On the cusp of Halloweekend 2022, I am plenty spooked by all the scary stuff going on in the world. But in spite of the slings and arrows of — social, political, economic, environmental — life, I can't help but feel gratitude for the outrageous fortune of Halloween.

Halloween offers so much and asks so little in return. Make sure to inspect your children's candy — it might include a surprisingly palatable commercialization of seasonal pagan worship that nonetheless rewards creativity, irreverence and pedestrian infrastructure.

To quote Karen (the character, not the caricature) from Mean Girls (the musical, not the movie),

If I could change the world
I'd make it Halloween
Every single day
And also have world peace
Maybe world peace should be first
World peace and then Halloween

I agree with Judah and his friends that it would be worth foregoing a day of summer break to get a the day after Halloween off school. I'm less enthusiastic about Super Bowl Monday. But boychick can do no wrong sweeping the clouds away with this throwback costume.

Even if he passed up an impressive alternative.

Presented with the perennial group-costume conundrum — co-cowgirl or cow? — Phoebe made an udderly good choice, especially for weatherproof  hoofing for candy (no tree nuts please) and mooving around at pre-Halloween dance class.

Did I buy myself a #1 Dad T-shirt recently? Yes, I did. Did I earn it after dance this week? Also yes:

Judah vs. Phoebe
There's no wrong time of year to revisit this and remember that competition is healthy. That said, I stand by the tie between Ted Lasso and Frida Kahlo.

In Which I Rate and Rank My Children Based on their Halloween Costumes
by Ben Falik

BOOrgman Avenue
This! This is what Phoebe sees out her bedroom window for the month of October, plus a week or two on either end.

And this was the the last time I ever saw Judah.

Post Script: Sweatin' to the Oldies
Like the great candy debates from time immemorial — Necco Wafers vs. Whiz Bar, etc. — reasonble minds will differ on the what makes a most compelling costume. With all due admiration for costumes that take months to source and hours to assemble, I submit Day-Of Costumes, 2022 Edition. Every element was found somewhere in our house with the exception of the Lunch at the Ritz earrings, from my in-laws'/1987, and the Ultimate Edit Mini Eyeshadow Palette.