Lost in Suburbia: Scaring up a good Halloween costume
By Tracy Beckerman
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“What is Tyra going to be for Halloween this year,” I asked a friend of mine as we both eyed a formidable candy display at the local drug store.
“I don’t know,” she replied frowning. “We can’t agree on a costume.”
“Well you better decide soon before all the good ones are gone,” I warned her. “… Or things could get ugly!”
Having been down this Halloween road myself many times before, I recalled the misery this holiday inflicted on those who came late to the costume party. There was the year we had to settle for Pikachu because all the Elmos had been snatched up. Then there was the year we had to go with a pirate costume because all the Peter Pans had already taken flight. That was also, coincidentally, the year that everyone ran out of chocolate early. In the hierarchy of parental woes, there is nothing more miserable than a surly child in an eye patch with Peter Pan envy and a pillowcase full of lollipops.
Since my friend was still big on the whole Halloween dress up thing, I didn’t want to tell her I was actually glad to be past those panicky costume years. I either spent a lot of time making a costume or a lot of money buying one, only to have my kids wear them for approximately two hours before they were tossed aside for the next coolest character costume. Now that my kids were older, they were happy to just throw a sheet over themselves and go out trick or treating as a ghost, a load of laundry or a diner party.
Still, I was sympathetic to my friend’s dilemma and decided the least I could do was spend a few minutes helping her out. So the next day I met her at the local costume shop.
“What has Tyra been in the past?” I asked her as we sorted through racks of mermaid, princess and superhero costumes.
She thought for a moment. “One year she was a lady bug. Another year she was a cheerleader. She was an ADORABLE cheerleader,” she assured me.
“I remember,” I said, recalling the dozens of pictures she had shown me of the costume.
“She’s also been a bumble bee, Little Orphan Annie, and Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz.”
“All good costumes,” I agreed. “Hard to beat those.”
While we tried to find something new, a salesgirl spotted us and walked over to help us out.
“Are you looking for a girl costume?” she wondered.
“Yes!” exclaimed my friend.
“How about Elsa from ‘Frozen’?” said the salesgirl. “It’s the most popular costume this year.” She removed a sparkly blue dress from the rack and held it in front of her.
My friend’s eyes lit up. She took the costume and twirled it on its hanger.
“Do you think this will work?” she asked me hopefully.
I examined the dress thoughtfully. “I think so. We can cut the hole right here,” I replied pointing to an area on the back of the dress.
“A hole?” wondered the salesgirl? “For what?”
“Her tail.” I replied.
“Your daughter has a tail?” asked the salesgirl incredulously.
“No,” said my friend. “It’s not for my daughter. It’s for my dog.”
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