Call me Old School. The Smithsonian has already called me about my cell phone. I haven’t listened to a new album in almost two years. I can quote Tribe Called Quest in delta sleep. I like James Brown and say “dad-gummit.” Call me Old School.
So, the other day, my lovely wife tells me that she’s going to start the hunt for a Halloween costume for Miss Ellison Jayne. She’s hunting for, what else, a ladybug get-up. Now, we all know that Halloween has turned into a billion-dollar industry. And they didn’t get there selling Batman costumes to six year old boys. Nope, they did crafting bizarrely horrific costumes for acne-ridding teenage boys and no-way-in-hell inappropriate costumes for pre-teen girls and, later, stripper outfits for women. Now, I’m no Halloween historian. I only know where I come from which is a small, middle-class block in Lubbock, Texas and Halloween was where you’d dress up in some crude representation of your favorite superhero cheaply manufactured with funny-smelling plastic. You wore it for as long as it would stay together and then it’d fall apart because the little elastic pieces would snap or break midway through the night leaving you to just kinda hold the mask over your face. They were uncomfortable, always about three inches too small in all dimensions (in my case) and you couldn’t wait to get home, toss it in the trash and eat your loot. That or you made your own costume which was completely acceptable if your parents were strapped for cash and, like most sensible family, didn’t think Halloween costumes and decor was more important than, say, eating and staying alive. But you had to wear something if you were go trick-er-treating. For more on the rules of Halloween, go ahead and click on this: THE ROOT DOWN’s RULES FOR HALLOWEEN.
Now, I don’t mean to be the downer or party pooper, but there’s some serious issues in this country if, as parents, we find it acceptable to dress our kids up like some pedophilia fantasy and strut them through a neighborhood going door-to-door of strangers like some sort of bizarre livestock show.
That’s the first time, I think, that I’ve used the “we, as parents” declaration on this site. I really thought that the first time would’ve been more honorable and valorous…not talking about slutty Halloween costumes.
I know that many parents have carved out their own Halloween customs since the days of “razor blades in the caramel apple” days of the late-80s. Maybe they only visit houses of people they know or, like in Amarillo, where they only go to the rich neighborhoods because, let’s be frank here, you can only really trust people with money. Or maybe we go to Fall Festivals which gotta be really confusing for kiddos. Like you don’t call it Halloween, but we still dress up and get candy for what? The arrival of fall? I’d rather make the tradition sitting around and watching the Red Sox win World Championships to celebrate autumn’s arrival. Whatever, though. It’s safe. Reverent. Childproof. And the vendors aren’t poisoning the candy.
But you still see either the costumes becoming scarier (for boys) or sluttier (for girls). Now that I have my own baby girl, I’m not particularly fond of the word “slut.” Reality is that I was never fond of the word, used it a few times in high school when it seemed appropriate, but I kinda protest such derogatory terms these days because they’re somewhat slanderous to our beautiful daughters and sisters.
Not that it’s totally objectionable, but I would probably enforce the old grade school “below-the-knee” rule on these two. I might approve the older girl’s costume if she was performing in a ballet or playing volleyball, but not going door-to-door soliciting candy from strangers. The younger girl is safe only because she’s smaller and she’s wearing the same skirt. It just looks bigger on her. Or how about this ladybug costume:
Not even old enough to drive and she’s dressing like a trashy waitress at the bar in a brothel. What is this? What kinda world do we live in where parents are dressing their kids like this? I wouldn’t even approve this for a 21 year old. Not if you want you child to respect themselves and not feel it’s necessary to sell yourselves for validation from your male counterparts. How about, then, taking such notion to the absurd level…
Seriously. There’s only one thing on your mind if you leave the house wearing this here and it ain’t sitting around eating Skittles until you get a bellyache. Nope. This is the type of outfit that made Halloween a billion dollar industry. So, when I say that there’s no such thing as an honest dollar, this could be Exhibit A. Anyone that tries to tell you that this is consequence-less is blind, deaf and dumb.
These get-ups were five-to-one over what we were really looking for when we Google’d “ladybug Halloween costumes.”
What we were looking for was this:Had no idea that “ladybug” was some sort of gross perversion when we decided to dress up Ellison as one. Pretty obvious this ain’t the same world I grew up in. Is there some sort of rock I’ve been living under since I graduated college? Am I truly that clueless? I feel like unfrozen caveman lawyer here. Am I alone in defense of our daughters? I’m bracing for the chorus of groaning “just waits.”
Call me Old School.