you did NOT just give me raisins



Another excellent Halloween at the Blake-Williams household, and no, I shan’t bore you again with my endless treatises on how Halloween-haters muck up the universe – instead, I will continue to settle into my position of CoolDad™ – making the imperceptible transition into CreepyDad® – holiday by holiday.

While these costumes weren’t anywhere near as labor-intensive as last year’s butterflies, we had to do a little pre-emptive psychological trickery. As you parents with girls might have experienced, once they choose their favorite color, you are ruled mercilessly by that color for years on end. Lucy’s favorite is purple and also pink, and everything else is a distant also-ran.

Old-timers on the blog might remember when I was trying to fight my way out of the color-gender stuff forced on us by baby clothes makers, the wrapping paper industry, and even the paint conglomerates. I chafe at baby boy stuff always being blue, and baby girl stuff always being pink, and I set forth to make sure my little fighter was not going to be pre-programmed by the Man:


one month old, May ’05

Of course, once I said that, Salem remarked “dude, you can keep doing that, and then you’ll see her in something pink and frilly and your heart will explode with cuteness and that’ll be it” and of course he turned out to be right:


Aberlour, October ’06

All well and good, but again, Tessa and I were chafing under the tyranny of purple and pink. We were also chafing under the tyranny of The Princess, whereby 3, 4, and 5-year-old girls convince each other that the only job worthy of them is Eventual Royalty. Lucy hadn’t brought it up before, but earlier in October, she casually mentioned she wanted to be a “fairy princess” for Halloween.

I quickly came up with a response: fairy princesses don’t have any powers. So she said, okay, she’ll be a pink fairy, or maybe a purple fairy. Trying to steer her away from that line of thinking, I said, “well, you could be a pink or purple fairy. But you know who is the most powerful fairy of all?”

“Who?” she asked, breathlessly.

“A woodland fairy. A fairy that wears nothing but green.”

She turned that over in her head a while, and then agreed: a woodland fairy she would be. Of course, her resolve wavered, which meant that Tessa and I had to evolve a color-coded fairy hierarchy:

– a pink fairy could only make things disappear (and not reappear)

– a purple fairy could only do card tricks

– a yellow fairy could only make things float in the air for a few seconds

– an orange fairy could only fix cars

… and so on. But a green Woodland Fairy had control of the weather, most animals, vegetation, people’s thoughts and chocolate. Lucy seemed pretty happy with that, and spent most of Halloween blocking my spells. Tessa was demoted to Fairy, Orange Class which meant, in Lucy’s words, if anything happened to the car “we’d be okay”.


The last few years, we’ve gone as a unified theme, so I had to be something druidical and magic. I settled on a White Wizard, and started growing my beard about three weeks ago, which SUCKED. I haven’t grown an actual beard since I was 26, and it was terrible then too. I did it so I wouldn’t have to wear one of those gross, uncomfortable fake beards – preferring instead to be itchy and miserable for almost a month, because I’m occasionally a moron.


One thing this Halloween taught me: always walk around with a glowing staff. It was just a closet dowel rod painted white, with battery-powered LED Christmas lights wrapped around it – at the top I put some ragged pieces of cloth like the Medieval mummer plays we did in England when I was a kid. But the power of that staff? I’ll say this – I’m going to bring that fucker to all my meetings in Hollywood.


on the Venice “walk streets”

0 thoughts on “you did NOT just give me raisins

  1. Rebecca

    Where is everybody?
    LOVE the title, and I have to share the most unusual thing any of my kids got in their baskets. You know those hard-as-a-rock cupcake toppers? Made with concrete-like sugar, shaped and colored, 12-20 of them on a piece of cardboard and shrink-wrapped. Can you picture it? Well, Sarah got one of those with hearts. From Valentine’s day. I have a picture for FB. I thought it was hilarious!

  2. Anne

    ‘Sup, Gandalf. Please tell me your beard did not grow in WHITE, Ian! Assume that’s a good dye job.
    Lucy looks like a true sprite in her green costume; also, the color flatters her.
    A bunch of your blog followers who are now friends on Facebook — social networking FTW! — do a photo-post thing on the first of every month. Yesterday’s brought in a slew of great Halloween pics. Anyone can visit and/or join. Go to Facebook and type in Take a Photo on November 1, 2009″ in the search window. You should put one of these pics up there! And stay tuned for the December 1 photo event.
    Our almost-4-year-old granddaughter also wanted to be a princess. My stepdaughter managed to steer away from the fluffy/frilly stuff and made a gorgeous Snow White replica outfit that was adorable but in primary colors. (You can see this at the FB photo page.) I think it’s a phase they all go through — all except my now 19yr old daughter, who — with 3 brothers — was always something like a cowBOY (then, later, a cowgirl), a hobo, Batman, etc.

  3. julie

    And, of course, for the flip side of things…why must all boys want to be something that requires a sword/knife combo and to be the bad guy with the creepy mask?

  4. emma

    So my six year old daughter bucked the stereotype and went as indiana jones for halloween. Should I be worried that her main costume requirement was a whip??

  5. Ian

    My beard was actually naturally white just on the chin, but the rest was the spray stuff – sprayed it into a towel and dabbed accordingly.
    Rebecca – I guess the viewing public is just sick of my Halloween shenanigans <- insert sad clown face here

  6. CM

    People comment most when you ask them about themselves. It is because we all have narcissistic personality disorder (or we think we do).

  7. Salem

    I think I’ll be Rush Limbaugh next year. Have you seen his chompers lately? My god, he makes Eric Estrada’s teeth look like chiclets. Why have I not seen any great cartoons of post-op Rush?

  8. wyatt

    Is that Anthony Hopkins with your fam in the first picture? Spoo-kee.
    My son chose to go as Ron Weasley, deferring to his friend’s Harry Potter. At first I thought that was too much of a compromise, but we had the robe and we bought the red hair paint. So at the Halloween carnival/parties/bonfires, you can imagine how many Harrys there were, and only one Ron. And they all wanted to take their picture with him. Ron Weasley, who knew? My son did.


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