The best word I can come up with to describe the hell that is shopping for Halloween costumes is “conundrum.” This magnificent word has several meanings, but in this context, I’m talking about “a confusing and difficult problem.”
Now that my kids are the ripe old ages of five and seven, they are no longer fooled by the bullshit costumes offered up by Costco. The selection is waaaaay too limited for their refined tastes, and let’s be real, one can only be a mermaid or princess so many times.
Last year was the first year we ventured out to a “party store” in hopes of finding the most perfect Halloween costumes the world has ever seen. I herded my flock of two into the giant purveyor of crappy party goods, and as soon as we walked through the door, the truth hit me hard and fast.
This was going to be one of the worst shopping experiences of my life.
I saw the wall of costumes from the corner of my eye as the three of us wove through the maze of cheap, plastic party favors. The wall was twenty feet high and as long as a soccer field. My mind began to reel and I almost lost my bowels; I got dizzy and my crotch started to sweat. What in the name of sweet Jesus?! How in the hell were we going to navigate this tidal wave of polyester slut-wear?
The fruits of my loins looked up at the endless selection with slack jaws and starry eyes; they had arrived at a magical kingdom of sorts, and I could see I was in for a battle. Their eyelashes fluttered like hummingbird wings, and I could almost hear the synapses in their young brains catching fire and exploding.
Within seconds my children were pointing, shouting, and swaying to and fro faster than Donald Trump’s hair in the wind. They paced and wrung their little hands as my vajay sweat began to soak crescent-shaped wet rings onto my yoga pants.
As time slipped by, they narrowed their costume selections down to ten amazing choices: the slutty nurse, the skanky schoolgirl, the hooker superhero, the big-tittied Lalaloopsy, the porn-star Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, the whorish punk-rock chick, the sex-crazed Raggedy Ann, the Monster High tween who gives blow jobs under the bleachers, the overly-developed she-devil, the Hello Kitty ho-bag, and lastly, the Wonder Woman floozy.
I knew it. Disney Junior has ruined my kids.
I paused to collect my thoughts before rejecting all of these vile choices, then endeavored to find a way of tricking my girls into better selections.
“No,” was the best I could muster. The lightheadedness was catching up to me and I had no time for this malarkey.
My five-year-old looked at me, her eyes squinted into a deadly glare. She inhaled deeply through lips pursed tighter than a puckered anus, and immediately started in with the objections. Her protests fell on deaf ears, however, as I’ve mastered the art of giving zero fucks, and can laugh in the face of any adversary.
The next forty minutes were a conundrum for my two little ladies. After much hemming and hawing, several trips to the dilapidated dressing room, and more hemming and hawing, the choices were finally narrowed down to a handful of kid-friendly options.
I watched them struggle with their choices. The seven-year-old was precariously close to tears, but opted for foot-stamping and exasperated gasps. The five-year-old repeated, “Mommmy, but, Mommmmy. I want them aaaaaaaalllll,” in her chanty whine-voice. But I dared not get involved. They had to go through this rite of passage by themselves. They had to feel the pain of loss and doubt while making this monumental and life-altering decision on their own. This conundrum belonged to them and them alone.
Finally, after ninety minutes of hell, they made their choices. By that time, my snatch sweat had migrated past my knees and into my shoes. We were trudging our way to the cashier when my second-born blurted out: “WAIT! I want the other one!”
I braced myself to fork over $70 for the crappy-ass costumes, and considered making their costumes next year. But my butt crack started to sweat at the prospect and I took it as a sign. No, the children will be here again, but come next Halloween, they’ll be here with their dad. I’ll be home, cherry-picking Snickers bars out of the trick-or-treat candy, and laughing with glee.