All around me people are talking about the goodies they are baking and the costumes they are making for Halloween. I have posted several times about my trials and tribulations in the kitchen, most recently, in the little series I did on The making of an incompetent cook. When I was at school, girls studied cooking and sewing as part of a subject called Domestic Science, whilst boys could take woodwork. I always thought that this was unfair. I would have liked to learn how to make things other than food that never seemed to turn out as it should, and clothes that I would never wear. Why I thought I would be better at carpentry I do not know.
I learnt to knit, crochet and sew when I was very young. I enjoyed knitting and made clothes for my dolls as well as stuffed toys from simple patterns in magazines. I moved on to sewing, again with some success. My parents bought me a sewing machine and I made bean bags for myself and friends as well as toys and a few things to wear. My attempts at dressmaking did not turn out as well as the other items I produced. The clothes would hang strangely or be tight where I preferred comfort. I think that I was making for the body I wanted to have rather than the body I had.
When my children were little I was expected to produce outfits for them on themed dress up days, for school drama productions or church nativities. These rarely turned out as I had envisaged. I had neither the skill nor the imagination to produce the amazing creations that other mothers seemed to manage. I was so happy when I discovered that I could buy character dress up clothes from the chain stores on the high street. Despite the obvious, social benefits, I dreaded my children gaining parts in plays.
When they moved on to secondary school I decided that, if dressing up for a themed day was desired, then they could sort out their own outfits. This successfully put paid to their participation. Feeling a tad guilty and a bit of a killjoy, I patted myself on the back for getting through a phase that had caused me such stress, and consigned it to the past.
Except now I have a fangirl who wants to cosplay.
For those who do not know, the latest film in the Disney/Marvel franchise, Thor: The Dark World, opens in the UK on 30th October, just in time for Halloween. Along with Supernatural, Sherlock and Doctor Who, my daughter is quietly obsessed with the Avengers. Actually, that is not strictly accurate as her focus is on their nemesis, played by the rather cute (if someone so tall can be described in this way) Tom Hiddleston.
As soon as they became available, my daughter went on line and bought cinema tickets for the opening night of this film for herself and a group of like minded friends. If she can get the costume sorted in time, she hopes to dress as Loki.
Take a look at this character. I am being asked to assist in creating a look that is more than a simple dress up. To be fair, the trickiest and most important elements to get right will be the helmet and the staff which contains the mind gem that Loki uses to focus his power (I suspect my daughter would quite enjoy indulging in a bit of mind control). Elder son has been tasked with creating these; I am merely being asked to sort out a few items of clothing. Still, I cannot help but fear another blanket clad shepherd or sheet clad urchin (dress up disasters from their younger years). The simplified ideas that I have in my head rarely look as good as I had hoped in reality.
My daughter’s fangirling has introduced us all to fictional characters that we had not paid much attention to in the past but can now enjoy. Thanks to Tumblr and Fan Fiction she can interact with others around the world who share her obsessions. Closer to home she has found a niche in which she is comfortable and I am happy to encourage her participation. I still dread having to help produce an outfit though.
Ultimately, this is my daughter’s responsibility. She is asking for a little support and I will comply. I hope that she is happy with whatever is put together, and gains pleasure from her cosplay. I also harbour a hope that this is not the beginning of a new phase. It is lovely to see my daughter burdened with glorious purpose, doing what she wants; I do not wish to be the parent who lets her down.
Oh, and if you happen to meet her out and about over the Halloween holidays? Don’t forget to kneel…