Monday, November 1, 2010

Why Halloween Matters

Okay.  I see the appeal of playing Halloween with the little kids now, even if they're too young to eat candy or know what the hell to make of all the costumes, decorations, and packs of freeloading hooligans roaming the streets.

It's all about taking pride in how cute your kids are, even though you didn't really have much to do with it.  It's not like you spent months training them to make adorable expressions and strike charming poses and gambol about like carefree fawns (and if you did, that's not cute at all, it's just creepy).  All you did is have the foresight to procreate with someone whose genetic material combines in a pleasing way with your own.  Or if you adopted, I guess you just got lucky.

I realized this when we took the girls to a special Halloween event at a bookstore on Saturday, and the sight of them careening around in their homemade (in a Vietnamese sweatshop) costumes caused seemingly reasonable adults to clutch their chests and gasp with delight.

The reactions they got made me feel awesome.  About myself.  Look what I (and my wife, of course) had created!  Who cares about my jowls and my chemo-hair?  I have cute children, and that proves that I was once hot.  In fact, having one or more of them near me mitigates most of the flaws in both my appearance and my personality.

I had already been aware of this phenomenon to some extent in everyday encounters with people; but crank up the cuteness to eleven with wings and headgear, and the returns are increased manyfold.  It almost makes you understand why people get their children involved in pageanting*.

Once we had gotten a taste for parading the costumed children around in public, we took every opportunity to do more of it.  Yesterday morning we took them to our local farmers' market in their costumes, where the effect was heightened by the bucolic setting.  There was really no reason to let them linger at the flower vendor's tent for more than a few seconds, as they would have been just as content to poke around in a trash pile.  No reason, that is, except for the gratification of hearing passersby cry out, "Oh my goodness!  It's a little ladybug in the flowers!  *Gasp* And a bumble bee too!"

That's right, lady.  Pretty mind-blowing, no?  And you never would have guessed I had it in me to sire even one, would you?  I have got it going on. 

"Let me get that pollen off your shoulder"

"Do I look like an idiot to you?  I saw these flowers at Costco for $1.50!  I'll give you a buck and a quarter for 'em."

"That's seventy-five cents you owe me, pal.  C'mon--it's not that complicated.  Don't try to shortchange me either!" (Butterbean's all I love it when she does this!)


Photos shot on my iPhone because we didn't want to look like we brought the kids to the farmers' market just for the photo ops.

We didn't stop there, either.  Last night we toted the girls around a neighborhood that's significantly more gentrified than our own and legendary for it's Halloween spirit, collecting candy ostensibly on their behalf.

And though the rush you experience from snarfing down three Nestle Crunch bars and a box of Nerds while your wife's back is turned is sweet indeed, it hardly compares to the life-affirming experience of absorbing perfect strangers' adulation of your loin-fruit.        


*Despite what your fancy dictionaries might tell you, "pageant" can be and is used as a verb.  I was going to provide a link to one of the first sites that comes up when you Google "pageanting," but I didn't have the heart.  It made me sad and I didn't want to come off as an elitist a-hole.  But don't let me stop you from looking it up if it makes you feel good to laugh at people whose passions you find distasteful.  


  1. the best thing about Halloween is being able to palm off all your rubbish and out of date sweets and chocolate on those that knock on your door.

  2. I was looking forward to showing off my munchkin for just that reason. Unfortunately, she is sick, so I had to do the adult thing and keep her home. I had the whole weekend planned... Next year, we're gonna do Halloween with a vengeance!

  3. Our boy has some kind of in built fear of anyone dressed up or wearing a mask. Went out to get some pumpkins and came back wearing a rubber mask. He went mental when I walked through the door!
    He knew it was me but it took a good few minutes before he calmed down...

  4. Oh my God that header is fantastical. Maybe the best thing ever. No, snickers still win but that's a close second.

  5. They are, as always, adorable. I think they should wear the costumes everywhere.

    Loin-fruit. I'll be using it in a sentence ASAP.

  6. I checked the Thesaurus and there really is not a better word out there than adorable. I just feel I am so redundant when constantly referring to the twins as such, but they are and there we have it.

  7. Oh my God, ladybug is smiling. I don't remember seeing that smile before. It's... hypnotic is what it is. What's... happening to me? Funny.... feeling... in my... vagina... must make... baby... must... make baby... *zombie crawl to bedroom*

    PS: That header is my favorite ever.

  8. It's posts like these that make me want girls. Alas, I am stuck with two very handsome astronauts.

  9. Those kids in bug costumes is MONEY IN THE BANK, my friend. I'm surprised folks stopped at giving them candy, and didn't pull their wallets out: cash for cuteness.

  10. These Farmer's Markets all look the same to me. That cookie cutter feeling bothers me, or maybe we were at the same place.

    Anyway, the thing that I like about Halloween is how for a night neighborhoods open their doors to each other. That is something that we don't always see very often. It is kind of nice.

  11. Yes, they are all kinds of cute in those bug costumes. Great shots. And I, like most parents out there, know exactly what you mean. I love the attention showered on my son. Esp when they then say he looks just like me. Gives me the illusion that I am still young and cute, that is unitl I go home and look into the mirror.

  12. I guess my parents just got lucky. although, even though I'm 'dopted, I look a lot like my dad.

    and oh my crap your girls are soooo freaking cute in their costumes! a lot of people brought their costumes kids to our local farmers market. there was even a costume parade :D

    also: LOVE your new masthead!

  13. I'm on board with Didactic's cash for cuteness program! Those are adorable pics Beta Dad! And you've taught me a new word to add to my vocabulary - loin-fruit. Total win.

  14. Those are the cutest bugs ever. I would so totally not even squash them.

  15. @Jacks--I wouldn't know about that. I always make sure I'm nowhere near the house when the trick-or-treaters come by. I give our expired food to the Jehovah's Witnesses that come by.

    @Skippy--That's a shame. You'll have to do a week of Halloween next time.

    @TC--Oh, man. It would probably take me longer to recover from that than my kids.

    @Elly Lou--I know a guy who can make you one just like it. Plus I know another guy who can score you some Snickers.

    @Nicole--They did wear them pretty much everywhere yesterday, but I'm putting them away now. I don't want them to turn into the kids who won't go to school without their ratty costumes.

    @Nubian--Yeah. Writing this was tricky because I realized I used "cute" like 90 times. We need more adjectives!

    @Steamy--Did it work? Did you make a baby? I can't wait to see how it comes out. Or, I mean, turns out I guess. Or whatever.

    @Lelamarie--Astronauts are very important to the future of our planet. You should be proud.

    @DiPi--Good thinking. Next year I'll have them carry signs that say "cash only--allergic to candy." Or some of those UNICEF cans.

    @Jack--That's a good point. It was pretty funny being in that neighborhood last night, where there aren't really a lot of kids usually, and seeing it just swarming with kids who obviously came from other parts of town.

    @James--Everybody says Cobra (the bee) looks just like me, and I'm still just vain enough to take that as a compliment to me rather than an insult to her.

    @Andygirl--Do you have any proof that you were adopted? Just sayin'. It's funny--we have a lot of friends with adopted kids and they often have strangers enumerating the ways in which the kids resemble them.

    @Dr.C--I don't think I exactly "stole" that term ("loin-fruit") from Dadwagon, but they like a similar one, "crotchfruit," over there. Anyway, feel free to use it with abandon. My schtick is open-source.

    @Shannon--I am so relieved that you would spare them from squashing! Thanks!

  16. Milk the cuteness factor for all you can I say. My son was always turning heads with his beautiful blonde hair. Mind you, he was a "grabber" when he was a baby. Particularly young checkout chicks.

  17. Lovely conclusion. Adorable pictures. Junior heard he was cute so many times on Halloween he started announcing it himself. It was priceless.

  18. Need I even mention how GORGEOUS your bumblebee and ladybird are?? And so you should be proud and vain and puffed up like a rooster!!

    The part about you feeling awesome is exactly how Billy (my other half) feels. Not a day goes by when he looks at our girlie and thinks, "yeah baby, that's MY work of art!"

    Loving the masthead by the way...

  19. My teens are so blindingly beautiful people gasp a little when they see me with them. I know your pain.

  20. I hope this is true. I'm turning thirty in a few days and not feeling too great about my looks...I'll just have to make sure to take my kids with me wherever I go

  21. Dude. Your new header is... I don't know. I don't think there's a word for it. Awesometastic? Your scotch tape and scissors are way better than my Photoshop skills. I mean, there's a flying car on FIRE!

  22. Pride is a very natural expression of admiration and wonder. Nature is awesome, and we're part of nature, right?

  23. First, love the header! It is awesome and those girls are just the cutest things ever, lucky guy!

    And have you seen the Blog of Note for today? Are you shitting your pants or what? Oh the gods are so cruel!

  24. Good job on the "loin-fruit" and truly an ideal photo op. Just remember to think of new and creative ways to keep getting those ooh's and aah's to feed your daddy pride. Eventually the costumes have to be put away before people catch on to your ego boosting ways.

    But hey, when you have incredibly cute kids, who really cares...look at them, they're cute...must give cash...where's my purse?

  25. @Sprite--Oh, I will milk it for all it's worth. Believe me.

    @Frogs--That's hilarious. My little nephew (now a father of three) used to say he was cute. Surprisingly, it was very cute when he did so.

    @SMarzuki--Of course he takes credit for the cuteness! But you know where her looks come from really.

    @DBS--Well, mine isn't really pain at this point, but I can definitely see how it would be painful to have beautiful teens. I'm going to make sure they are dumpy dressers.

    @Lee--Cute kids are the ultimate accessory!

    @Frank--Yes. That is totallastically a word. Did you see the little attribution I gave you for the header idea? It's in the upper right--right under the title.

    @Eric--Exactly. I'm just appreciating nature's bounty when I admire myself and my offspring.

    @Melanie--Thanks and...holy shit! Of course he's blog of note. Hilarious. And poetically just, in a way.

    @Nari--You know, there are a lot of kid's clothes out there that might as well be costumes, they're so cute. I never thought I would care what my kids wore as long as it was cheap, durable, and comfortable. Now I dress like a total bum and spend way too much time thinking about what outfits they should wear. Who knew?

    If you click on any of the costume pics, you'll find a "give" button that will ask for your Pay Pal info.


  26. It's also a neat plus that when they are really little, mom and dad get to eat most of the candy :]

  27. Here's a great Halloween kid/mom story that came across The Facebook today:

  28. I have to say I just started reading your blog and I really like it. I have fraternal twin daughters born June 3 09 And your girls are super sweet :)


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