I Might Be Scared of These Families

It’s possible that I’m about to make some enemies.  But I’m sorry — can we talk about matching family outfits today?

To clarify, I don’t mean matching or coordinating your kids’ outfits with one other.  Fine, fine, that’s kind of cute. Until they are old enough to protest and then demand, perhaps through a Cease & Desist Order obtained on Legalzoom.com/sue-my-parents, a sweep of your photo hard drive.  And all Facebook images to which they did not consent.  And then they present you with a release form that must be used going forward for all electronic use of their likeness.

{Remember when it was easier just to burn embarrassing photos?}

So, the kids matching.  I get that. It’s not for me, but mainly because, frankly, I’m just not that organized.  And I  think my kids are already predisposed to suing me because of this blog.

What I really mean is family matching.  Parents and kids.  Together.

Oooooohhhhhh, that.

{Right about now, I’ve begun to lose readers.  But come on, stick with me here.}

Hanna Andersson, I’m looking at you.  Queen of the Family Matching Catalogs.

Image credit: Hanna Andersson


I have a few thoughts here.

1)  Yeah, yeah, I know, there’s a Christmas Pajama Loophole for people who don’t normally family-match.  I’ve heard this is the exception.  OK, I’ll buy that.  I do crazy shit around Christmas too.

2)  This dog is clearly way more subservient than my dog.  Because, as you may know, I have certain legal limitations I’m obligated to follow after his post-Halloween rant last year.  So, this would not cut it with a certain ornery pug who lives under my roof.

3)  Obviously the dad in this photo has recently been caught having a torrid affair.  Presumably, in the act.  Because there is no other logical reason, apart from extreme penance, why he would submit to this family matchery.  Oh wait, he’s just an actor?  In that case, can you imagine the fucking earful he just gave his agent after realizing what “holiday modeling” gig he was booked for?

4)  The kid on the left clearly knows about her dad’s affair — and possibly has damning proof that she’s holding onto as part of her pre-tween angst phase.  It’s evident that she has threatened to go public with said evidence unless her parents let her wear the non-stripe-set and spread her non-conformist wings.

5)  I just hope, for everyone’s sake, that the gift boxes behind the couch don’t contain matching formal wear for Christmas dinner.  But we all know that they do.

6)  How does the mom keep her hair color so fresh while raising five kids?

7)  Why did she have five kids with this guy if he was cheating on her?  Did she know all along, or just recently?


But what really got me started on this topic was the arrival of today’s Pottery Barn Kids catalog.  As you may have seen, I do love a good rant about the unattainable perfection of the PBK Catalog Family, and I refuse to let them live on my street.

Really, we all know it’s just me projecting my feelings of parental inadequacy brought on by PBK.  It’s the same reason I yell about Martha Stewart and Real Simple Magazine.

So I’m flipping through the Halloween section tonight {because, you know, let’s not get through mid-August without marketing Halloween}.  And there it is.

The Family Costume Section.

Can we just review the options for a minute?


Level One:  Generally harmless.  Completely silly, but harmless.

The Chef Family Costume:  Yeah, this is borderline OK.  I would still give you candy if you showed up at my door like this.  But we’re not hanging out at the next block party.

Image credit: Pottery Barn Kids


The Sushi Family Costume:  This is blue ribbon costume contest material right here.  If you enter family costume contests.  I just want to know if there’s a wasabi add-on if the kid starts behaving badly.

Image credit: Pottery Barn Kids


Level Two:  On the border of Crazytown

The Chicken Family Costume:  Vegan friends, beware.  You are not the target audience.  Hell, I am a happy consumer of eggs and I’m not even the target audience.  Because, PBK, I’m not going around my block dressed like a goddamned fried egg.  At least, for $69, dress me like Eggs Benedict.  Preferably with a side of lox.

Image credit: Pottery Barn Kids


Under the Sea Family Costume:  We’re starting to see some real female rage here.  Note that the mom is not even in costume.  She is so pissed at her husband (who looks eerily like our Hanna Andersson philanderer) that she has sent his ass out to manage the three kids trick-or-treating on his own.  While he wears a shark head and she splits four or five bottles of Pinot with her best girlfriends at the local bar.

Image credit: Pottery Barn Kids


Level Three:  Um.  I’m afraid of these people.  And not in a traditional Halloween way.

The Woodland Family Costume:  I am not often speechless.  But I’m going to let the official PBK description speak for itself on this one.  “Like characters from a storybook, these friendly woodland creatures come out of the forest to hunt for treats on Halloween night. Featuring faux fur and lush details, an owl and gnome watch over the group as they embark on their adventure. A sweet toadstool with a red cap springs out from the grass to join the fun. Wrapped in soft fleece, the little wily fox and baby owl stay warm in the crisp autumn weather.”  

Did you guys see the Olympic closing ceremonies?  Because I think the team who orchestrated that acid-laced mind trip stole the giant dose of illicit hallucinogenics from the PBK team in charge of this concept.















The Spooky Family Costume:  Well.  I think it’s pretty clear that these people will be filing for divorce imminently.  What else is left after this family photo?  In fact, see those smiles all looking with great anticipation in the same direction?  That’s the arrival of their lawyers in the driveway.

Image credit: Pottery Barn Kids

But, hey, don’t listen to me.  Because, as of tonight {again, in August}, the PBK website notes the above Dad-werewolf costume as “quantities are limited.”  Maybe because it includes paws.  For real.


I don’t know.  Maybe I haven’t thought this through.  It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been closed-minded.  I guess we would look good as Spooky Costume Family.  After all, the black witch costume is nice and slimming, and I wouldn’t have to wash my hair.  And let’s not rule out Under the Sea.  So I can sit at the bar and anticipate all the candy that comes home.

And before  you curse me out completely for my unfair outlook on family-matchery, I’ll leave you with this.

From Easter.

Shhhh — don’t tell my husband he was coordinating with our daughter.  Although I swear it wasn’t intentional, it seems that the subliminal seed has been planted.  The Woodland Family Costume could be just a matter of time for us.

As long as I get to be the gnome.

Did you like this? Share it:


  1. Teri says:

    HYSTERICAL! Thanks for the laugh (and that scary family shot looking at the lawyer arriving
    in their driveway made me spit out my coffee).


  2. Meet you at the bar?

    Agreed. I hate all these people. But I do take exception with the baby lobster costume. Who doesn’t like a baby lobster costume? I’m ok w/ the chefs b/c the lobster is so damn cute. The under the sea is just plain weird but I do love the baby turtle who looks completely miserable.

  3. Alexandra says:

    Those are all a lie.

    NOBODY does this.


    Oh, wait — the family that shrooms together does.

    Sorry, I take my first sentences back.


    • fordeville says:

      See, that explains it. Family shrooming.
      So wonderful to meet you at BlogHer! One of the best parts of my weekend, by far!

  4. You never cease to bring the funny, do you? OK, I have to say that no one is going to buy that stupid egg costume. No one. And the dad model in the shark head? Poor guy – you can tell he’s beyond embarrassed to be wearing that thing.

    I’ve never worn matchy costumes with my kids, and I never will. At least I hope I never will.

  5. Megan says:

    I actually wondered if kid on the left (I’m having troube distinguishing also) was actually a part of the famiy. Maybe the picture shows a lie, like family portraits do, where the real kid was all: “I’m not participating in that! I hate my life! I hate you!” and so, they borrowed a kid and threw them in a non-matching outfit because…well, I’m not sure.
    Or, perhaps kid on the left is going to be in therapy for years, for not fitting into the family and being referred to as kid on the left and other nicknames of the sort.

    • fordeville says:

      That kid is totally going to be in therapy, because she (?) is wondering if she (?) has any half brothers or sisters from her father’s affair. For starters.

    • Liz says:

      Or perhaps he was running amok from the blonde, curly-headed, printed pajama photo shoot next door, and ran onto the (mostly) brunette, striped pajama photo shoot…like “Ahh-haa…nobody will notice me if I am with the printed pajama family, but I’ll bet they notice me now!”

  6. This is just hilarious!! The chef/lobster one really kind of irks me a little bit more than it should…..I am not sure why LoL

    The only one of these photos that is even REMOTELY okay in my book is the very last one….It is KIND OF cute….in a creepy sort of way 🙂

    • fordeville says:

      Yeah, the last one is sort of OK until you see the alternate view (in the paper catalog version) of the paws. Completely creepy.

  7. Meredith says:

    This is one of the funniest posts EVER–so many incredible phrases that I’m in awe of “Christmas Pajama Loophole”, “the team who orchestrated that acid-laced mind trip”. ..No danger of “family matchery” here, as I simply will never get my crap together enough, but thanks for the insight in case my husband ever goes for that genre of lunacy–sure indication of an affair. Pinning, tweeting this post, as it’s so perfect.

  8. Raine says:

    Normally I would agree with you, but I live in Salem, MA, where all Halloween rules are thrown out. there is this one spooky family that walk completely silently through the city every year. I couldnt find a picture of them but here is a cute family photo (It is the last one on the page) http://activerain.com/blogsview/259674/halloween-in-salem-ma

  9. Erica says:

    Rofl HILARIOUS!!!! 😀 Omg parents & kids dressing alike is SO gay!! (This is why that Lilly Pulitzer store creeps me out)!

  10. Patricia P says:

    I thought the non-matching kid was a boy, but now I see you’re right. How tragic for her to be burdened with her parents relationship troubles at such a young age. This was hysterical! I found you at Finding the Funny and am now a follower.

  11. Deb Mundy says:

    Yes, social media-ed you everywhere, made me wish I had on Depends. A faithful follower, thanks for the guffaw.

  12. Kelley says:

    My mom was queen of dressing my 2 brothers and I alike! As a result (?), I was a total tomboy, and turned out to be the best athlete of the family. Anyway … I tried ONCE to do the matching family Christmas shot — kids in white turtlenecks, us in black ones. Husband wasn’t falling for it, and instead, wore a plaid shirt. A brown one, no less! I knew there was a reason why I love him!

  13. kworthmom says:

    I love that the “Woodland” Mom and Dad are both laughing hysterically at the preteen “Mushroom”. She is going to need therapy after that! Not to mention she’ll be laughed out of middle school because any female costume not involving a pair of thigh high stockings and a crotch length skirt is “uncool”.

    • fordeville says:

      Omg, I didn’t even notice they were laughing at poor Finley (because, of course, she has a personalized trick-or-treating bag). That’s because they are high as a kite. Poor kid — her parents are wealthy stoners.

  14. ritarollover says:

    LMAO! LOVE LOVE LOVE your take on all of this.

    As I see it, there is only one matchy-matchy family costume set that was not included here….. I am the oldest of 7 children, and my mother loves choral music, so each year during the holidays we were paraded around to sing to the neighbors like the Von Trapp family from Sound of Music. So I’m just wondering….

    Where is the set that shows a mom in a dress made from grandma’s tablecloth, and the kids all dressed like Hansel and Gretel (complete with lederhosen)? You could even throw in a few nuns and some SS soldiers for good measure (insert scrunched up “oh that was in bad taste” face here). Seems like the ultimate matchy-match bonanza to me. Barf.

    Yeah, I hate Halloween. It’s just a crappy excuse for moms to make kids dress like idiots and show all their friends what they made their kids do. Probably very empowering from the mom point of view, and the poor kids only have one option for revenge: eat as much candy as possible before they get home so that they can drive Mom crazy before their little sugar-powered bodies crash and they fall asleep in a sticky mess of bad makeup and wig hair.

    of course, I did dress my daughter up like a bumblebee one year, before she could even walk. Her little chubby cheeks and her little arms flapping around, thus making the wings on her costume flap too, are still the favorite parts of the 1992 family videos highlight reel.

    What kind of wine should I order for you? Because I’m sure I’ll be at the bar early.

    • fordeville says:

      Oh my — you had me at Family Von Trapp. I have visuals of your family that I won’t be able to shake all day. Complete with curtains as clothing.

  15. Caro says:

    For people with too much money and not enough sense. I even hate matching sibling outfits. My friend is guilty of that and it makes me want to vomit every time I’m with her and her 6 and 3 year old boys are wearing the same damn appliqued t-shirt.

    My first kid was sushi for his first Halloween. Instead of matching like the creepy parents in the photo, we just wore regular clothes and pretended to eat him in all the photos. I also didn’t give PBK a red dime (do they deserve it after all this nonsense??? NO!), but made the costume myself.

    Thanks for the laugh. I’m glad to have found your blog through PIWTPITT.

    • fordeville says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Caro. Don’t worry, I have much more PBK rage where that came from. Stay tuned — their Christmas edition is coming out soon, just begging for some, uh, feedback…

  16. Who puts a lobster in a pot that is their baby??!! Oh this is so bad AND good. I think you are right. A torrid affair indeed he had.

  17. Yes. Just yes. *Applause*

    Hammerhead Shark Dad looks pretty pissed if you ask me. He’s not at all amused with wifey poo’s choice of revenge.

    No one is cool enough to rock a Woodland Forest Family Costume. Poor FInley is dressed like a mushroom for crying out loud. And her family is openly laughing at her. She’s got therapy in her future, for sure. Thanks, Mom and Dad. Hope it was worth it.

  18. Carrie Burk says:

    I don’t know you but you may be my long lost sister. My friend read this post and immediately shared it on my Facebook wall with the comment: I thought of you when I read this. Every word you said is how I feel about these crazy, matching families. There have been days where my daughter and I are in the same color and I cringe. Don’t even get me started on twins! They already look identical…why dress them the same too? Every time the Hannah Andersson catalog comes I look through it and giggle. Bless you for writing this! Made my day!

  19. Heather says:

    Ok, this has me luaghing hysterically!! (It could be that i was/am reading it at 4:48 am! after being at a 7 year olds lasercade birthday party with 12 screaming children and cupcakes for my son at 8pm last night…) -is it to early for wine-

    But bravo!! For letting us all see the truth behind these “fanciful” families. I would love to post this to FB and tag one said mom, just for spite. Oh the stories i could tell of this women. (& i use that loosely)
    The type to secretly read 50 Shades in secreat for the ideas to spuce up her “sex life” blushing the whole way through all the while criticizing any one who says they read it and bashing their “Christian Morals” (im not sure which Christian we are speaking of here, the Guy or religion?)
    (Yes, i just read that blog post just before this one)
    Aperently i have unresovled, disturbed issuies from being around this fake mom far to long. But COME ON, does every family outing, picture, hoilday & trip to town need to match, hell day to day life at this point. I feel bad for the new son, it was just the mom & daughters, but she had to go and throw dad & baby brother in the mix with a new kid on the way..

    Yea i think i will go get that glass of wine, wait i drank the last of it last night and don’t have any on hand. I would meet you at the bar, if we had one. Damn dry county!

    • Heather says:

      It is funny how googling a pirate cake at 4am can lead to all of this.
      But i think i have now found my new awesome blog obsession,
      Thank you for that.

      And yes I have a pirate party coming up in Feb, but i am one of those C word types.. “Crafty” 😉

  20. I just want to come over to your house with a stack of catalogs and a bottle of red. Ellen

  21. Liz says:

    Love this. This craziness is right up my alley. Pottery Barn also makes me laugh/despair. That being said I was the only freak mom who dressed as my daughter one Halloween at her daycare’s Halloween party. She was mini Alice in Wonderland and I was the giant one. The costumes were cheap though so I think that makes it okay. I hear rationalization is a defense mechanism.

  22. HA! Love this! Especially the whole family looking to the right for their lawyers!!

  23. amanda says:

    Love this! However, my biggest problem is that the scenario for the Hanna Anderson PJs would cost roughly $500!! Who spends that kind of money on pajamas!?! CRAZIES!

  24. nancy says:

    Haven’t laughed so hard in a while…does anyone really wear these..and what little boy over 3-4 would dress in these..it’s transformers, etc

  25. Nicole says:

    Ahhh I love this SO much. Thank you for writing it.


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