Thoughtful Thursday: Costume

October 25, 2012

Thoughtful ThursdayNow that I have young children, I spend a lot of time thinking about, and occasionally making, costumes. They have various dress-up costumes, but Halloween is the biggie. Normally Burrito and Tamale’s clothes are totally independent, but for Halloween I like to take advantage of them being twins and give them a fun pair costume. Actually, some years it’s costumes: I develop a backup costume in case they won’t wear the regular costume.

For the first time, their 4th Halloween, my pair idea may be thwarted because one of them wants to wear something else. Oh well, I had 3 good twin Halloweens. Maybe I have a few more years until they insist on vampires or zombies or whatever the next big scary thing is (werewolves? mummies? hunchbacks?).

For myself, costumes have not occupied much thought since I was 17. My freshman year of college was the last time I remember dressing up for Halloween — actually dressing up, not just wearing an orange shirt or something. Oh wait that’s not true, when I was 22 we went to a Halloween party for my husband’s work and wore a group costume: not just him and me, but a visiting friend from out of town too. That is my all-time favorite costume I ever wore, and as far as I know we are the only people who have ever worn that costume. Every other year of my adulthood I have either done nothing or seriously half-assed it, like football jerseys out of DH’s closet or giant bows in my hair. Mostly it’s fine that I don’t wear costumes since most adults don’t, but one year I was in NYC for Halloween and everyone at the party was totally decked out, except for us. It was embarrassing to be at a cooler-than-thou club in the meat packing district and get asked over and over, “Why aren’t you wearing a costume?” or worse, “Is that outfit supposed to be your costume?” We and our friends concocted ideas for the next year — the full Justice League was the frontrunner — but we never had another NYC Halloween.

There is one other group costume I’ve had in mind for several years, but I don’t think it will ever happen. I wanted us to dress as the Kennedy family. Last year I actually bought a Chanel-style blazer for Tamale, but between DH’s reluctance to wear any costumes and the logistic difficulty and, now, Burrito and Tamale having no interest in the Kennedys when they could dress as trains or dinosaurs or something, I think that costume will exist only in my imagination. Too bad; Burrito already has John-John’s haircut, and Tamale would have been a stunning Jackie.

Do you ever wear costumes? What types of costumes do you like for yourself? For children?

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Thoughtful ThursdayLater I’ll get back to the snap decision I alluded to last week — waiting for it to be a sure thing.

Burrito and Tamale are now 3 years old (!!!). A few days before their birthday, they saw the delivery man bring one of their big ticket presents, and they went nuts with curiosity. So, I gave them have one gift early. They watched and hovered for an hour while I put together their dollhouse. Of course, they loved it.

The day before their birthday, I asked them if they wanted another early present. Burrito refused: “I already have a present. I have a house.”

When their birthday arrived, I announced that it was time to open their birthday presents. “I already have a present. I have a house.” Over and over he protested. When he finally started opening presents, he changed his tune: “More presents! I want more presents!” But his base state is to be satisfied with one.

I also prefer one bigger present rather than many smaller presents — like the iPad I received last year as a combination birthday/holiday gift. I’d much rather have that iPad than ten birthdays worth of little gifts.

My late mother had the opposite philosophy. She was always very concerned with the number of presents I received. Even when all I wanted was a single big ticket item (a keyboard one year, a CD player another, a Cabbage Patch doll before that), she insisted on adding a bunch of dinky pieces of junk to bulk up the number of presents. She sometimes went so far as to wrap up things I already had just to give me more things to unwrap.

For herself, though, she always insisted that she did not want any presents. A few times I got her something she really liked, but oddly for someone who liked acquiring stuff so much, she really didn’t care for receiving presents.

How many birthday presents would you ideally like to receive?

Thoughtful Thursday: Snap

October 11, 2012

Thoughtful ThursdayA few days ago I was talking to a friend who is planning a wedding in NYC. He and his partner are working on choosing a venue. They just found one that meets their criteria. I asked him whether he felt the need to examine all of his options before making his choice, to make sure that he had chosen the very best wedding venue in all of New York City. As I’ve written before, this is very much my own tendency.

My friend replied that he was resisting his tendencies toward exhaustiveness and instead, and was working on satisficing. That he could spend years looking at every venue instead of actually ever getting married. Wise fellow.

I’ve been going through my own decision process lately — more on the actual decision next week. For months, I have been evaluating, methodically and exhaustively. Poring through every possible option, making lists (though no spreadsheets this time), weighing different criteria, mulling, obsessing.

And then, all of a sudden, DH and I made a snap decision. My decision process indicates that it is the best possible course of action, but I thought we’d have more time to actually make the decision, that I could spend a few more months mulling and comparing. Instead, we had to make an on-the-spot decision, and so we are pursuing a choice instead of going back to the option well over and over and over.

Even though both my head and my gut indicate that this is the right decision, I was pulled not to make it. My instinct said that I should not make a snap decision on principle. That if I have to commit here and now, the decision ought to be no, because a snap yes is just not who I am.

And then I made the snap decision to make a snap decision.

I am pretty sure it will turn out to be one of the best decisions I’ll ever make.

Are you prone to snap decisions? Are you opposed to snap decisions? Somewhere in between?

Thoughtful Thursday

Welcome to the October Intelligentsia.

#36: Elana from Elana’s Musings
#31: A fromĀ Are You Kidding Me?
#28: Strongblonde from Strong Blonde
#18: St. Elsewhere
#16: Lori from Write Mind Open Heart
#13: Cat
#13: Mel from Stirrup Queens
#11: Sara from Aryanhwy

Thoughtful ThursdayIt is October. Each year the arrival of October brings me right back to this post and the joy/relief of reaching October in a pregnancy in which I was due in November but came very close to delivering in August. Each October 1, my mind’s eye immediately flashes to the colored letters in that exuberant blog post.

October is a good month for me, probably my favorite. Pros:
Foliage (though this was more of a pro when I lived in New England)
Honeycrisp apples
Halloween for little kids is adorable
Fall weather = getting out the fall clothes that have been languishing all summer: jeans, sweaters, boots, jackets
Burrito and Tamale’s birthday

Cons:
After the leaves change color, they fall off the trees and the branches are bare for half the year
Nonstop TV commercials for horror movies
Halloween for big kids is too often gory or troublesome or weird
Halloween for adults is too often skanky

November is a good month too, mostly because of my birthday, but I also rather like Thanksgiving side dishes (no turkey for this vegetarian).

December is a big month for almost everyone in North America, but for me it’s rather odd since we (and the rest of DH’s family) don’t celebrate Christmas but my family of origin does. There are a lot of things I like about December and many, many happy memories, but now that I’m no longer into Christmas, it can all be a bit much.

March is my worst month. It’s the month my mother died. It’s also DH’s biggest month for work travel; every March he is away more days than he is home. I didn’t really mind when it was just the two of us, but Burrito and Tamale really feel his absence, and therefore it’s a hard month for all of us.

Most other months don’t evoke strong feelings, good or bad. Because we celebrate several holidays based on lunar calendars, there are holidays that I quite enjoy that move around the Gregorian calendar. Some months have very little going on. Every month there are enjoyable and exciting things that happen, but most of them aren’t tied to a specific page of the calendar.

Which perhaps is a dated reference, because I don’t even use paper calendars anymore. But let’s say I did. There are some months like March where I’d flip the page on the first of the month and sigh, “Oh, it’s here.” There are other months, most notably October, for which I’d flip the page and say, “Hoooooray! It’s here!”

Hoooooray! It’s here!

Which months resonate the most for you?