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”