No Goodwill Hunting, but Holy Harley, Batman!

Happy Monday, everyone! Hope you had a share of the awesome fall weather we had here! It was windows open and just a touch of fall in the air! Love it!

Normally, I would have spent a good part of my weekend hitting up all my local Goodwill and thrift stores, but not this weekend. So, now, of course, I’m sitting here thinking that the most awesome whatzit ever was there and someone else got it! LOL

And why wasn’t I out snatching up all the awesome finds?

My awesome, crazy, lovely, super-busy daughter – that’s why!

Among her seemingly unending list of school activities, clubs, hobbies, and interests, one of the biggest is her interest in cosplay (definition provided in the link). It covers of whole range of her other hobbies – acting, costuming, comics, fashion, sewing – pretty much you name it. We have spent much of the last several weekends helping her get her costume and accessories together.

Backstory: All summer – and I mean ALL summer – the girl child worked to save up her money to buy her first “official” cosplay costume, a custom-made article of promised perfection. These things aren’t cheap and, being only thirteen, there aren’t many opportunities to earn the big bucks. Her absolute most-favorite thing in the world is working at our local Renaissance Faire with my best friend, “Aunt” Lisa. She volunteers and gets to keep any tips she makes, but honestly, she would probably pay them just to let her be there. LOL Here she is at “work” and with her friends, “Captain Jack Sparrow” and “Captain Barbossa”:

Her costume for RenFaire is all put together by her. The corset was a gift, but everything else she either bought at the fair or made herself!
So, when dates for Archon, a local fantasy/science fiction convention, were announced, the girl-child knew exactly who she wanted to go as: Harley Quinn, one of her favorite characters from Batman, her favorite comic book.
And thus began the summer of intense research, never-ending discussions, and planning. She pored over costume websites, squirreling away every penny she made through her various odd-jobs, until she found the “perfect” Harley costume, made to order – for $120. My jaw hit the floor. But, she had her money and she was all set to go.
The “perfect” costume was duly ordered. The girl-child was down to about $40 left for spending money. But, she was beyond excited! She had The Hubster make her a Harley Quinn pop-gun, using a regular squirt gun, a cork lid from a jar, and a small coffee can. When it was done, she deemed it “perfect,” as well. Her best friend, who was going with her, had her Poison Ivy costume ready to go. She was all set.
Then, we got The Email.
The “perfect” costume would not arrive in time. The email assured us it would arrive for Halloween. But NOT in time for Archon. The devastation on the girl-child’s face broke my heart. She cried for a good half hour. Her very first “official” cosplay event was doomed, ruined, no longer perfect. A summer’s worth of work wasted, etc.
I had to fix this with no time left.
Once I got her calmed down, I told her I would buy her a backup costume from our local year-round Halloween/costume/party supply store. They have some pretty top-notch costumes. While it wouldn’t be “perfect”, it would make it so she could go and have fun at the event with her bestie and meet up with some of her friends from RenFaire, I argued.
I have to give her credit. After she had her cry, she pulled herself together, decided to try to make the best of it, and allowed us to help. (You have to understand, she’s extremely independent for thirteen – wants to do everything on her own.)
We went and bought the costume. It fit great, the hat was not great at all, the design was slightly wrong (which, I guess, is important if you are a Batman fanatic), but it was good enough. She decided she couldn’t let her friends down, so she hugged me and thanked me and put on her best face.

That picture I took with Instagram before they left. She didn’t wear the hat, because it was really bad. You can get a good look at the DIY pop-gun there that The Hubster made. He really outdid himself!
My husband drove the girls to the convention and played chaperone all day. He called me on the way home with the results. I held my breath.
The Hubster said that Girl-Child spent the whole day being stopped and asked to pose for pictures! Kids were running up and hugging her! Her friends who didn’t know of “The Great Disaster” thought she looked awesome! Even the official photographer took her picture!

All the Batman characters even staged a mock battle outside, and they requested that Girl-Child Harley and her bestie, Poison Ivy, join in! The Hubster managed to catch part of on his cell phone.

So, the Most Important Weekend EVER was saved. Her special order costume is still on its way. She will wear it for Halloween and to future cosplay events. She’s planning on selling her backup costume to pay me back (not necessary as far as I’m concerned, but it’s fine).
But, most importantly, she learned that it wasn’t the costume that would make it perfect – it was the friends and camaraderie and the help from family. I know she learned that, because she told me.
So, all in all, money well spent, I think.
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