Planning a Halloween costume with tweens is an epic process. If it is the dreaded group costume, it will be a roller coaster of emotions, tears (mostly yours) and indecision. A good outcome is not possible. It is considered a win if the twists and turns don’t lead to serious injury or death from banging one’s head against the costume wall at Party City.

Stage 1-Denial: This year is going to be different. These girls seem to really have their act together.  It is only October 1st and they are busy planning their group costume.  And the entire concept doesn’t look slutty, complicated or expensive.  They are such great girls, they remind me of my friends at that age. I just might survive this! I love Halloween!

Stage 2-Anger:  This fresh hell is going to kill me.  I hate Halloween.  I hate these girls. We were never like this as kids. There is a new costume idea every day along with in-fighting about who is going to wear what. We have spent $50 on partially assembled and discarded outfits and it is only October 15th. Once money has been spent on a costume, children should be put in a bubble until the 31st so they are not subjected to outside influences. Can’t this be a law? This should definitely be a law.

Stage 3-Bargaining: For the love of all that is holy in this world, pick a damn costume.  Let’s go to the pop up Spooktacular Shop right now and get that costume I said no to last week. Really, I don’t know what I was thinking. You know, I will totally host a huge Halloween sleepover and let you stay up all night eating candy, posting on Snapchat and listening to inappropriate music if you Just. Pick. A. Costume.  I don’t care if it is slutty or complicated or expensive; it just needs to be done.  Why can’t this be done?

Stage 4-Depression:   What is wrong with me?  Why did I pull out the photo album and start looking at old Halloween pictures?  Oh look, she was so cute as Minnie Mouse! I am pretty sure I paid Disney more than the cost of my wedding dress for that one but how can you put a price on that kind of happiness? She wanted to wear it everywhere, even to sleep.  Oh, and the year she was Mulan and agreed to wear a jacket over it without complaining. Now her midriff has to be bare or it is not a legit contender. I miss the days of candy corn, pumpkin patch field trips and school parties with no drama—well until she figured out I was stealing candy. I am old and nothing is the same anymore.

Stage 5-Acceptance:  Fine.  It’s not what I would have picked, but fine.  I think you look too old for trick or treat but, it is done, so fine.  It is one night; so really, it is going to be just fine.

Is Halloween over yet?


Maureen lives outside Washington DC with her husband, 3 boys and her dog, the only one who really understands her. She shamelessly exploits the chaos of her everyday life for enjoyment and profit. She loves 80's music, Miller Lite and reality TV. She is rarely without a koozie in case someone is kind enough to offer a beverage. Maureen can be found blogging at Montgomery Community Media, in her column for the Town Courier Newspapers as well as online at Scary Mommy, the Mid and more.

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