October 30, 2006
But I really don't want to go on about that, mostly because "it hurts" is about the most illuminating thing I have to share. It may be an understatement on the same scale as "Hitler was mean", but really, it hurts. Not much more to say about it.
We just finished the annual ritual of deciding what Schuyler is going to be for Halloween, and as you can see, she settled on being a witch again. Unlike last year's punky, sassy and yeah, kind of slutty Spider Witch, however, this year she has opted for the more traditional, Wizard of Oz-ish Old Skool Witch.
I suppose her costume might be even more borderline offensive than last year, both to Religious Conservatives (ie. kooks) who don't dig the supernatural ("Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live"; thanks for nothing, silly Bible) and would prefer Barbie or a little miniature Ann Coulter to come to their door, and also to Wiccans (ie. you know, actual witches) who probably don't love the idea of the traditional negative cackling witch with the broom, eating up Hansel ünd Gretel, etc.
But the costume was Schuyler's choice, and it didn't involve a character from a television show or a corporate product endorsement. Besides, we're not going to turn her green or give her a wart. She's actually a very cute little witch, albeit perhaps a slightly wicked one. She looks more Amish than evil.
The route to this costume was, like last year, a circuitous one. For months she's been saying that she wanted to be a mermaid for Halloween, but when we started looking for costumes, the ones we found looked ridiculously crappy or Jon Benet-whoreish. Leave it to the Disney store to have the only halfway decent-looking mermaid costume, and they wanted... (wait for it, wait for it...) EIGHTY ACTUAL AMERICAN REAL DOLLARS for it, for no other apparent reason than they just released The Little Mermaid on DVD and can jack up the price as a result of all the little girls with Ariel on the brain. I hate you, Disney. I hate you more than ever before, and I hated you pretty hardcore before this.
We then found an awesome pirate costume and were both set to go as matching pirates. (Julie is insisting on going as a soldier, for reasons that escape me but have something to do with already having the costume, and I think I'm going to take a "don't ask, don't tell" approach to that particular acquisition of hers.) Something happened inside the mysterious head of Schuyler, however, and suddenly she didn't want to be a pirate anymore. With only minutes to spare before exhausting our last molecules of patience, she suddenly saw this costume and decided that she wanted to be a witch, of the "Wicked Witch of the Pick a Direction" variety, and that was that. Being Schuyler, she opted to bypass the traditional twiggy broom for the stylish purple model and the purple striped tights, and of course the addition of her traditional pink Chuck Taylors finished the look.
Finished, of course, except for the hair. We did that tonight, with a color that she picked out months ago and which was just patiently waiting in the bathroom cupboard for the right moment. Tonight was the night of the Great Purpling, both for Schuyler's hair and, for a while, her skin, my fingernails and most of the tile in our bathroom. Everything's back to its preferred color now except for my fingernails, which are now zombie-purple. (Say, there's an idea for a costume. It would fit well with the effects of the Vicodin I'm taking.)
You'll be especially amused to know that in order to appease Schuyler even further, I finally gave in to the request that she has made every time we color her hair. I tried a little on myself, purpling up a big strand in the front. Sadly, my hair is so dark that it is almost invisible. You can be the judge of whether or not that's really bad news; I do have a job, after all, although it is in academia where that sort of thing is probably expected from time to time.
Halloween is a strange day for Schuyler, and one that she and I both dig more than I can explain. Neither of us can really eat very much of the candy, after all. Her dysphagia makes hard candy dangerous for her to eat, and of course now I've got the Beedies pissing on all my Halloween fun.
But we throw ourselves into Halloween just the same. I suspect that it has to do with the fact that for that one day, she's not a kid with a monster, strange and alone with her Martian language and her computerized voice. On Halloween, she's supposed to be a weird kid, but not THE weird kid just this once. It's a day when she can lose herself in being a witch and not have to be whatever it is that the world sees her as the rest of the time. Sweet and punky yet weird and broken, whatever. She gets to toss that aside for the day and be a witch. "Give me some candy or I'll turn you into a fly."
Halloween is her day to just be a kid.
As for me, now that we've strayed from the pirate idea, I'm at a loss for a matching costume. I'd love to go as her flying monkey, but I don't think I'm ambitious enough to make that happen.