More book tour memories coming soon, including the story of how I got to finally meet Jen Wiener, the woman whose email address is one measley letter away from mine (which means that I accidentally receive her invitations to neighborhood luaus and she accidentally gets my urgent emails about the Today show).

Plus, an appreciation of Mary Gaitskill, a writer I admire tremendously, and who should not be as broke as the New York Times Sunday Styles makes her out to be.

But first: a Halloween update.

For the past three months, Lucy has been obsessed with Peter Pan.

It started when cousin Olivia brought the video. Lucy saw it -- her first-ever Disney movie -- and was entranced.

Once the video was gone Lu would reject her usual assortment of books. "Say Peter Pan," she'd instruct, and I'd tell her the story of Peter and Wendy and Captain Hook and Tinkerbell.

My friend found a Tinkerbell screen saver. Lu was delighted. "Tinkabell, it's YOU!"

Then we got the Disney storybook (Lu sprinted across the Barnes & Noble once she spotted it and said, in the fond tones you'd use to greet a long-lost friend, "Oh, Peter Pan, THERE YOU ARE!")

Next came the soundtrack. Lucy quickly memorized the words to all of the songs and walks around singing vigorously, "following the weader, the weader, the weader, following the weader, wherezzer her may go." (We're still working on the "l" and "z" sounds).

So when it came time to choose a Halloween costume, there was not a doubt as to what we'd pick. I packed Lucy off to the Disney store where she selected a Tinkerbell costume, green Tink shoes, a pair of wings and a pixie-dust wand; plus a Tinkerbell nightgown to tide her over until October 31.

Whenever anyone would ask, "Who are you going to be for Halloween?" Lucy would proudly announce, "I gonna be Tinkabell!"

When it came time to pack for book tour, I said, "Lucy, what should we pack for you?"

"Tinkabell nightgown, Tinkabell wings, Tinkabell costume."

"Do you want to maybe bring something that's non-Tink related?"

"I don't fink so."

So we loaded up her suitcase with Tink merch and headed off to the airport ("Off to Nezzerland!" said Lu).

Then, on Monday, I finally pulled the tags off the long-admired Tinkerbell costume and presented it to Lucy. "Look, it's time to dress up!"

She shook her head. "I don't want it."


"Lucy, it's Tink!" I said, pointing to the little pendant on front of the outfit with said pixie's portrait. "Tinkerbell! You love her!"

She shook her head again. "No fanks."

I tried to pull on her tights. She kicked and screamed. I demonstrated the costume's many appealling features. She kicked harder and screamed louder. I took a deep breath.

"So you don't want to be Tinkerbell?"

"No fanks."

"Are you sure?"

"I'm sure."

"What do you want to wear?"

"I don't want to wear ANYFING."


I don't have what you'd call a parenting philosophy, but I do believe in picking your battles, and I wasn't going to fight to cram my child into a Tinkerbell costume when she'd clearly decided she wanted no part of it.

Finally, I put her in jeans and a shirt, grabbed some dress-up stuff that we have lying around, and took her to the neighborhood parade, where I was finally able to convince her to put a flowered lei around her neck and pull a purple tutu over her pants.

So, in a sea of adorable bears and tiny pumpkins and pirates and sunflowers and princesses, my child went trick-or-treating dressed as....drunk sorority girl.

And I'm stuck with a never-worn Tinkerbell costume that I sincerely doubt is going to fit her next year.