Friday, June 26, 2015

My Son, Little Edie

He won the costume contest. We both did, in fact. The prize was a movie poster from the film. Upon wining, Danny yelled loudly to the audience, "I fed the caaat." I felt like Mother of the Year! It was better than his threat to start screaming, "Is there a social worker in the house? Please help me!"
 So that was fun. If nothing else, Grey Gardens should serve as a warning about what happens to people that eat in bed...
 ...and feed wildlife (don't tell Blondin).

You should have married John Paul Getty.

Have a great weekend, everyone. Don't feed the raccoons, and don't eat in bed.


Beth Waltz said...

Applause! Applause! Bravo! Brava! The recognition was jointly earned -- can't decide which of you has best channeled the Beale role assigned. The Pin on the headwear, the VMI flag are excellent; the call "...fed the caaat!", superb! But your take on Big Edie is frightening. In a good way, of course.

I'm inspired to watch Grey Gardens and The Beales of GG for the elebentieh time in hopes that this time I'll begin to understand what the hell happened in that house, in that family. The first time, all I could see was the squalor; the second time, I saw the situation from Little Edie's POV; the third, from Big Edie's, etc., etc., etc., to quote the Siamese king. What does Danny make of it all?

Goody said...


This is the second time Danny's seen the film, so he wasn't as shocked by what he saw. If anything, he seems sympathetic, and wonders why no one did much to help a couple of people that clearly could have used it. A cleaning lady making regular visits would have been a start.

Two women, on limited income, in a huge estate they can't maintain-the odds were against them before the raccoon took up residence in the attic. Isolation will drive anyone a bit mad, but being stuck in a mother-daughter dynamic like that practically guaranteed it. I've seen it in my own family, and while they were never quite as extreme as the Beales, a coffee tin beneath the bed to serve as a chamber pot that was dumped perhaps weekly isn't something I'm unfamiliar with. House full of animals? Check. Heaps and piles of garbage and dirty clothes to step over? Check. Constant bickering? Check. It got so bad near the end that I couldn't go over to visit without being overcome, so I'd sit on a chair in the backyard, and hope to god I didn't need to use the toilet.

Then there were the other relatives that would iron the dust rags before neatly folding and putting them away. You know, the sort of people that are so clean they wash the soap. I'm not sure which was worse.

Watching Little Edie's fashion choices does remind me of a small child playing, "Dress-up", which would make sense if there was no other way to fill time.

I read somewhere that little Edie moved away after big Edie died, and had a bit of fame doing a cabaret act or something. So she did, sort of have a happy ending.

Sue said...

Tell Danny he looked amazing!!! Well done, you both look brilliant and I bet you had a great time. What about Mr ETB???

Propagatrix said...

This is truly a thing of beauty in all respects. Congratulations!

Bibi said...

Love your frighteningly accurate Big Edie & Danny's rendition of Little Edie's 'revolutionary' costume.
I read that Little Edie's monologues that made her look not quite so narcissistic & more aware of the world around her were cut from GG. So I wonder what the reality was?
Apparently Little Edie moved to Montreal for a bit after Big Edie died, then she lived in Florida for a time before she died.
Her cabaret act was short lived, rumor has it Jackie O was so embarrassed by it she paid Little Edie to stop.
I'm afraid my mother & I shared the same dynamic as Big & Little Edie (sans the poverty & squalor). I was the weirdo spinster taking care of my elderly mother & an oddball cousin with Aspergers'. My siblings offered no help whatsoever. Then when mom died I ran off to travel the world & married an Indian. Egads.

Mim said...

I *knew* you would win! Congratulations!

Honestly, sometimes you have the choice between 'helping' people - and driving them away because they don't want the help, so they stay in the same state but without someone who loves them - or accepting them as they are and trying to keep an eye on things without losing them. When my mother-in-law died this year, we realised how much she'd been hiding all the ways she wasn't coping. I think she was scared we'd put her in care. (We wouldn't, but we'd have made her get a cleaner, and possibly meals-on-wheels a couple of times a week.) We feel guilty, angry at ourselves for not forcing her to do more, sad because we realise if we'd tried she'd have shut herself off from us, angry at her for not allowing people to help... ultimately just sad that she chose that way to live, but we recognise that we gave her the dignity of making her own decisions.

And yeah, I know that 'don't use the toilet' impulse...

ThriftyParka said...

Congratulations! I must admit I'm not familiar with Little Edie, but I'll google it right quick!! As a mum, I can appreciate your proud you are of your talented little guy. I especially liked the bit about how he yelled into the audience. Great pictures, I love the costumes.

Oh dear, I'm eatting a muffin in bed...I'm on a slippery slope ;)

Goody said...

Thank You!
Mr. ETB just went as himself-not one for fancy dress.

Thank You-we hoped it would bring aq smile to people's faces (after the initial look of horror passed).

You know, your situation sounds a bit like mine where I took care of my mother until she died with no help from anyone in the family, then I ran off to Boston and got married.

I do hope Edie got some happiness out of her life before dying.

I can understand feeling threatened that someone will come in and try to help by upsetting the way you've lived for years. So many elderly move into care and die shortly thereafter as they don't have any desire to go on once removed from their surroundings-optimal or not. The older I get, the more I understand that. Giving your Mother in law her dignity was the best love and respect anyone could ask for.

I really am so sorry for you and Mr. Robot. The first few years after losing a parent is just so damned hard-you second guess everything you ever said and did along with all the pain and grief.

@Thrifty Parka
Grey Gardens is available on YouTube, but don't say I didn't warn you!

Curtise said...

Grey Gardens is such a wonderfully bizarre film, and yours and Danny's tribute is fantastic - of course you won! xxx

Goody said...


It was fun. The only other real competition was dressed in a pretty good Little Edie costume, right down to the fur...but he had a long beard. Danny tried wearing my fur but it was too heavy for him to lift his arms, so we settled on the faux jacket, although I know there was no leopard print in the film. As for the tights, he said he drew the line at fishnets. Someday he'll go see Rocky Horror and change his mind!

SebsInFortLauderdale said...

Lee Radzwill said in a Vanity Fair interview something about Big Edie always being "eccentric." More importantly, if you've seen "Now Voyager" the idea of the youngest or shyest daughter taking care of the mother -- or sometimes father -- as a sort of forced, lifelong companion, happened quite often in the old days. That Little Edie had an affair with a married man & was clearly schizophrenic or at least somewhat "unwell" allowed for such a growth.