inside and leave it neglected on the porch until it looks like a toothless meth addict before throwing it behind the fence for the squirrels to enjoy.

But with all that said, tradition is important and Halloween kicks of the holiday season—for better or worse with that whole statement—and gets you prepared to fist a bird carcass for Thanksgiving and hang old socks on the fireplace for Christmas (or whatever it is that you celebrate.)

For now, Happy Haunting!

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My Batman

The new Batman movie came out recently.

batman

Even though I like action movies, I won’t be going to the theater to see it because a) I’m cheap and with a few exceptions, I won’t spend $9 to go and b) see point “a.”

However, I deal with a lot of companies for part of my job that bank their success on the licensing of Hollywood trends, so needless to say, superheroes have been everywhere the past couple of years.

Why are superhero costumes, in particular, so popular?

The general thought is that when people buy that costume, they imagine they are that superhero, even if it’s just for the moment. An executive was quoted as saying that sometimes people “see themselves in their favorite superhero, through both struggles and glory, through qualities we admire and qualities we wish we could emulate.”

Or they just want to look cool at a party.

But regardless, this got me thinking, which we all know isn’t my superpower. Yes, it would be nice to hook up with a Man of Steel that could leap tall buildings, but let’s be honest. Who really wants to be around someone that needs to find an actual phone booth to change clothes? Impossible and impractical, not to mention disgustingly germy.

So instead I have created my own version of the superheroes I would like to see wandering the streets and helping to better mankind—or just me.

Spider-Man

So a skinny gentleman gets bit by a genetically modified spider and gains spider-like abilities that he must use to fight evil. I’ve been bitten by a spider and all that I gained was a huge painful welt and the inherent paranoia that suddenly spiders WERE EVERYWHERE and I must use a sandal to smash up the evil.

Instead, I would like a Spider-Man to instinctively sweep in every time the arachnid nemesis attempts to tip-toe his way into my house and I have to try to “save” it with a piece of paper and a cup to shoo it into before freaking out and just stepping on it.

Batman

Forget Bruce Wayne and the passive-aggressive Robin. All I’m asking for is a hot baseball player. The end.

Iron Man

A rich guy has an accident, is forced to build an armored suit and decides to use its technology to fight against evil. Really. An armored suit. That will really come in handy when it’s 103 degrees in Michigan with 80 percent humidity.

Instead of that scenario, I want an Iron Man to actually come and do ironing. This is the part of the program in which faithful readers remember how much I love ironing and I tell those who are new here that I don’t exactly love ironing. Or iron, for that matter.

The Avengers

I don’t need a group of superheroes trying to stop Thor’s disgruntled brother from taking over the Earth.  I would just like this group of intimidators to avenge the murder of a few of my plants as a result of the woodchuck who has broken through the impenetrable fortress I’ve created around my garden.

The furry bastard must go.

Avengers unite.

Catwoman

Apparently a woman with the speed, reflexes and senses of a cat walks a thin line between criminal and hero. Hmmm…this is one I could get behind. I’m not fast and my reflexes are comparable to those of a sleeping sloth, but I feel like I might possess a few cat-like senses—namely the fact that I can be anti-social, possessive of food and distracted by colorful things.

monieshelf

However, I can’t explain why this cat would prefer to sleep on a shelf and not the cushy leopard print cat bed that’s available to her instead.

I suppose that’s why we need superheroes.  

What superhero would you like around?

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A Houston Hello

Hello from Houston!

Hey y'all!

I’m still here until Monday, but I thought I should check in and let you know that I’m alive. To be honest, I was hoping to have some witty recap, but other than being called a heathen traveler by some church group on the street and witnessing what we assumed to be a drug bust on our walk, things have been kind of lame.

After working 15-hour days, I’m too exhausted to get back on my computer. This whole trip has been weird and boring, and unless something amazing happens tomorrow, it will continue to be lame.

He did enjoy the "mini tumbler" booth at the show. Perfect for his "mini" drinking habit!

I have a few fun ideas and observations for future blog posts, but nothing I feel like actually writing while I’m here. I’m liking this disconnected thing…and tired.

But with that said, I thought I would just share a few pictures of what both Uncle June and I have been up to. Since I’m not at home on Live Writer, I can’t do little picture captions or anything, so you just give you a few of the images.

There was our big party Friday night that involved 800 people at the House of Blues, one kick-ass band back for the fourth year, an open bar, dancing, a tired editor who still can’t hear due the music and a photo booth that will most likely be a valuable source of blackmail in the coming months.

Not the best shot from the balcony, but you get the idea.

Day 1 of the show involved many of the usual suspects, which means shoes.

Just one pair of hundreds.

They zip up the back. Abby likes.

All kinds of balloon decor, including a balloon dress fashion show.

Now that's a cupcake, eh?

This dress is made completely out of uninflated balloons.

There were costumes…

Birds with anger issues.

Colorful clowns.

Now how did Uncle June get in there? Evidently there's no place like clevage...

And people pretending to wear costumes.

Yes, she's painted with glow paint and not really wearing a costume, so to speak.

They're not covered with enough paint, and no, Uncle June is not hiding anywhere on that woman.

He's pretending to be a statue, but if someone were to hypothetically poke him with a feather, he would blink and twitch.

And there was the actual Batmobile from the movie.

No food, drink or editors carrying a gnome were allowed in the actual vehicle.

So those were basically the first three days in Houston. It’s just been a lot of work, which interests no one–most of all me–so I’ll spare you any more pictures at this point.

But I have been reminded that:

  • No one needs a lit magnifying vanity mirror in their hotel bathroom, especially at 6am after four hours of sleep.
  • I will never be able to figure out the air conditioning or heat in my hotel room, and that yelling at the thermostat and poking the buttons extra hard doesn’t help.
  • It’s important not to mistake the free bottles of lotion for the shampoo/conditioner or vice versa, but also important to remember to stuff them in your bag so they get replenished every day.
  • Even if it’s not fun and it’s not something I’ll ever, ever volunteer to do, I can travel and do my job well without the earth spinning off it’s axis…so far.

We'll be back home before I know it.

And then you’ll all be stuck with me again.

So make me feel included. Have I missed anything while I’ve been gone?

Dressing Up and Calming Down

There’s about a month left until Halloween, which means there’s about a month left for people to complain and flip their shit about sexy Halloween costumes and how women use the holiday to look like sluts.

7468_Costume[1]

I might or might not have this costume somewhere at my house.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have to say that one of my magazines works with costume companies about five months out of the year. Some are sexy adult costumes done in a classy way, some generally questionable and others are cute costumes for children or pets.

Because of this involvement, I actually deal with costumes for the next few months that won’t be released until 2012. In other words, I see a lot of licensed characters and stilettos, and although it can get old fast, I like it more than I don’t.

Insider tip: Whereas fairy tales were trending last year, look for superhero costumes to dominate in 2012.

Anyway, let’s get something straight first—this is not about children’s costumes, as I’m not opening up that can of worms. While there might be some questionable youth costumes in stores, a more modest and “traditional” costume is much easier to find. Any parent that allows their little princess to walk around dressed like a smelly pirate a hooker for Halloween has a screw loose.

Toddlers-and-Tiaras_240

But of course, it’s perfectly acceptable for them to dress like hookers on a TV show broadcast to millions each week, right? 

I’m much more offended by “Toddlers & Tiaras”  than I am any costume I see in a store for an adult. And while I do think Halloween is much more for the kids to dress up and eat Candy Corn (first ingredient—wax) for breakfast,  I don’t understand why so many women bring out the claws towards other women who use this one night a year to dress up like something they’re not.

You see that outfit in my blog header?

I originally wore it to a Halloween party in Chicago given by the largest party/costume company in the world. I believe it was called, “Disco Diva,” and if I had the opportunity, I would walk the runway—not the neighborhood sidewalks, mind you— at the trade shows I attend in any of the adult costumes out there.

ELLIE-M-MARDIGRAS-SANDAL-2T

The shoes are my favorite. Specifically, this “Mardi Gras” model from Ellie Shoes.

These costumes aren’t meant to be worn to the PTA meeting or trick-or-treating with the kids, and with the exception of Halloween night, I doubt you would see a woman wearing one in the grocery store.

Adults who wear these costumes to adult parties are simply playing a part. It’s Halloween. It’s pretend. It’s expected. That’s why I roll my eyes and cringe a little when the stories and blog posts start rolling in about how Halloween is just a time for women to dress like sluts and corrupt the minds of our youth.

6030 Lil' Gobbler

Seriously. I’m not a kid person, but how cute is this?

And while I’ll agree that some women might use Oct. 31 to go for the slut suit, I’m pretty sure those women aren’t pillars of morality for children the other 364 days a year.

So I don’t roll my eyes and cringe when I walk into stores this time of year and see “sexy” adult costumes on a shelf. Just like half the “stylish” clothes you find at the mall that are tasteless and questionable, I don’t have to wear them if I don’t want to and neither do you.

But if an adult finds something that they like and it fits the occasion, I see nothing wrong with continuing the trend of pretend for one night of the year. After all, we all need an escape, if only for a few hours. zebradog

Especially this little guy.

I do prefer the more clever and creative costume images I have sent to me, and there are a bunch out there.

What’s been your most creative and clever costume idea? Are you going to dress up this year?