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Pop Culture

Gen X mom shares what it was like trick-or-treating in an ‘80s ‘garbage bag’ costume

Every Gen Xer can relate.

Halloween '80s, Gen X Halloween, Halloween costumers

Kelly Manno explains the '80s "garbage bag" costume.

In 2023, Americans are expected to spend more than $12 billion on Halloween and more say they will participate in the holiday than ever before. While it may seem like Americans have always gone all out during the spooky season, things used to be simpler.

Anyone who is a Gen Xer will remember that, for most kids, Halloween meant going to the local drug store and picking a vinyl Halloween costume off the rack that cost $3. For that, you got a vinyl jumpsuit that smelled like paint and a plastic mask held on by a string, and you loved it.

TikTok’s unofficial Gen X ambassador, Kelly Manno, remembered those good times in a recently posted video with over 4 million views. She shared what it was like to go trick-or-treating in a "garbage bag" costume with little ventilation that made a “woosh-woosh” sound when you walked.


“The eye holes in those masks never lined up with your actual eyes. We would push our tongue through the slit in the mask. We'd cut our tongue, but then we'd keep doing it again because we were, like, eating it up with, like, OCD and ADD, and nobody cared,” she joked.

She also noted that the costumes weren’t all that safe.

@kellymanno

In the 70s and 80s we trick or treated in garbage bags. We couldnt see out our masks, or breathe, but that didnt matter. It was the best night ever. #genx #oldermillennial #xennial #halloween #nostalgia #80skid #feralchildren #90skid #kellymanno

“Our parents took about three or four pictures of us a year, and Halloween was always one of them,” Manno explained. “You knew before you went out trick-or-treating, you had to line up with your cousins in front of the fireplace in your highly flammable costume with your mom, chain-smoking Virginia Slims like, ‘Say trick-or-treat!’”

The most popular manufacturer of these vinyl costumes from the ‘60s to the ‘80s was Ben Cooper. Sadly, after people began to demand higher-quality costumes in the late ‘80s and adults started to join in the fun, it couldn't get with the times and was purchased by Rubie's Costume Co., which dissolved the company.

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@racheleehiggins/TikTok

Want out of a relationship rut? The Three hour night might be the perfect solution.

Almost every long term relationship suffers from a rut eventually. That goes especially for married partners who become parents and have the added responsibility of raising kids. Maintaining a connection is hard enough in this busy, fast paced world. Top it off with making sure kids are awake, dressed, entertained, well fed, oh yeah, and alive…and you best believe all you have energy for at the end of the day is sitting on the couch barely making it through one episode on Netflix.

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There's nothing different about these particular seats other than the airline sort of randomly selects your seat and if you're traveling alone, that's really not a bad deal. The risk gets to be a little higher if you're traveling with a party that you'd like to keep together - like your children. One mom took the risk and banked on a stranger accommodating...that's not quite how it played out.

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Mom shocked when boomer mother-in-law refuses to be called grandma and demands royal title

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via Eviekizmet/TikTok and RDNE Stock project/Pexels

This mother-in-law will not be called "grandma."

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A new mother who goes by the name EvieKizmet on the platform shared the story on January 6 and it received nearly 2 million views.

It all started when she and her husband asked her mother-in-law to choose the name she would use as a grandparent. Using a fake name as an example, she said that her mother-in-law chose “Mama Smith” and that didn't sit well with the mother. “Because realistically, a child is not going to call you by 2 names and it's going to be shortened to Mama. I'm a mama. Not you," she said.

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Mental Health

Man receives phone call from deceased father, proving that grief is like glitter

"Grief is like glitter. You never know when it's going to show up sometimes."

Man's phone call from deceased dad is lesson on grief

Grief is such a strong emotion that most people don't exit this earth having skipped the experience. When grieving the loss of a loved one in the early days, the grief can be so strong that it feels like physical pain. You may start to believe that you've cried so much that there must be something medically wrong with you for your body to still be producing tears. There's no placating cliché about grief that can make the early moments of it more tolerable.

But as people move past the active grieving stage, it contorts itself into something more tolerable that allows you to continue daily obligations before it changes again. Once years pass, grief becomes sort of like a silent passenger holding a jack-in-the-box. You find yourself having full on belly laughs again, feeling quite normal when suddenly out pops that dang clown from the depths of the box.

One man took to his TikTok account, dadchats, to share his experience with a surprise moment of grief for his father that passed away three years prior. It's the perfect depiction of the realities of grieving a profound loss.


"Last night my dead father called me on his cellphone," he starts the video. "It's 9:30 p.m. and I'm watching the Packers vs Taylor Swift game when all of a sudden my phone goes off and for the past five months if I get a call that late at night it's either about a vehicle warranty or it's about getting more printer ink."

The grieving son jokes about not having a printer before explaining how his deceased father called him. Turns out, it wasn't his father, likely much to is relief and simultaneous disappointment. The call was from his mother who never stopped paying for his father's phone unbeknownst to the man picking his heart up off of the floor after seeing "dad" pop up on his phone screen. He explains that his mother only ever calls him from her home phone so this call was sort of a jump scare of the worst kind.

@dadchats

Grief still knows my number

The man got emotional talking about the deep yearning you feel when missing a parent who has passed away. He revealed that his dad dying was a fear he had since childhood due to how old his father was when he was born so he stocked up on voicemails to avoid forgetting his dad's voice. After a few more tear filled moments, the grieving son gives a bit of advice.

"If you're struggling, especially just out of the blue, that's ok, that happens. That's normal, just sit in it. Grieve with it, feel it. It doesn't go away I don't think, it certainly hasn't for me, it still feels as fresh today as it did three years ago."

Viewers of his heartfelt video flocked to the comments to leave words of encouragement and to detail their own experiences with grief. It was truly a moment of what community can look like online.

"Your[sic] absolutely right that the first thing you forget is the sound of their voice! I so badly wish I could still hear the sound of my mom's voice," one person writes.

"Hits home! I called my dad every night for years and kept picking up the phone for months only to remember he won't answer," another admits.

"Grief is like glitter. You never know when it's going to show up, sometimes," someone relates.

That commenter is right, grief is like glitter. No matter how long ago you handled glitter you'll still find little sparkly flecks of it every where you go.