God, I hate Halloween. I really do. It is a colossal waste of money and time. Yet, I continue to participate in it year after year after year….what’s the definition of insanity again? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Hmmm….. Halloween = Insanity. Yep. That is exactly right.
A few months ago (yes, months), The Baby decided he wanted to be Thomas Jefferson, Hamilton Style, for Halloween. HELL YES!!! The Middle Child and I exclaimed!!! I would make the costume in all of my spare time!!! When dost thou thinkest I started??? Thou wouldst be correct if thou guessed about two weeks before Halloween! Why? thou might asketh…Because that’s howeth I rolleth. I ordered the perfect purplish stretch velveteen and satin a couple of months ago, and it sat on the dining room table. I like to tell myself such bullshit like: I work best under pressure…Yeah, yeah, yeah. When will I ever learn? I have been telling myself that shit for years. I found the Colonial shoes online. They were only $27 or something. The buckles weren’t quite as big as I would have liked, but they’d have to do. I mean seriously, it was a costume, not an outfit for an event! I had trouble finding the perfect buttons. Daveed Diggs’ buttons are purple and gold. I finally found some that would have to suffice, on Etsy. They were plastic, but again, it was a costume… There were only 25 of them. I was worried that was not going to be enough. Daveed has a ton of buttons on his get-up. I made the vest and knickers first, then the shirt. The vest was a pain in the ass, but nothing compared to the royal pain that was the purple satin Colonial coat! Oh. My. Lord. I had never sewn on satin before. I shall never again. If it slipped through my fingertips once, it slipped through them 307 times. I had to pin everything with 6,000 pins. The collar would not stand up for love or money. I used several different weights of interfacing, but was not going back to Jo-Ann even if my life depended on it. I was going to put cardboard in it, but I finally said to hell with it and decided that it just wasn’t necessary. I was juggling this costume around work, hernia surgery, and a fit of fibromyalgia. I had to be finished with it the Thursday before Halloween, because The Baby needed to wear it to school on Friday for “Storybook Character Day” of “Peace Week”. Two weeks earlier, as we were riding down the road, Hamilton soundtrack playing as usual, The Baby and I got into a conversation about Thomas Jefferson, and I felt the need to make sure that The Baby knew that Thomas Jefferson was not, indeed, African American, like Daveed Diggs who played him in the original cast of Hamilton. The Baby replied that yes, he did know that. I followed up by saying that Thomas Jefferson probably did not wear purple satin and velvet, either. We had had this conversation before. Many times. This time, though, was different. WHAT? The Baby screamed. HE DIDN’T? WHY AM I BEING THOMAS JEFFERSON? IF HE ISN’T IN A BOOK DRESSED LIKE THAT, THEN IT MAKES NO SENSE!!! Oh. My. Lord. I thought I might just run off the damn road. The kid knew good and damn well that Thomas Jefferson did not wear purple satin and velvet! Luckily, I had my wits about me-a rarity these days-and I immediately thought of The Hamiltome. I pointed out that he could take his Hamiltome to school and show the pictures of Daveed, dressed in purple satin and velvet. That calmed the storm instantly. Crisis averted. Thursday night, we ordered pizza and watched Hamilton’s America on PBS while I braided The Baby’s hair in teeny tiny braids all over his head. He wanted his hair to be wavy and fluffy like Daveed’s. He was up at 5am on Friday, excited to see what it would look like. I was shocked that The Baby, normally quiet and shy at school, was willing to go to school dressed in this loud costume, with his hair all funky. I was a little bit worried. That afternoon, he was quite disheveled. He said his Colonial shoes were not good for P.E. Damn. I had not thought about P. E. I guessed they weren’t! He had rolled his ankle in them. His giant bow was untied, his shoes were all scuffed up, and he announced that he had lost two buttons. TWO BUTTONS?! I said, I hope to GOD you have them! He said that he DID have them. I breathed a sigh of relief because there had been no extra buttons-I had put all 25 on the outfit! I calmed myself down and assured him that I could fix everything before Monday. Now, during all of this, The Middle Child wanted me to make the Eliza Schuyler Hamilton dress. I must’ve been out of my God-damned mind when I agreed. I went on the ultimate quest for the perfect sea foam green taffeta. I could not find it anywhere. I found it a week before Halloween. I wasn’t finished with the purple satin Colonial coat when The Middle Child strode through the dining room one day and casually asked me if her Eliza Dress would be ready for school on Friday. I burst out laughing and then said um HELL NO! She never told me she needed anything for Friday. It was Monday. Thank God for Amazon Prime. She was Wednesday Addams on Friday. As it were, I did not finish with the purple satin coat until Thursday…I started the Eliza Dress on Saturday. I got it all put together, but with no zipper, no hem, no details. I did make the covered buttons, but did not sew them on…because… I could see the disappointment on her face. I had another day of work to put in, and I was willing to do it. It wasn’t that. I knew what it was. It wasn’t perfect enough. I am not a seamstress or a tailor. The Middle Child is a perfectionist of the worst sort. She wants everything to be exact. I explained to her, before I embarked on this project, that this dress would not be exact. In fact, it would be anything but. I thought we were clear on that, but apparently we were not. I’ll be damned, I’ll be damned. It was a costume, not a ball gown – at least in my eyes, but not in the eyes of The Middle Child. There was not a harsh word or a tear, and I’m not quite sure how that came to be. We came to a mutual understanding that she would never be Satisfied by this dress. I, unwilling to throw it away, packed it up and cleaned up the dining room. I still say that the damn thing is better than a lot of shit at Party City. Hell, it’s better than a lot of shit at Target. Damn It.
I had Thomas Jefferson’s outfit ready to go for Monday. JC polished the shoes. I washed the shirt and ironed it. I sewed the two missing buttons back into their places. The Middle Child’s plans fell through at the last minute, but she found something else to do. I rallied and dressed up, myself, which I never do. I bought a 3/8 inch curling iron over the weekend, to curl The Baby’s hair with, so that he wouldn’t have to sleep on braids again. I was on it. Then, Sunday afternoon, The Baby was not feeling well. We went to the movie, and I thought he was better, but in the night, he got up with his temp at 103. Damn It. It figured. I would make that whole costume and then he would get sick and not be able to go trick or treating! I took him to the doctor on Monday morning. Since he did not have flu or strep, the doc said he could go trick or treating if he felt like it, and luckily, he felt like it. Of course, he rolled his ankle at the second house and immediately started crying. I asked him what happened and he told me and then I heard JC say, yeah and now he has sprained his ankle for the rest of the night and the rest of the week! like it was my fault or like I had forced the kid to wear the damn Colonial shoes! I was standing there, in front of my friends, dressed as Eleven from Stranger Things, looking like a complete idiot, carrying an empty Eggo box, with fake blood coming out of my nose, and I was thinking about how fucking much I had put into Hallofuckingween, and how fucking much I was NOT getting out of it. I was D.O.N.E. Give me the keys, I said to JC, I will go home and get him some more shoes. He handed me the keys and I started for the car with my Eggo box. I got almost to the car and my phone rang. It was him calling me, asking me to come back and not go get the shoes. I did. I was still D.O.N.E. We got home before 8:30, and I made JC answer the door for any trick or treaters who came by while I washed Thomas Jefferson’s hair. He was pleased that some people knew who he was. One lady thought he was Beethoven, and even when he told her he wasn’t Beethoven, he heard her say, “I’ve never seen a Beethoven before” bwahahaha. I have to say, for an 8 year old, he is a mighty good sport to dress up like he did. His best friend at school told him he just wanted to show off and be fancy. I told him no, that wasn’t him, it was me… 😉