Monday, October 24, 2005

Ralph: Frankenstein, Maude: a pumpkin, Olive: Belle, Oscar: Oscar the Grouch

Halloween decisions have been finalized, and the results are in. Gabby decided to institute a "drop-dead-date" when costume decisions must be final. This was yet another demonstration of her unfathomable wisdom.

I guess the rule was mostly made for Ralph. Ralph averages changing ideas about what he wants to be for Halloween about 4 times per week. This year he has ranged from the boring: a ghost, to the cliched: a clown, to the zombie/robotic: Frankenstein (OK, it's cliched as well). These are intermixed with the generic: spy, adventure man, and astronaut. Other costumes under consideration for Ralph this year include: the headless horseman, a goblin, and Willie Wonka. See other costume ideas under consieration by Ralph here.

I liked Halloween as a child, but for my children it is as close to an ideal holiday as you can ask for. The activities for Halloween include: thinking about costumes, dressing up, seeing other kids dressed up, getting candy, and eating candy (and returning kit-kats, snickers, twix, and a portion of reesus peanut butter cups to Mom and Dad). For me, Halloween was reducible to the candy, and that was it and that was great, I saw the costume as more an obstacle to overcome in getting candy. (What are you Ben? Uh, I don't know. I found this robe in the closet, and this is my Dad's tie on my head. Do you have any candy?) Candy is huge for my kids, but so is the dressing up.

So Maude will be a pumpkin, and if she was someone else's kid I might say "Nice imagination!" (because I continually judge other parents severely, but I'm much more lax with me). But she will be adorable not only because she'll be a pumpkin (and any child dressed up like a pumpkin is usually cute) but she will complete the pumpkin. Actually, Maude basically completes any costume she ever wears. She is what parents hope their kids will look like with a given costume, but sadly and inevitably never do. You'll think I'm bragging when I tell you that...OK, I thought better.

I have read arguments against dressing as Disney princesses for Halloween, and I applaude the social consciousness of this view, and I understand the "nice imagination!" critique for Belle (i.e. Beauty in Beauty and the Beast) as well, but my response is this: 2 birds with one stone. Can you not appreciate that Olive gets to be Belle for Halloween, and she gets to dress up as Belle on any other day she dam wants? She will be loving herself (gazing in the mirror, dancing--i.e. twirling) all Halloween, and then November 1st, she'll dress up as Belle all over again! It really is that simple.

Oscar will be Oscar the Grouch. Because Oscar will always be Oscar the Grouch.
So, I'm pretty excited.


  1. Um, Ben did you just curse? You misspelled it and it was in a pretty awkward place so I wasn't sure.

    I would have said:
    "...and any other day she damn well pleases."

    However, if you really want to curse like a sailor, consult Jared. He can usually make it funny enough and flow well enough that its not really swearing.

  2. I am so glad to hear Oscar will be Oscar. I so wanted to give him the book: 'THERE IS A MONSTER AT THE END OF THIS BOOK!!' when he was born because he was my fav. puppet ever, but was afraid I would offend. As if you never connected the name to The Grouch.

  3. Uh, Liz, Grover is the Monster at the end of the book. Though Oscar's full name is Oscar Stanley Groberg Blair. (When we named him I heard someone was in the Mother's lounge and exclaimed: Did they just name their baby Oscar...Grover...?) Right like we would name a kid a stupid name like Oscar Grover?!

  4. UGH! I just raced to the computer to delete my comment when I realized I had the wrong freaking puppet in mind. Only to find you commenting on my error. Thanks Ben. Shall I never comment again. I guess Grover is open to the rest of us to use, eh?

  5. Last year, my daughters were a lion (my 3-yr old) and a pumpkin (my 1-yr old). I was skeptical about the pumpkin suit and I wanted her to be an octopus, but I have to agree with you: every kid looks great as a pumpkin.

    This year my oldest will again be a lion. The youngest had to get a new costume, though, and I wanted her to coordinate with her older sister by dressing as an antelope that was just killed by a lion. My wife did not like that idea and she bought a clown suit instead. Don't think I've given up: I am going to do her makeup like a clown that got attacked by a lion.

  6. Ben - wasn't Maynard Wiggins a pumpkin for Halloween? (Buford was a devil, I remember that much.)

    So, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree!!!!

  7. backwards: I don't want to offer Grover up to the general public until we find out the sex of #5, actually Grover could work for either, so I'm not sure how to answer.

  8. Brian: I admire a man who is not afraid to stick to his guns.

  9. Chris, Yes, I think that sounds right. Maynard was a pumpkin, Buford a devil, and was Fenster a ghost?

  10. Liz Stanley8:19 PM

    One of my favorite halloween memories was as a kindergartener. i dressed up as a clown for halloween and my best friend mardi was a dorito (this was her first in three years she dressed up as a dorito. it was THAT cool). we got tons of loot but the day after my mom couldn't wash the spots off my face she had drawn on with paint. two days and four baths later she still couldn't wash them off. i went for over a week with chicken pox and no one knew!

  11. In fifth grade I came up with the idea to be frankenstein. I was at the barber shop when I thought the whole scheme up. I thought that I could get a flattop haircut, paint my face green, wear all black clothing and somehow attach bolts to my neck. That must have been two months before halloween but I somehow remembered it and made it my goal. Halloween came and I managed to secure the paint and used my siblings clothing. I forgot, however, to get a flattop haircut. So I showed up to school with curly brown hair a green face with black clothes and two non-matching bolts taped to my neck with scotch tape. For those not familiar with scotch tape, there were several things wrong with this. Scotch tape does not support any amount of weight, much less a bolt. Scotch tape is not invisible as one might believe. Scotch tape also does not stick very well to human skin, paint, or painted human skin that is also sweating from walking about 17 miles through the maze of the elementary school.

  12. jared1:15 PM

    in the stanley family we had a little tin cabinet that sat in the garage(directly in front of the 1,000-gallon drums of wheat germ, next to the yellow 'heirloom' pieces of wood my mom kept calling a dresser); it was full of mice and dust and like 8 'costumes' which were just some old maternity items or something my mom put in there. i don't really remember what i was each year, but i still remember that smell.

  13. Jared, I remember four costumes from that closet.

    1. Clown outfit
    2. Spider, with fishing wire between each leg so when you lift your arms all the legs lift.
    3. Jared's goose costume from elementary school.
    4. The bright mexican costumes with the sparkles on them.

  14. Ben,
    My Father-in-law is Ernie and my Grandfather-in-law is Burt.
    Oscar, Grover, Burt & Ernie...may puppet naming never end.
    Here! Here!

  15. Gabby4:41 PM

    Salem, just to clarify, the "mexican" costumes with the sparkles (I remember 5 distinctly) were actually from the St. George Dance Festival, directed by Mrs. Kirchausen -- that's right, the one with the castle house and the moat. And although each costume was part of some cultural dance, I don't believe any of them represented a Mexican dance. You'll have to ask Sara or Rachel to confirm, because most of the dresses were theirs.

    There wasn't a home in Utah's Dixie that didn't have those same outfits. What would St. George have done without Mrs. Kirchausen? And who would have guessed she'd go on to own a Prom and Bridal store?

  16. Gab's right, as far as I can remember anyway. Mom's probably the best source here, I mentioned something about the gay pirate costume that I have inherited and she corrected me, it was a 20's flapper dress.

  17. Gabby5:29 PM

    So which of the Rodgers kids won the Halloween Costume lottery for "Gay Pirate" this year?

  18. Rachel8:09 PM

    Don't ask . . .Don't tell.