Standing in line for Flying Turns at Knoebel’s two weeks ago, Chooch spotted a kid at the front of the line, wearing a bacon costume.
“Wouldn’t it be funny if his name was Kevin?” Chooch asked, laughing. “And he’s wearing a BACON costume?” He was beside himself with laughter at this point. “GET IT, MOMMY? KEVIN…BACON!?”
YES I GET IT! GOD.
He watched Footloose once last year so obviously Mr. Bacon has been on Chooch’s radar ever since. I mean, it’s Kevin-fucking-Bacon.
In fact, earlier that same day, as Henry was driving around the town of Danville, PA in circles, Chooch piped up from the backseat, “Don’t Kevin Bacon your way around.” It makes less and less sense the more you think about it, but goddamn did we laugh at the time!
And then, after seeing the bacon kid at Knoebel’s, Chooch said that’s what he wanted to be for Halloween: a bacon suit with a Hello My Name Is: Kevin name tag. You guys. Finally. A simple goddamn Halloween costume. With two weeks to go! No makeup needed! No DIY crossbows or cardboard boxes to turn to mush in the rain! No ONELASTTHING that has one of us running to CVS 15 minutes before trick-or-treating begins.
Last weekend, we went to the Halloween store and bought the bacon costume. I had no problem spending $30 on it because even though it seems like we’re being so economical with all of our DIY costumes of Halloween-past, all the bits and pieces that we have to collect from Goodwill and eBay add up, not to mention the stress of putting it all together. But the best part was the Chooch was so excited and proud of this costume! I didn’t have the heart to tell him that he’s not the first person to do this. But he might be the first 8-year-old to come up with the idea on his own!
Halloween was a wet mess. It started raining late-morning and basically never let up, so the parade at Chooch’s school was moved to the gym. At first I was really pissed off about the parade in general because Henry kept saying he would probably be able to make it but of course at the last minute,
his mistress showed up a truck driver showed up at work, so he couldn’t leave in time to make the parade. But then when I got to the school, I quickly forgot about being mad because THE GYM TEACHER WAS THERE AND I AM SO HOT FOR THAT GUY! So instead of sending Henry death-threats via text, I occupied myself with taking stealth-shots of my gym teacher crush while Olivia Newton-John’s “Physical” played on a loop in my slutty head.
Don’t worry! There was still room for me to judge 3/4 of the parents in the room.
The parade only lasted about 15 minutes. Once the adults realized Chooch’s entire costume, there was a ton of snickering and he seemed pleased. I figured most people assumed this was a costume that his bossy parents forced on him.
“None of your friends are going to get it,” I told him the other day.
“No…but the teachers will,” he shrugged. Because that’s all he cares about: impressing grown-ups.
It was still raining by the time trick-or-treating started and I was completely upset about it. Chooch didn’t give a fuck, but I was all, “HALLOWEEN IS RUINED! AGAIN! WAHHHH!” But really it was because I was mad that I had half-assed a baby doll costume (I was wearing a donuts-in-space baby doll dress, even) and then had to cover everything up with a rainjacket, ugh. I hate everything!
Anyway. We wound up going around the neighborhood with our neighbor Sam and her son, Markie. Markie is kind of like the little brother that Chooch always says he wants until he spends too much time with Markie and then he turns into a little jerk-bully and it is so infuriating. I hate kids with superiority complexes and Chooch definitely has one that rears its head every now and then. I spent most of the time saying things like, “CAN’T YOU JUST BE NICE?! WHY WOULD YOU SAY THAT TO MARKIE? STOP BEING A JERK.”
Stop making me be a MOM on HALLOWEEN.
Henry was absolutely no help whatsoever.
Markie’s mom has trick-or-treating on LOCK. She would quickly point out if they missed a house or if they only took one when the sign said TAKE TWO and she was on top of things when it came to crossing the street. Have you seen me cross the street? Thank god for Markie’s mom.
A few Halloweens ago, Chooch completely bit it down a set of stairs not unlike these ones. And this year, he was practically making the trek in a DRESS. He did fall once, not down any steps at least, and Markie’s mom was on top of it. That’s just one of the reasons why everyone assumed she was my kid’s mom that night.
AFTER THIS HOUSE GO TO THAT HOUSE. DON’T WALK THROUGH THEIR YARD! YOU MISSED THAT HOUSE! THE LIGHT IS OFF BUT THERE IS A BOWL ON THE PORCH!!!!
Ah, the sounds of hyper-bossy trick-or-treating parents. They should have their own show on TLC.
And I thought Henry was a candy-fetching militant.
Seriously, Chooch’s costume. It’s like a breakfast gown. I had the ingenious foresight to pin it up, but that brilliant mom-idea came the day before, so by Halloween, I had forgotten to do it. But still, people freaked out over his costume. One lady even asked to take his picture. I was happy to stand in the background and not take any credit. This was all Chooch and I let him have it all. (There were times when people would laugh and say to each other, “Oh, he’s bacon, how cute” and, after fisting their candy bowl, he would snap, “I’m KEVIN Bacon” and then sauntered away while they let that sink in.
Toward the end of the night, we parted ways with the neighbors, and if there was a house Chooch felt like skipping, we let him skip the everloving FUCK out of it. It was cold and wet and we wanted to go home and eat candy, you know? Leave us alone.
All in all, it was a pretty “meh” Halloween, and I hate the word “meh” so now you know how “meh”-ish Halloween must have been for me to say it was “meh.” Chooch was kind of like, “I have a headache, can we be done now?” with about 30 minutes left to go and I wanted to go to a haunted house afterward but Henry was all, “YOU HAVE BEEN TO ENOUGH GODDAMN HAUNTED HOUSES, DAUGHTER” and it just didn’t feel like Halloween, you guys. The weather was so dreary and I was tired and something just felt…off. It felt off the whole entire month, if we’re being honest with each other here. At first, I couldn’t put my finger on it: Did I not watch enough horror movies? Didn’t go to enough haunted houses? Was it because we didn’t carve pumpkins (or even BUY any for that matter)? Not enough pointless trips to the Halloween store?
It hit me over the weekend. I miss my mom. My stupid fucking mommy. Wait. Let me rephrase that: I miss the person my mom used to be. You guys, she had a lot of really great moments, and Halloween was always one of them. She was so into it: our yard decorations were on point. My homemade costumes were award-winning. She’d host costume parties for her friends and she would make sure the cheese trays never ran out of perfectly-cubed bites of colby and cheddar. And when I was older, we would have Halloween bonfires at her house, all of my friends and my brother Ryan’s friends, with beer and Woodchuck and autumnal revelry…and it hasn’t been the same since then. I try to distract myself with all of the haunted houses and the crazy-detailed Halloween desk themes at work, and it mostly works. It does! But that slippery depression is there in the shadows, waiting for me to forget to busy myself for a few minutes so that it can slip in and remind me of everything that I try so hard to forget.
Next year, I’ll just have to try harder.