Quiz: How compulsive are you? (Halloween costume edition)


Halloween is coming, and you want to get costumes for your 2 kids. How do you go about getting their costumes?

    A: Don’t stress about it. You’ll figure something out from things you have around the house.

    B: Pick up something at the store that will fit. There are plenty of inexpensive new or used costumes, and your kids are so young that they probably could be talked into liking just about any of them. If you wait till a day or two before Halloween, you can find something really cheap.

    C: Find out what your kids want to be several weeks in advance, and order something online.

    D: Decide on a theme for your kids’ costumes months before Halloween based on some accessory you’d gotten on sale a couple of years before, and plant the seed of the idea in your kids’ heads so that they think they want to be those things. Decide that you want to make as much of their costumes as you can. Less than a week before Halloween, buy a sewing machine, even though you haven’t used one since junior high. Figure out how to use it, including doing types of things that you’d never even done in home ec. classes. Spend a bit of time each night working out the design of a costume. The night before you plan to use the costumes, stay up past 2 in the morning. Work for a couple more hours the next day getting ready for your afternoon departure to a place where the kids will be in costume, including stitching on some proper straps to the accessory you’d bought a couple years ago because the glue is coming apart and one of the cheap plastic straps has already come loose. Continue to work on the other costume in the passenger seat on your way to the Halloween event, sewing on embellishments until your fingers are so sore and tired that you drop a needle in your lap while trying to thread it just one more time, and then spend the rest of the ride trying to find the damn needle, and convincing yourself that you will either be sitting on it, or poking a small child with it in the near future. Spend even more time finishing up the costume the next day, and then make a costume for yourself while your youngest child is napping. In the end, you are still vaguely unsatisfied, because there are a few details you never found time for, and getting kids to cooperate for photos is really tricky, so none of it looks quite how you imagined it anyhow.

How did you answer? Please match your answers to the evaluations below.

    A: While some may call you lazy, others envy your ability to keep things in perspective, be laid back, and not spend crazy amounts of time on something that will only be worn for a couple of hours.

    B: You are both sane and prepared. You probably get all of your work done on time, and still have time to relax in the evenings. Others probably resent you for this.

    C: You are moderately compulsive, but as long as you don’t spend countless hours or insane amounts of money to find “just the right thing,” you are not certifiable.

    D: You are freakin’ insane. Don’t you know you have an abstract due in just a few weeks? Put down the needle and thread and get back to your research.


The beautiful butterfly.


Caterpillar and butterfly. (Photo by John.)


Caterpillar and plant. (Photo by John.)


So over it.

John has posted a few more photos on Flickr, too, if you want to see more. (See, for example this, this, this, this and this.)

16 responses to “Quiz: How compulsive are you? (Halloween costume edition)

  1. Those are GORGEOUS costumes! I know I’m totally being an enabler here, but well done!

  2. You got a sewing machine! Excellent. I love the photos. I love-love-love that first pic of Phoebe from John’s Flickr page. It’s perfect. And Phoebe and Theo’s faces in the bugs and plants photo are priceless. (And, of course I chose D … because D is the story of my entire life. Like the fact that I bought a ton of fabric on Saturday that I am somehow imagining I will turn into a new wardrobe before I get on the train to DC next weekend.)

  3. I love the costumes! But Phoebe doesn’t quite look like she appreciates all the effort you went to…

  4. Oh Phoebe’s face! She is so cute

  5. I did a combination of A, B, and C. I let the kids choose what they wanted to be (a devil and Mario from Mario Bros.), fumed that they wanted to start working on the costumes in August, finally agreed to go to the thrift store and the craft store, cobbled the stuff together in the first half of September and didn’t think about it again. Now if you want to put together a quiz about pumpkin selection and carving, we might give you a run for your money.

    And it hardly mattered because we saw FOUR OTHER KIDS LAST NIGHT. What the heck is that? Halloween on a school night cannot be the problem, because it’s on a school night five times out of seven.

  6. Awesome costumes. If you weren’t doing something insane for Halloween, it wouldn’t be the same. :)

    Now, did Theo actually chew the holes in your leaves? Did you go that extra mile for authenticity?

  7. CRAZY IMPRESSIVE. Well done! But feel free to cut yourself some slack next year. :)

  8. Everyone has a thing, right? You needed a creative project to blow off some steam. Why not throw yourself into something that’ll make you crazy if it leaves you feeling at least vaguely satisfied in the end?

  9. there’s some pretty cool symbolism in you being the plant that the caterpillar must eat to turn into the butterfly.

    and they do look amazing.

    now go get some sleep.

  10. I am sorry for laughing at your LONG description of D. I wonder which one you were. ;-) The costumes look FANTASTIC! Esp. the caterpillar. I have never ever seen anything quite like it. You made magic happen! You should be proud. :-)

  11. Those are amazing! Well done, insane woman.

  12. Love love love these! And yes, you are freaking insane:D

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