Tuesday, May 20, 2008

"So I Think This Is The Best Costume For Today..."

First of all, for this to make a lick of sense, you have to have seen one of my all-time favorites, Grey Gardens. (If you haven't seen it, put it in your Netflix queue right this second and thank me next week.) Here's a quick synopsis:
The unbelievable but true story of Mrs. Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edie, the aunt and first cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Mother and daughter live in a world of their own behind the towering privets that surround their decaying 28-room East Hampton mansion known as "Grey Gardens," a place so far gone that the local authorities once threatened to evict them for violating building and sanitation codes. Mrs. Beale, a.k.a. "Big Edie," was born an aristocrat, sister of "Black Jack" Bouvier, Jackie O's father. "Little Edie" was an aspiring actress of striking beauty who put her New York life on hold to care for her mother--and never left her side again. Together they descended into a strange life of dependence and eccentricity that none had ever shared until the Maysles Brothers arrived with their camera and tape recorder in hand.
So throughout the film, Little Edie fashions all these wonderful, batty outfits with scarves, swimming suits, costume brooches, turbans made from knit sweaters or towels, pantyhose, shabby fur coats, and white leather pumps. Here she is describing the logic of her sartorial choices. Sometimes, when Ellie and I play with the dress-up clothes, I can't resist styling my child a la Edie. And she loves it, the little nut.

(Sadly there were no live raccoons available for these shots.)

Ellie as Little Edie









You know, should something unfortunate befall my husband, Ellie and I could potentially end up like Little Edie and Big Edie, a couple of lovable weirdos, holed up in a crumbling house, belting show tunes and nagging each another and snacking on ice cream and cat food "pate." Because A) we like show tunes and costumes B) Ellie is a staunch woman and has been know to eat some cat food in her time and C) we potentially have the whole hoarding-and-living-in-squalor thing knocking around in our genes, lying in wait, like a messy DNA time bomb. But thaaaat's a story for another time.

If you know and love Grey Gardens, tell me all about it. Why do you love it? Favorite line? Moment? Revolutionary costume? Also, do you think it qualifies as child abuse to dress my child like this for Halloween? Discuss.

30 comments:

She's A Rebel said...

Goddammit, I just had a whole comment written and Blogger ate it.

Basically what I said was that if you hadn't written a word, and just posted the pix, I would have known immediately that your daughter was dressed like Little Edie.

So fabulous.

amy t sharp said...

holy crapholy- those are freaking gorgeous and GG is my fave! Love it!
can't wait to see drew b in it!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

It's only child abuse if you add mascara.

Dr. Cason said...

I've never seen Grey Gardens and probably even stranger is that I've never even heard of it! Seems everyone else has.

I'll add it to my Netflix queue (which my husband controls) and I know he'll be wondering where it came from. That's okay we need more chick flicks in our life.

The photos are inspiring. I'll be looking for your photoshop post anxiously!

BTW- a friend saw the braids photo of your daughter and ADORED it! I said "Yeah, she's good!"

MamaBird said...

You already are (more than) lovable weirdos. And I am going to be laughing all night about Jenn's commentary. Never heard of Grey Gardens but most intrigued.

Lisa Milton said...

If they were around today, Oprah be snooping around with Dr. Oz in the wings, trying to drive the hoarding demon out.

(Good luck with that. The hoard is strong in our family too. In the not so funny way.)

She has to be the cutest crazy ever. I'd fill her bucket if she came to my door; maybe keep her.

Magpie said...

You are too funny.

And, thanks - I did just add that to my Netflix queue, which is usually controlled by the husband...

richgold said...

Jenn! You've got to be kidding! I'm in trouble then. ;-)

I've been _encouraging_ my children to try a bit of eye shadow or by weird colored lipstick so that when they're old enough to to revolt, they'll actually become book-loving, hair-brushed preppies!

Casey said...

Adorable, and very GG in a good way.

I have to say the film weirded me right out, but I wouldn't mind seeing the Broadway musical version of it.

Optimist said...

Oooh I love those pictures. Her expression is priceless when she is admiring herself in the mirror!

What a fantastic Halloween costume - with the added bonus that if anyones guesses right, they are automatic BFF material.

I saw Grey Gardens years ago and think it's time to re-rent.

Thanks.

Nora Bee said...

I haven't seen GG, but I can tell you that if you have the packrat squalor you should not shack up with Jeff (should something unfortunate befall me). Some weird-#ss recessive stuff might emerge and you'd have a barn full of canned goods lickety split.

hippyhappyhay said...

Oh, she is just the cutest thing ever. EVER. Yes, EVER!!!

J. said...

OMG. Those pictures are FABULOUS.

Btw, just got this quote this morning and thought you would appreciate it:

"To be nobody but yourself - in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you like everybody else - means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight - and never stop fighting."

E.E. Cummings
1894-1962, Poet

Never stop fighting -- and taking pictures.

Mrs. G. said...

Even Ellie's Dark Side is bright. I really did laugh out loud when I saw these photos. Man, they are good. Why didn't you dress up as Big Edie?

Crabmommy said...

Too delicious. Indeed Ellie is a staunch woman. I hope she has some good pets. Raccoons can be "very very boring, you know"?
Start training Ellie to call you Mother Darling. I jst hope the Marble faun doens't move in, ya know?
My fave line in that movie:
Little E: you can't have you cake and eat it too in this life.
Mother: Oh yes you can. I had my cake, chewed it, masticated it..."
I'm bookmarking you now. The Crabmommy has come and she will be back.

Barchbo said...

I love it! Inspired!

Amy the Mom said...

Ellie. Adorable. God, I swear I could eat that child alive.

I have just moved GG to the top of the Netflix queue. I have very close relatives who live a hoarding lifestyle, and for research purposes alone I can see that I'll enjoy this movie. Just watching that brief clip reminds me of the way my family members talk-sans the Lawn Guyland accent.

Jennifer H said...

I'll watch for you two on the news in a couple of decades. :-)

Seriously, though, those pictures are adorable. I wouldn't be able to resist dressing her up, either.

But, I really want to see what kind of getup you were wearing. Seems fair.

Life As I Know It said...

Oh my gosh, those pictures are amazing!

Marble Fawn said...

You know, I'm truely afraid that the line "...should something unfortunate befall my husband", is some kind of subconscious warning for me to NEVER SLEEP AGAIN. You claim that I am the hoarder in the family (even though you know I am the Kim Cattrall of our family), but at least my hoarding is always related in some way to a get-rich-quick scheme. Gotta give me that...

Stephanie said...

I haven't seen the movie, but these photos of your daughter are so artistic and fun. I wonder what other "characters" we could dress our kids up like...

Stephanie
http://metropolitanmama.net

Sojourner said...

I haven't seen Grey Gardens, but judging from the clip I would love it. I am a homecare nurse, after all and have seen hoarding at its highest height, up close and personal! It is NOT pretty. Especially when mixed up with the leavings of the crazy pets, and the incontinent residents.

And your daughter in her outfits is sensational. I am with those who wanted to see what you were wearing, also.

And J- I love that ee cumings quote. Yes ma'am, gotta keep fighting.

stephanie (bad mom) said...

I heard a story about Grey Gardens on NPR and you just reminded me how much I wanted to watch it.

Your girl? Precious times infinity.

dkuroiwa said...

Oh my goodness...little Miss Thang has got a range of emotions and can already "work" the camera, can't she!?
What was she saying in that second one?? (the B&W) Looks like she was channeling some Bette Davis!!!
Awesome pictures...

stu said...

I love that second photo. "There will be NO WIRE HANGERS!"

-Stu

coolbeans said...

I couldn't click through from my feed reader fast enough when I read the title. I LOVE Grey Gardens.

I screeched when I read "staunch woman." That is brilliant.

Tootsie Farklepants said...

These pics are awesome, seriously!

iloveupstate.com said...

OH MY GAWD.

Jenni said...

TOO FUNNY. This is the best Costume of the Day!!!

LIBERTY POST EDITOR said...

Hello from Canada! I'm hosting a Grey Gardens Week on my blog. Hope you'll drop in.