Today I took my almost-13-year-old daughter to the store to buy a Halloween costume. As much as I like to sew, I've never made a Halloween costume for a couple of reasons. When her older brother was a year old I After made him a leopard costume which cost roughly 70.00 and took me approximately a week to create. After going to Costco and seeing an almost identical costume for about 35.00, I decided I'd buy his costumes from then on. When my daughter was of the age of knowing what she wanted to be for halloween, for several years in a row she picked a different Disney princess, and it was of the utmost importance that the princess look accurate, which reinforced my Costco habit, after all, 35.00 beats 150.00 any day, unless you have a prayer of winning a large cash award in a costume contest.
So today, my daughter and I headed out to a local party store to check out the costume options. We had looked around here before, but nothing motivates her to settle on a choice like a looming deadline. We headed for the store's costume wall, where pictures of their hundreds of options are displayed.
"What are you thinking about getting?" I asked her.
"I was thinking about a peacock…"
Now, I could have made an awesome peacock costume for her, but with only a few days left that was no longer an option.
"Where do you see that?" I spotted one on the wall and pointed to it. "This one? Diva Peacock?" It was not really what I had in mind. Where was the recognizable peacock shape in the feathers?
"No, this one." She pointed to Ravishing Peacock. It definitely looked more peacock-like, but it also looked more Vegas. She said, "I like it, but I would have to wear leggings underneath, and how could I cover up the top a little bit? Could I wear a sweater? They should call this one 'Slutty Peacock,'" We laughed.
"Let's look at our other options"
First, let me establish that she did not like the "Teen" costumes. Some of them were cute, but she wore a bunch of them already in previous years. A whole bunch of them were dorky, and unrecognizable. If you didn't hold a cardboard sign in your hand stating what you were, no one would know. There were many more options in the adult costume section.
But that presented another problem. Every skirt was short. And when I say short, I mean MICROSCOPIC. Many of the tops were low cut or strapless. And what was with the names? It's like they found all their adjectives in a romance novel. She decided she wanted to try on the peacock costume. When wen told the salesgirl, our choice, and she announced, "651, Ravishing Peacock, size S" into her microphone. We had Igloo Cutie as a back-up choice.
We checked out the costume titles on the wall while we waited, and my daughter joked that soon they would be shouting, "ONE SLUTTY PEACOCK COSTUME, COMING RIGHT UP!!" There was Nerdy and Flirty, (Wow, even nerds are flirty here!) Perky Plumber (Mario and Luigi turned female and sexy!) Nurse Juanna B. Sedated kind of scared me - it reminded me of something you might see in a porno/horror movie. What nurse wears an ultra short skirt and high heels and carries a large needle in a threatening way? Sultry Swat Officer was just ridiculous… yes, those swat officers find micro mini skirts and bursting cleavage very practical when they tackle bad guys in the line of duty.
Finally, the Ravishing Peacock arrived. She tried it on.
"What do you think?" I shouted through the dressing room door.
"I don't like it," she said. It was too low cut, (required too much cleavage) too thin, in her opinion, and all squished from being in the package. She settled on a pair of black feathered angel wings, a black tutu (with lights in it!) and a black feathered mask. "Like the angel of death?" her dad asked when she got home. "Yeah, I guess so," she said. She will be wearing her own leggings and her own shirt. We still managed to spend 60 something dollars, but we have remained age-appriopriate.
Navigating parenthood one day at a time...