Real Talk

Halloween Fails: A Retrospective

This year, we will be doing the trick-or-treating thing with my friend Shannon and her family. I will be wearing my skull shawl, because skulls. My son will be in a Spiderman costume from Target, and my daughter will be in a Tinkerbell costume she ordered off of Amazon, and I have a feeling it will be slightly lower-key than it has been in past years, but also, it will be…

…you know. Halloween. Which means I am about to witness what pure joy in 7-year-old and 4-year-old form looks like. I may be exhausted already in anticipation, but I’m also (ssh) pretty excited.

So just for fun, here’s a little retrospective of Halloweens from Years Past.

halloween fail

There was the time that I lied to children, and then crushed their dreams.

Then there was that time I maybe possibly traumatized my own child for all eternity.

The time that my son was alllll kinds of adorable and excited, and I reinvented the wheel with my cat whiskers.

The time that Kendrick and I dressed up as Pete Doherty and his sad kitten (it’s a terrible story and I am ASHAMED of this costume in retrospect, but it was also a simpler time back then).

The time that we totally guarded the galaxy.

The time that Kendrick dressed up as my actual, literal fantasy, and I did not even come close to rising to the challenge.

dia de los muertos face paint easy

The time that I killed it with the face paint, and my daughter was Yoda (omg). Update: I want to clarify that I very much understand the problematic nature of wearing El Dia de los Muertos face paint on Halloween, and am frustrated with myself for being so flip about it here. If you’re so inclined, please take a look at the (in my opinion, fascinating, informative and important) conversation that was had in the comments under the original post with regards to cultural appropriation, and please accept my apologies for my omission in today’s post. 

And finally there was last year, when my daughter fully internalized what happens on Halloween, which is that people give you candy, and then you get to eat it. A lot of it. Maybe even ALL OF IT?!?! (…And reacted accordingly, by going full-on Ninja with the candy-acquisition process.)

I will leave you with a transcript of an actual conversation I had with my then-three-year-old last Halloween, and which I fully expect to see repeated tonight:

halloween pick your battles

“The sign said to take one piece. You only took one piece, right?”


“You can only take one.”

“No, five.”


“Five. In my bucket.”

(Guess who won this argument?)

Halloween: The Holiday of Picking One’s Battles.

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