As I've mentioned before in this spot, I am not a big Halloween guy. I've dressed up once in the last 25 years and that was a quick throw-together White Trasher complete with mullet wig and spaghetti stains on the tank top. Emet asked me why--though she, too, is anti-costume--and I came up with two reasons:
1) I have no desire to take the time and brain effort to craft the most awesomest costume ever, a failing that collides nicely with a fear of being laughed at for a half-ass result (or, even worse, a monumental, but ultimately disappointing effort), thereby creating a black hole of meh regarding costuming.
2) Halloween costumes invariably require you to wear something on your head, or do something unnatural with your hair and...well...I have great fucking hair and it's criminal to hide it.
So when we decided to go to a party down in the O.C. on Saturday night, in her sister's neighborhood, one of the best things about the gathering was no costume required. At least for the adults. The kiddies were fired up.
AJ decided on vampire, which is certainly popular these days, but when I quizzed him about which media-saturated famous vampire he wanted to be, he looked at me blankly, a fact which I appreciated because I'd rather puncture my cardioid artery with fake fangs than have him read that crap "Twilight" stuff.
In the weeks leading up to the Big Day, I kept asking him if he needed anything for his costume and he kept saying "No," that he and his Mom had it covered. Er...not so much. He had a cape. That was 8 sizes too big. Awesome.
That's why I was standing in a 50-deep line on Saturday afternoon getting make-up for his face, which annoyed me on the patience (or lack thereof) level and also on the fright level, as I tried to glean which of the various products would be easiest to apply. As I am artistic at a 4-year-old level, I feared screwing up the face painting so horribly that he'd have to go as a caped Al Jolson.
It was just as I'd feared. My hands are clumsy ("your fingers have no brains"), especially so when spreading toxic (oh sure, they SAY the products are safe, but c'mon) materials around your child's eyes and mouth. And with an audience even. Emet has two adorable twin nieces, age 6, who are completely captivated by AJ and they stood in the bathroom door giggling the entire time I applied the makeup. Additionally, this made me nervous since my son is, you might say, a perfectionist and a vampire is supposed to be scary in an undead way, as opposed to a Joan Crawford in "Mommie Dearest" way.
Mistakes were made (like accidentally putting a dot of black on the end of his nose), and hastily covered up with even more makeup. And, as I reached the final result, I took a deep breath and asked the girls, "He looks scary, right?"
They giggled some more. "He looks silly!"
But AJ was cool. Though what he ended up with is something I like to call Emo Dracula...
...aka King Diamond (I'm sure there are at least 3 of my readers who recall Mercyful Fate). For the rest of you...
Okay, so makeup crisis averted. Time to party.
The parents took turns leading the pack of kids around the neighborhood while the others enjoyed a nice spread, the World Series and various adult beverages ( a term I used once that evening, to which AJ interjected, "He means beer!"). But it wasn't just beer. Oh no. Apparently, there is a tradition in this 'ville featuring something they alternately referred to as "Apple Jack" and "Apple Crack." It literally tasted like apple pie/cider. Except it had Everclear in it.
Middle-Aged Suburbanites Gone Wild.
Between shots and candy prospecting, AJ and I shot some hoops (see? If I were wearing a costume, I couldn't shoot hoops!), played some pool, watched the Ducks destroy the Trojans and gorged on meatball sandwiches. I was, in the moment, totally pro-Halloween, though perhaps that's because it was unclear who was more jacked up, the kids and their candy or the adults and their cider shots. And while I maintained my usual semblance of Responsible Adult during the proceedings, both AJ and I spent Sunday on the couch, with energy levels just south of zero, periodically raiding his pillowcase full of sugar. I was so lacking in motivation, that I didn't even care how bad my hair looked.
So, thanks for that Halloween and my new friends in The O.C.