The Teal Pumpkin Project: No Pressure Man, But, Like, It Would Be Cool If You Did

The Teal Pumpkin Project: No Pressure Man, But, Like, It Would Be Cool If You Did

On my 30th birthday I got to go see Louis C.K. perform live with about 20 of my best friends from college. It was pretty sweet. At the end of his act, he did his now infamous “Of course… But maybe” bit about kids with nut allergies. We all laughed. I laughed. I felt ashamed, but I still laughed. Fast forward two years and that no good bitch karma caught up with me — my daughter was diagnosed with a peanut allergy.

After that, I did a 180. I went from feeling like a complete ban on peanuts at schools was overkill, to being so thankful it exists. While my daughter is well aware of her allergy, and will avoid anything she knows contains peanuts or peanut butter, she could easily mistake a peanut butter cookie for a sugar cookie and end up in a very scary situation. I know it sucks for everyone else. I get it. But it helps me feel much more at ease when I drop her off every morning. So I’m grateful to those who follow the rule, even if they do it begrudgingly.

I really hate being one of those moms – the allergy mom.

I really hate being one of those moms — the allergy mom. I have to bring it up at birthday parties, play dates, and restaurants. If you ask my husband, he’ll tell you that one of the most painful things for me to do is ask for special treatment. I don’t like asking for help, special favors, or to be made an exception. I hate to haggle. Just tell me the price, and I’ll pay it, because that’s fair to everyone. I know, I’m a wimp. So when I have to jump in as someone is handing my daughter a treat, “That doesn’t have peanuts, does it?!” I do a full body cringe and recoil shamefully. “Sorry,” I think to myself. “I’m not trying to be a pain.” But I do it because I have to. It’s a better alternative to spending 20 minutes begging her to take some Benadryl as a rash spreads across her cheeks, or even worse, having to stab her with her EpiPen.

I feel this way partly because allergy moms get such a bad wrap. Most of us are normal people, but then there are people like this asshat:

Allergy FlyerYou’ve probably seen this flyer already as it’s making its way across social media today. I can’t think of a worse way to get people on your side than to chastise them for giving out candy most people like and can eat. We took Biscuit trick-or-treating last year, and yeah, she got a few Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Snickers bars. But she also got plenty of Skittles, Starbursts, Hershey’s, and even a few small toys. When we got home, I said, “Ok, I need to go through your bag and remove all the best candy for my mommy stash stuff with peanuts in it.” You know what she said? “Yuck! I don’t like peanuts.” Devastated, she was not. She knows what peanuts do to her, so she’s totally cool with giving that stuff up. Whoever posted this flyer sounds like a narcissistic drama queen douche bag (pardon my French).

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This year, I heard about the Teal Pumpkin Project, and thought, “Hey, that’s cool!” We’re participating this year, and here’s how I did it: Step 1, I went to Target (enter at your own risk) and I bought a bunch of candy. I also bought a couple bags from the peanut and gluten-free section (yes, Target sells assorted allergen-free bags of non-gross candy in a very prominent and well-labeled section). Finally, I grabbed a bag of assorted mini Play-Dohs for kids that just can’t have candy at all. I also bought a pumpkin and a bottle of teal acrylic paint. Step 2, I painted the pumpkin teal (which was fun!) and placed it on my doorstep so the allergy parents know they can get some allergen-free stuff at my house. Pretty simple.

If you can grab some allergen-free candy or toys, that would be totally boss.

So here’s what I’ll ask: If you can grab some allergen-free candy or toys, that would be totally boss. it’s an easy way to show kindness to someone who has been deprived of the glory that is a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. Paint a pumpkin teal so we know where to find you. Or don’t. Maybe you just don’t have the time because, shit, you got a life of your own. That’s cool; we’ll knock on your door anyway.

A Totally Basic Guide to Halloween

Halloween is no joke. It’s go big or go home. I put hours and hours into piecing together my costume every year. That’s the fun part. If you are one of the people who just buys a costume every year, you are missing the point. However, if you insist on being completely lame, I’ve created a quick, handy guide just for you. Feel free to print it, laminate it, and tuck it just inside your Uggs (because your legging don’t have any pockets, duh!).

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All basic costumes are not created equal; some are basic-er than others. Here are a few of the worst offenders:

“Classics” (a.k.a. Generics)

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Here’s a test: If you are telling someone about your costume, and you say, “I’m going to be a ________,” you’ve probably picked something basic. A firefighter. An astronaut. A nurse. A pirate. A bore.

These costumes are particularly painful to see because with just a couple of small tweaks they could easily be used as the foundation for a specific, original costume. Don’t just be a criminal – add a name tag and a wig and be Piper Chapman from Orange is the New Black. Don’t just be a priest – cary a pan of ziti and be Father Intintola from The Sopranos. Don’t just be a rockstar – tie one arm behind your back and be Rick Allen.

90% Sex / 10% Costume

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I’m going to go out on a limb here (but honestly, not a very long limb) and say that sexy costumes are not inherently a bad thing. Do women use Halloween as an excuse to dress a little (or a lot) sluttier than they normally would? Absolutely. Is that a crime? No, not really. I mean, I get it. Everyone wants to be hot sometimes. Everyone wants to know that if they wanted to they could reveal all they’ve got, and they’d get a positive response. Halloween is one night a year to get that validation, and then go back to life as usual. So go for it. Wear a tight bodysuit and a push-up bra.

But don’t forget to have a brain, too. There are way, way, way too many costumes that are far more about the sex, and not enough about the costume. They don’t even remotely resemble what they’re supposed to be. That’s not a peacock. It’s a peacock themed cocktail dress. You’re a panda, huh? I didn’t know pandas shaved that much of their body. Oh, you’re a bag of Skittles? It’s been a while since I’ve had some, but I don’t remember them having tits and ass. Wait, let me guess: You’re a unicorn! It was the white thigh-highs that gave it away. Unicorns always wear thigh-highs.

Hey, you know what’s better than a hot chick? A hot chick with brains and a sense of humor. So put in a little effort and come up with something that shows off who you are and what you’ve got.

Humor in a Bag

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I think there is a male version of the “sexy ______” costume, though fortunately less prevalent. You can find them in the Humor section at Spirit. If you are completely void of original humor, but you want people to think you’re “the funny guy,” you can pick one of these. They usually involve a pun and/or a reference to genitalia. Also, farts.

Ears and a Tail Do Not a Costume Make

Ears and a Tail“I’m a cat!”

“I’m a devil!”

“I’m a bunny!”

“I’m a fox!”

No. You are just YOU in a tight dress.

“But I even drew on whiskers!”

No. Just no.

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Last Year’s Jokes

Last Years JokesBe careful with topical humor. If it was really funny last year, it will be super lame this year. So don’t even think about it. However, if you really want to plan ahead, you can buy it now and hang onto it for a decade. When you pull that thing out of nowhere in 10 years it will be HILARIOUS.

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In fact, it has been scientifically proven that the funniness of social and political references follows this basic pattern:

Topical Costumes

So go forth and dress up. Make the most of the best holiday of the year.