Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Annual Halloween Conundrum

With Halloween a scant three weeks away it is time to start thinking about the costume questions. There are three questions to carefully consider:

1) Should I even bother wearing a costume?

2) If I do bother wearing a costume, what kind of costume should I wear?

3) If I gave this much thought to my finances would I own a mansion and a yacht by now?

Let’s ponder these questions one at a time, shall we?

First off—should I bother wearing a costume? It’s the age old question for somebody whose age is getting a bit old. As a kid, wearing a costume on Halloween is a given. Our kids have been discussing what they will be this Halloween since November 1, 2011. They have changed their minds about eight dozen times over the past year. They will likely change their minds several more times between now and when we get to the costume store. In fact, there is a high probability that one of them will change their minds once inside the costume store. This is exactly what happened last year. My five-year-old son was three inches away from the Spiderman costume he said he wanted for the previous two days when out of the corner of his eye he saw a Wolverine costume, which cast some sort of voodoo-like spell on him and caused him to completely forget that he ever wanted a Spiderman costume in the first place.

For adults the question of costume wearing on Halloween isn’t as cut and dry. If you’re going to a Halloween party you would definitely wear a costume. If you’re taking your kids trick-o-treating you might wear a costume. And if you’re going to the doctor’s office to have them look at a questionable mole, you might not want to wear a costume. But I’m not going to a Halloween party, my wife is the one who takes the kids trick-o-treating, and I have no questions about any of my moles, so for me there is no clear cut answer. I’ll go with “yes” simply so that I can answer question number two.

Okay, so now that we know I’ll wear a costume, what should I wear? I’m not crazy about traditional Halloween costumes like ghosts, vampires, and devils. I’m not going to do the super hero thing, because I don’t want to steal my kids’ thunder.  And I refuse to wear an Obama or Romney mask because I don’t want to terrify babies and small dogs. No, I prefer more subtle costumes like a math tutor, or an account representative, or a proofreader. You know, the kind of costume that drives people crazy for hours trying to figure out what you’re supposed to be. My other option is to dress up like a Fig Newton—I really like Fig Newtons.

As for the third question, the answer is “no.” No matter how much thought I give to my finances the closest I’ll ever come to owning a mansion and a yacht is to dress up like Warren Buffett. Hmmm...now that’s a pretty subtle costume.