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Happy Halloween. Skeletons in the Closet and Halloween Costumes

Let me make something clear, very clear…I do not dress up for Halloween…because I am an adult. I would feel like a fool. If I had told Gracie that “mommy was dressing up for Halloween too” she would have run away from home. However, if other adults choose to dress up for Halloween, I won’t judge them (yes, I will). I will say though, out of full disclosure, I look forward to my 46-year-old arrested development cousin’s Halloween costumes every year because she’s funny. She usually wins every Halloween costume competition. One year, when we were in our 20s, she dressed up like Esther Williams, the swimmer. My cousin made the entire costume by hand and even had a nose plug. Her Halloween date stood her up and she was devastated and cried her eyes out ruining her makeup but we still went to the Halloween party anyway but now she was a raccoon eyed Esther Williams. Another year I remember she went as a Newport Beach real estate agent. We don’t speak anymore because her Malibu ogre boyfriend punched my husband in the back. I’ll save that story for the book.

Gracie’s Halloween costume of choice is usually a witch. A darling little witch. And, she will kill me that I’m telling you this, but when Gracie was in the third grade she dressed up like Britney Spears. Gracie was obsessed with Britney Spears. On a side note, one year Gracie’s friend, Madison, invited us to the Britney Spears concert…Front row. When Britney Spears came onto the stage, the look on Gracie’s face was as if she had seen the second coming of Christ. The following year, the same friend of Gracie’s, invited Gracie over to her house mansion because Britney Spears was shooting a video there. Gracie and her friend Madison spent the entire day with their faces pressed up against the windows watching Britney Spears but were too shy to say hello to her. You might want to watch the video HERE because this is the same house that we were robbed at gunpoint at. I’ll save that story for the book.

But anyway, back to costumes. I love children’s Halloween costumes. Clever ones. Not tacky, drugstore costumes. The more homemade, the better. But remember those 1970s plastic Halloween facemasks? I loved those even if your face got all sweaty inside and the plastic cut your lips. My little brother was the cutest Casper the ghost. He’s dead now, but I’ll save that story for the book. Wow, you are certainly learning a lot about my family in this blog today. Maybe I should just shut up and show you some cute Halloween costumes…

For more clever and chic homemade Halloween costumes for children check out my Pinterest board HERE.

Not that I condone adults dressing up for Halloween…but there are a few costumes that I think are rather chic. Take a look…


*Something you don’t know about me? My friend Tom told me yesterday that in order to cheer yourself up, you should find somebody who is worse off than you. So if any of you are depressed… I am going to make your day because my day yesterday could not get any worse. No matter what happened in your life yesterday… I’m pretty sure mine was worse. I’ll tell you what happened. I lost my dignity. It’s gone and I don’t know if it will ever come back. So, as you know, with ALS, I’m totally paralyzed from the shoulders down. But guess what? Apparently, I still have to take a bath. This is always a traumatic experience because my retarded caregivers (is that rude?) either burn me with hot water, get soap in my eyes, nearly drown me or I’m freezing. So needless to say, taking a bath is not my favorite sport. But, when in Rome…I have been “doing as the French do” by masking the situation with perfume. Much to my chagrin, this isn’t working so my husband has hired a professional team to come over five times a week to give me a bath. Finally, I thought, I’m going to be clean and smell like a flower, and it might be relaxing. Not so fast, Ellie. The “team” shows up yesterday and basically violates every orifice on my body. I think technically I was raped. Or at the very least, highly molested. My husband explained to the team that I am “American and a prude.” French people are very comfortable just letting everything hang out. I told my husband that I wasn’t a “prude” and that it is called being a “lady.”
 I was stripped of all of my pajamas at once, and given a sponge bath head to toe. And then, I was rolled onto my side still completely naked and the “team” got down at eye level and inspected my bottom.… For at least a three minutes. I wasn’t sure of the appropriate protocol for conversation so I just closed my eyes, held my breath and pretended I was in the Bahamas. It gets worse. The team concluded that my bottom was “rouge” and that it needed “crème.” Will someone please just shoot me? Yet again, I was violated as someone was buttering my bottom like a Thanksgiving turkey with some French cream that I’m pretty sure is used for diaper rash. As you know, I am overly polite, even in sticky situations and all I could think to say when they were finished assaulting me was, “Merci.”
No, no, no… It’s not over… It gets worse. The team consisted of two people… A regular French lady and… The world’s biggest French hottie. Total babe. Dropdead gorgeous. Model material. Gorgeous twentysomething year old version of Oliver Martinez, Halle Berry’s baby daddy. Here I was, completely vulnerable, buck naked with my delicate nether regions splayed out on the bed in front of this guy. Dignity gone. However, because I am a psychopath, the only thing I could think of was…“Did I forget to shave my legs? Do I need a bikini wax? Do my boobs look good? Do I look fat? Does he think I’m cute?” My husband looked at me and burst out laughing because he knew, he knew what I was thinking. So today, when the team arrived for my second bath, they rang the doorbell and my husband opened the door and yelled, “Ellie, your boyfriend is here.”

So whatever day you had… Your Range Rover broke down, your kid got kicked out of his private school, your husband cheated on you with the yoga instructor, you got fired from your reality show gig, you contracted ebola, your breast implants ruptured, your Tinder date was fat, your favorite hotel in Florence was booked, ISIS moved into your neighborhood… Whatever it is, whatever day you had, consider yourself lucky, because nothing, nothing is worse than losing your dignity and living one day with ALS. Did that cheer you up? You’re welcome. :-)


  1. Would it be weird to say that I love you? you are so brave and have such a beautiful soul. I adore your posts! hope you can feel the love from us, your adoring fans. stay strong

  2. I l o v e you. You have no idea how much I needed that chuckle.

  3. Ellie, I'm dying laughing right now. You are the BEST!! So smart. so with it, so cool, so everything I love. Thanks for your blog. I'm pretty sure we're on the same page on just about everything. Have a wonderful weekend!!

  4. A friend just told me about your blog and I have been reading all your older posts too. I wish I had half your guts I am so glad I started to read your blog -- it seems the wrong word because it is so good. More like essays. There must be a small breeze from Montaigne traveling through your neighborhood in Paris.

  5. WE ALL LOVE YOU and I am at a loss for words..............
    Can I call YOU one day and just chat?Would that be okay?
    THANKs for sharing this and the HALLOWEEN photos are DELICIOUS as the SOUTH AFRICANS would say!FRIDA, is the spitting image and the ANNA HYSTERICAL!!
    I caNOT wait for the book!!!!!!YOU were held up at GUNPOINT.........can't say I have had that experience.OH, and the cousin dressing as a NEWPORT BEACH REAL ESTATE AGENT........I would love to see a photo of that!Did you live in Orange County?I DID.............XOXOXO

  6. Ellie, I'm sorry you had that kind of day. Isn't it nice afterwards though to be clean in your jammies??!! Hell, maybe you got dressed !!! I just bought new ones (pjs) monogrammed from J Crew after seeing your blog post...keep doing you Ellie!

  7. are right. No matter what my day may be like, it's nothing to compare with yours!

    Thank you for your blog and your sense of humor! I think I'll go retrieve the Halloween box from the garage now, instead of putting it off because I've been depressed. ;)

  8. ok - but do you smell good?!! :-)

  9. That little Frida Kahlo kills me---the expression on her face! Losing any of my dignity is worse than painful so kudos to you for sharing your story. To my mind, yours has been completely restored as a result!

  10. Ellie thank you for taking a not funny situation and turning it into something positive that made us all laugh. We adore you and so look forward to your posts. I hope that you continue to enjoy many baths from your "boyfriend"
    By the way I love Olivier Martinez he can give me a bath anytime :)
    I plan to be in Paris in April for 10 days and I hope that we can meet!
    Thank you for once again starting my day with a smile XOXOXOXO

  11. Thank you. You make us laugh. You make us cry. You show us some bad*ss Halloween costumes.

  12. Ellie, you are brilliant and wickedly funny, and your posts make every day better. Your "team" will soon find themselves under your spell, as we all are.

  13. Always irreverent, never irrellevent! That's our Ellie!

  14. I love this post. Yes, I need a slap of reality every once in a while. My heart is with you. Your spirit inspires me. xoxo Mary

  15. So glad I found this blog! I totally agree with Catherine - you're brilliant and wickedly funny! I read so very few blogs anymore because so many are so trite and boring!! Yours is never that! Can't wait for the book!

  16. Loved all but especially the little Gandhis...may be the best costume I've ever seen.
    And you are marvelous. I'm so glad that you enter my life every morning and make me laugh and think and laugh.
    One thing you don't know about me: I just received news that I'm a finalist for the 2014 PEN USA Emerging Voices Fellowship. I'm sharing this with you because when I was my losing courage to send in my application, I thought about your bravery each day and figured you might tell me to stop being a damn wimp and you were right!

  17. You are stunning! The world collectively loves you:)xob You will be happy to know that I didn't blow my latte out on the desk today,…no….I started early and it was the wine;)

  18. Brilliant writing, funny, informative, poignant.
    Ditto all comments above. You are my secret sister.

  19. I must say that I am so happy that I heard about your blog from Heather Clawson.
    You are an excellent and hysterically funny storyteller with great wit!
    I live in Montreal, Quebec and can relate to your experiences with the French culture in Paris.
    A bientot!

  20. You crazy woman. Thanks for the laugh out loud. I am dying to read this book.

  21. How horrible and funny at the same time. Thank you for the cheering up! You are fantastic!

  22. YOU'RE AMAZING! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  23. I have learned how to be brave from your blog . You are an amazing woman!

  24. Ellie, I just found your blog from La Contessa and just spent the last hour reading. You are a brilliant writer. You are brave and inspiring and you are also hilarious. I adore you!

  25. I am preordering your book on Amazon. You better start it; already!!

    I am the mother (and stepmother) Gracie would have run away from home from!

    3 months after my two stepdaughters arrived to stay for a month......(three months after we were married....Ella was 7; (mine) Alessandra was 13; jacqueline was 12 (his) ("his came to stay for a month!) They never left! What a gift! Lordy!

    A bit of a "rough start" to say the least.....but Ella said...."oh Mommy; you were so smart to marry Adam and get me these sisters"!!!

    She adored them from the first instant.....the rest took some time; I must was one of the supreme luckiest thing that has ever happened to me!

    Back to Halloween....the first Halloween....(they were still calling me "it" when they thought I couldn't hear.....(3 months in....)

    I got dressed up in an all black outfit.....with a witch's hat and all......

    the doorbell rang....(remember they are 12 and 13) I am ecstatic answering the door! I say BOOO!!!

    This tiny little girl.....(max 3) jumps back in fear! "Are you a witch???"

    I growl......."nooooooohhhhh! I am a 'WICKED STEPMOTHER!!!"

    she says...."do wicked stepmothers bite?" I growl.....".NOHHHHH!!!

    Have some candy!!!"

    I see out of the corner of my stepdaughters.......(we never say that any more....they are now 49 and almost 51!)

    elbowing each other and rolling their eyes! At least I thought I was funny!!

    Laugh; or you will cry....has always been my motto....and is obviously yours!

    One year I dressed up as a chicken! red tights...yellow leotard; and a headpiece out of yellow felt with feathers and a red felt beak....right on my nose.

    Adam forgot it was Halloween.....arrived home from the "poultry company.....and said....." are a chicken!!!"

    I said...."you get an A!" did you forget we are going to a Halloween party tonight??

    I LOVE Halloween!

    For the month of October....I sport a "squashed witch" on the front of my car!

    Tonight I parked with a I need a ticket? he said....."no; you are the lady with the witch on the front of your car!!"

    Gracie would be completely mortified by me!!!


    I am so thrilled that La Contessa visited you!

    what fun!!

    I may be coming!!

    I am so loving your blog....and loving reconnecting!!



    ps Ella sends her love......she ran into you somewhere! She LOVES you!!!

  26. Wait, what? Penny has a squashed witch on the front of her car? I had something important and hopefully a little witty to say but honestly? That just wiped it right off my (already-klutzy) memory drive...
    Just add me to the list of grateful readers...Reality check? Check.

  27. I am mortified for you, but I suppose the only thing worse would be an ugly man with a hangnail bathing you. Hang in there, if the hot guy keeps coming, maybe you still got it, heh?

  28. First blog on the internet. I'm sitting here on a cold Florida afternoon with some hot tea reading your older posts. I love you. Just so we're clear.

    Second, getting a bath from a hottie sounds really nice. I'd enjoy the heck out of that. Just pretend you are Cleopatra and your slaves and lovers are getting you ready for bed. ;) -C.

  29. Thank you for your interesting and informative blog. I have enjoyed reading it and appreciate the work you have put into it. Here is some relevant information for you to review .
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  30. i love you. ellie....miss you so