The Costume Catalogs

I thought about titling this post something about kids and porn, but then realized that might attract the wrong audience.

I Guess It Could Be Worse: Michael Costume

The Halloween catalogs have started arriving. You know, because we should start planning 90 days in advance. These catalogs have a special effect on children. Men have actual porn; women have Pottery Barn; and Sally? Sally has the Costume Express mailer.

This flimsy, 20-some page catalog has everything in it a kid could want. It’s dress-up nirvana. Specifically, it has costumes for every character Sally loves, no matter how obscure I once thought those characters to be. Strawberry Shortcake? Check. Daphne from Scooby Doo and the gang? Check. Seriously. A VIDIA FAIRY costume — where the heck was that when I needed it?!

So naturally, with all these options, Sally picks the one character I really don’t want her to be: Princess Peach from the Mario Bros. video games. Whom she has viewed on the television for a total of about 90 seconds.

Now, I’m not totally innocent here: I have allowed Sally and her dad to play the whole freaking game a bit of Super Mario Galaxy together, and much to my dismay in this regard, she is her father’s daughter. She loves it. She mostly watches him and gives him gaming advice. Pretty decent gaming advice. They call it father/daughter bonding time. I call it lazy but it does allow me to get laundry done . . . Still, I never thought our little secret would seep through to one of the most public displays of family life — the Halloween costume choice. The costume choice says a lot. One year my three siblings and I were all characters from Alice in Wonderland. Handmade by our mom. Adorable. Thematic. And a display of fine parenting. The toddlers who show up to trick-or-treat in blood-soaked gore costumes? I don’t like that. Nor do I like video game characters. I’m a costume elitist. There, I said it.

I’m pained about this partly because the Princess Peach costume is the lamest of the princess dresses, and partly because I can barely brush my teeth with my own hands, let alone make a costume, so whatever Sally has will be store-bought. But really I’m mostly disturbed because we live in a no-nitrates-hotdog-eating, no-TV-watching portion of the country and I’m going to get egged if people around here find out my preschooler plays video games! And let’s face it, this really is all about me.

I can see it now: “Why yes, I let my child rot her brain. I found she was requiring a lot of my time, and the video games keep her quiet. With any luck we’ll have her in full, obese gaming form by age 6! Hey, is that spit you just spit on me? I do hope it’s organic.”

So, though I feel a little guilty about it, I’m pressuring her to pick another costume. Like Jessie from Toy Story. She LOVES Jessie. Jessie is assertive, yet G-rated. It sends the right message. Sally’s a determined little sucker, though, and she won’t be easily swayed. May the best woman win. In the meantime, she’ll happily take her daily browse through “her magazine,” ooh-ing and ahh-ing at all the marvelous costume options.  It’s outright pornography, I tell you.


9 responses to “The Costume Catalogs

  1. If the neighbors don’t play video games, then how will they know Sally is dressed as Princess Peach? Hmmmmmm?

  2. middleagedcrazywoman

    Oh cool… my son desperately wants to be Mario or Luigi or Toad (I think that’s the mushroom but don’t quote me as he won’t let me play Mario with him ” ’cause you die too fast!!”

    Snicker… I’d say I do it on purpose because I don’t want to play but I do like the old school ones (back when it was just Nintendo)


  3. hahahahahaha! Just don’t let her near the Chasing Fireflies /Wishcraft catalog. That’s $90 out the window. C wants to be Snow White. Really? Of all the princesses, THAT one? Primary colors? hunh.

  4. I loved video games when I was a kid and it’s what helps to increase your skills as a gastroenterologist (or that what’s I’ve read anyway). . . so maybe Sally in on her way to becoming a gastroenterologist!!

  5. Our catalogue came too!! Last year we had ours until about February- until it fell apart, literally. My three year old wants to be….wait for it….Hannah Montana! Ugh!!!!

  6. LOL Sally would look adorable as Princess Peach, I used to love playing Mario Bros. Mia and I don’t get to play video games because dad rather we not interrupt his video game sessions, and I rather not name the games played by dad let’s just say they are not PG 13.

  7. Eddie has dreams of me being Jessi and Tom being buzz and he will be Woody. Just be happy you are not in line for Toad!

  8. OMgoodness! I didn’t know there were Halloween catalogs. Like you Summer, I grew up with the homemade/home thrown together costumes. Thanks to your pearls of wisdom, I will try to keep such catalogs far away from my 3 year old. I’m tying to go as long as possible before she realizes there is such thing as a Dora costume (or underwear, or shoes, or lunchpail-had to discreetly hide the Dora lunchpail at Target when we went to pick one out). I’ve had plenty enough of that girl and her weird backpack that eats/spits up random objects.

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