We were prepared unusually early for Halloween this year.

Each fall we celebrate the appearance of a Halloween superstore in town.  Last year I learned the hard way that two adults are crucial to a successful (i.e. not leaving with a blinding headache) experience in this store.  Two kids, pulling in two different directions, looking for two costumes – the infallible logic of having two adults present escaped me in 2014, but not this time around.

This year, instead of pretending I didn’t notice the enormous NOW OPEN! sign out front, I dragged BrightSide along when the kids wanted to get their costumes.  In September.  For the love.

As a bonus for being an early bird, I had the chance to witness an extraordinarily entertaining parenting moment (at least it was entertaining for me).  For reasons surpassing all understanding, a couple with two youngish boys had decided to patronize this particular store and gave their kids free rein to pick their costumes.  Now, this place had a decent age appropriate selection of superheroes and job-related costumes, but of course one of the boys picked some sort of grim reaper/ghoul costume with a scary mask.  Typical Halloween stuff, especially in a store that specializes in the holiday.

The dad was not pleased, though, thus launching the Halloween oration of 2015 in which the gentleman tried to explain to his six-year-old son why he couldn’t have this costume after all.  (Let me point out here that it isn’t his individual stance on Halloween costumes that perplexed me.  It was that they’d chosen to shop in THIS store given their beliefs.) He was using words like “gory” and “dark” and “evil.”  That the costume represented “death” and “darkness.”  And then the final nail in the coffin: “This isn’t the costume for you.  Because you’re not an evil boy.”  Translation?  Go pick out a fireman’s outfit and let’s go.

(Meanwhile, my kid’s over there trying on evil clown masks.  But whatever.)

At any rate, this little scene was just a minor diversion from our primary goal: locate and purchase a Halloween costume for both kids, because there was no way in hell I’d be coming back in here again this year.

That sounds simple, right?  Divide and conquer.  BrightSide and T-man left for the Boys section (helpfully labelled with a gigantic BOYS sign on the wall) while Bear and I ventured into the Girls area.   We figured we’d be out of there in fifteen minutes, tops.

Except not.

I’m not sure who’s designing these costumes, but apparently they’ve decided girls fall into two categories for dress-up:  princess and flirty (inching toward sexy in the tween sizes) costumes.  There’s usually a third character category – High School Musical, Teen Beach Movie, or Monster High have been big ones – but that’s pretty much it.  There’s your Girls selection.

Princesses.  Sexy witches, pirates, and devils.  Zombie brides.

(To be fair, I checked out this company online and they do offer a wider selection there.  There are still plenty of inappropriately sexy outfits for young girls, but at least they HAVE an “Occupation and Military” category.  Even so, all three police officer costumes have cute little skirts and knee-high boots.  The only one you could consider a “win” is the doctor costume, which consists of pink scrubs and a white doctor’s coat.)

Bear and I gave it a fair shake.  We walked through each of the aisles, reviewing her options, before Bear called a halt to the whole thing.

“Forget it.  I’m going to the Boys section.”

That’s my girl.