what your choice in halloween costume says about you



  1. Ask yourself if you would let Abigail wear an outfit like this. If not, don’t wear it in front of her. Can’t find an appropriate pirate costume? Then make your own. You are crafty and better than this costume and video makes you look. I’m sorry, but two thumbs down on this one!

    1. Author

      I totally agree. There’s actually nothing creative about buying costumes from a store. But I choose my battles. And I don’t sew. And I have no patience when it comes to costumes. It has never interested me. Some people thrive off creating costumes like a VOLCANO or a CHINESE FOOD TAKEOUT BOX (I’ve seen both). I am not one of these people.

  2. I’ve read your blog since before the NY Times article in 2005. You could say religiously. Anytime I missed a week or two I would always go back and read whatever had been posted. Your single and dating days in NY, moving to Austin, marriage, the twins in the NICU, Lucas’ health problems, Phil’s health problems, marriage problems, moving to FL, etc. I’ve followed it all. And in the past year or so, it’s been painful to read. But after so long, how do you just stop? So I’d continue to visit, skimming posts, then eventually reading the first few lines and moving on. But I’m now posting, for the first time, to say I truly cannot read or see anymore. You seem to be so drastically different from the person you used to be. And you used to be awesome. I found you encouraging and funny and admirable. Now it all just seems pathetic and like a cautionary tale. I hope it’s much better than from the outside looking in, and that you find whatever it is you’re looking for.

    1. Author

      I’m genuinely curious.This isn’t a challenge. I’m not looking for proof. I just want to know what it is. What makes me seem like a drastically different person from who I was… wherever. Are you saying that now I’m no longer encouraging, funny, or admirable… or is it that you wish you were seeing more introspective posts, posts with wisdom. Or more lighthearted content, uplifting, crafty,.. just would love to know. And either way, thank you, Katie.

      1. I dunno about the poster but this video makes you look 1. very vain 2. Drunk 3. Begging for praise.

  3. Katie said it far better than I could.
    IMO, You come off as desparate and needy. SO in need of attention. You are smart, right? So why the hell are you asking if we think that a slutty outfit is a good thing to wear around your daughter? It is not. You seem so intent on showing off your boobs. We get it – you need validation.

    Oh and your voice? You have a LOT of nerve mocking others.

      1. I agree. She has the most annoying voice and effected way of speaking to cover her LawngIsland accent.

    1. I really hate that I pretty much agree with Anon because she generally seems to get her kicks out of bashing you about everything and anything….but alas, I do agree this time. I think the costume would be fine for an adult costume party, if you’re into the slutty-ish Halloween look. But for a ‘family’ theme costume? Ummmm….No. The flashing of the boobs and undies did come across as needy, but perhaps you got that bit of exhibitionism out of your system on the world wide web and now you can focus on the kiddie trick-or-treat aspect of Halloween?

  4. There’s an unintentional intimacy to reading someone’s blog — we think we know about you and you know nothing about us. I decided not to post a comment last night because I couldn’t think of way to do it without being judgmental about your life, and that’s something I have no right to be.
    Because you asked Katie for a better explanation, and she echoed exactly what I was thinking, I’m writing to you now.
    I’m a longtime reader, and for the first minute of the video I honestly believed someone had hacked your blog. Then I thought someone had hacked your brain.
    I watched the video to the end, hoping you would suddenly flip the camera right-side up and tell us it was just a terrible joke. Listening to you talk about being a “whore pirate” made my skin break out in gooseflesh. I have the same reaction when I flip through the channels and catch a moment or two of those horrible, desperate, grasping reality shows.
    I’m not going to tell you to think about your daughter (or your son, for that matter) and how you are transmitting your body issues to the next generation. What I will say is that after watching that video, I was actually scared and sad for you.
    You are smart, talented, healthy and beautiful. You have children who love you. You have at least some family that supports you. You have readers who care enough to try and stage an intervention in the comments section of your blog. I wish you nothing but happiness, Stephanie. I hope you find it.

    1. Author

      Thanks for your honesty and for sharing Emily. In this instance it felt like a joke. Not a “just kidding” April Fools joke, but I was in a silly mood, was trying on this costume for the first time, and I was behaving the way I would around… well, likely around no one. Maybe around my sister or a close friend, who would tell me to my face I was being an immature attention whore. And, I’d agree. It comes off harsher on the internet, in writing, but the content is the same, and I agree.

  5. Stephanie, there’s nothing wrong with your costume. I mean, sure, you could put on a little tank and leggings underneath your costume to be a “tastefully slutty” mom pirate if you wanted. And I’ve been reading since the beans were born and I’m just glad you’re still blogging. The content has changed, but so has your life and I don’t think it’s fair for anyone to fault you on that. We still get those posts full of wisdom and insight, they just come from a person who has grown a lot since straight up and dirty and honestly, I’m just glad you’re still sharing your life with us!

  6. Yikes. So easy to be mean on the computer!

    I too, have been a long-time reader, and have noticed a change in the writing. I would chalk it up to burn-out. You’ve been doing this for so long–of COURSE it’s going to have highs and lows, and I think that you simply just might be uninspired. Every creative person deals with this on a constant basis.

    I think that your long-time readers are in tune with you and have felt this shift too.

    Of course, this is my unsolicited opinion, but know that you and your blog are loved. Sounds like things are evolving, maybe into something different, or maybe you need a break. It’s all okay! You’re supported. :)

    1. Author

      Again, thank you Megan. I’ve written posts detailing just this, so I’m glad you and other understand. The good news is that I’ve been writing a lot long hand. Doesn’t do you much good, but it’s making a small difference. I’m going to spend an afternoon or fifteen transcribing those notes into blogs. For this I could use an intern.

  7. I, too, have been reading you since Day One and I LOVE your posts. I think you are very thought provoking, funny, and curious and everything I want in a friend. I find I have many friends and I can get some of all the personality traits I like in each one…it’s like a composite. But, really hard (ok impossible) to find everything in one person. You seem to have it all!
    I say just keep doing what you’re doing and I am sure you have many fans who feel the same. I look forward to your posts! Thank you!

  8. You look svelte and cute but the entire posturing feels immature and … beneath you and the only point of the video seems to be exhibitionism. Sorry, don’t intend to be mean but you’re asking for feedback, so …

    1. Author

      I’m a total exhibitionist, so I’ll go along with that. “Beneath me” though sounds too limiting. We all have many sides to ourselves, and I show them all (though not always the ugliest ones).

      1. Stephanie, this is a comment (yours) I completely agree with. “Beneath you” is one of those manipulative comments that always makes me crazy. I have nothing to say on the outfit that hasn’t been said already.

  9. I’ve also been reading since ’05. Recently you wrote you haven’t been enjoying blogging lately. I watched and had a few thoughts. Maybe this is how you want to bring a bit of fun back to your blog? (/life??). Maybe it’s your way to celebrate the hard won results of your weight watchers. Maybe it’s a way to kind of reclaim the feeling of ‘I’m (still) a sweet young thing’, when being a mom has a way of transforming sweet young things into exhausted schlubs. (That one is me projecting, if nothing else.)

    Just to weigh in, I do miss the introspective posts. And I think maybe part of it is that maybe there is an unfair expectation on you among some readers or even yourself that you must now document some sort of happily ever after, always. You had your overweight childhood, cheating wasband, dating fiascos, and then there was book deals, Phil, kids. Like, how dare you continue to muddle through as a work in progress, like the rest of us, making mistakes, having ups and downs?

    I don’t know what I think about your costume or the boob/cooch flashing. It kind of runs the spectrum from all in good fun to attention seeking that doesn’t quite feel healthy to broader feminist implications from personal (please don’t let my daughter ever want to celebrate Slutoween) and political (why do women do this to each other? Judge each other and/or feel the need to use Halloween as a forum to flash booty?)

    1. Author

      All valid points. I also look forward to my introspective posts. I know that sounds… I don’t know how that sounds, but I thought twice before writing it. I like learning about myself–about people in general– that won’t ever stop. I don’t post those as often because, quite frankly, it’s unfair of me. A lot of it is me needing to clear my head and coming at it from a place of anger. Of wishing things were different. But unless I DO anything about it, what’s the point of it? I think we all know what we need, but doing it, moving through it like a bull through the storm, is something else… a place where we can get stuck, but also a place where we can sort. And I think I’m in the sorting. And it feels unfair to bitch about Phil all the time… to everyone.

      1. So true about being stuck, and sorting, and moving through. In fact I’m inspired by the thought of being stuck as a good place to get things sorted–so thank you. And, of course I need not tell you but, this is your blog to do with as you wish. And I’m one reader who is totally ok with you (and me) (and all of us) not being perfect and muddling through together (unsorted and uh, sticky? And dressed for Halloween however we wish)…and happy to keep reading the tales as they unfold in whatever ways you offer to share.

  10. You know what, Stephanie? I have to give you tons of credit for being open to all sorts of comments and being decidedly non defensive. No matter what my opinion may be of various posts, I have observed your ability to “take it” and respond in a thoughtful way. I think that says a lot about your character.

  11. Jeez – what is with all of the commentary??? I thought it was a hilarious, silly little video – why the need for all of the analysis??!? People need to relax and laugh.

  12. Hmmmn…perhaps I didn’t read enough into this post, but in light of the comments I am going to now. Also a long time reader, as you know– I initially saw this as a light-hearted, goofy moment that was a bit of a performance, such that one would put on in a friend-to-friend setting.

    I think it is unfair for your readers, long or short term, to expect you to be ‘on point’ with every single thing you write…sometimes the light-hearted stuff adds a certain levity in an otherwise serious few months of your life. I think we have seen a far more introspective, self-examining Stephanie as of late and thought the costume video was funny. Funny because you can still have a jape at yourself and play upon certain stereotypes and the degrees of wrongness involved with Slutoween, without being completely over the top.

    Wear the costume. It isn’t like you are going to spend the day flashing yourself at innocent children, everything is fairly covered up, and your body is in a place where you feel great. You’ve worked hard this past year, and it shows.

  13. So surprised that many longtime readers are clutching their pearls. It’s fun. Embrace your inner whore pirate. Why not? You’re not 50 pretending to be youthful, you are youthful.

    Personally, I was growing tired of reading the kvetch-fests over Florida, brisket, marriage and educating children.

    This is the Stephanie I started reading years ago. A blend of humor with insight. She’s aware it “might” not be the best image for her children. The chances that either will require therapy because mom wore this costume are slim to none.

    Wear it and have as much fun on Halloween as I had watching the vid.

  14. Is it weird that I’m shocked others think the whole “whore pirate” thing is some awful and serious thing? There was no doubt in my mind you were joking around. That you’ll go refer to yourself as a princess pirate or something in front of your kids. That the only reason we saw so much boob was because you bent way over to stop the video. That if your daughter asks if she can wear a costume like yours you’ll say, “Absolutely! When you’re in your 30’s like I am you can wear whatever your heart desires!”

    I think people should wear whatever the hell they want, as long as they are prepared to deal with all the reactions (and questions from kids) that will come with that.

    On to the most important thing: WILL PHIL BE WEARING TIGHTS?

  15. The video was goofy. But you seemed to be having fun, so I don’t think it’s a big deal. And the costume isn’t that bad, although movement might be hampered a bit (like bending down with the kids, etc). I’m a feminist and as much as I hate the sexy costume thing, I also support a woman’s right to wear whatever the hell she wants. If Abigail wanted to dress like that at her age and you allowed it, I’d probably raise an eyebrow.

  16. LMAO! You’re too funny. Dressing like a pirate slut is what Halloween is all about! You saw “Mean Girls,” right? “Halloween is the one night a year when girls can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.” You worked for the waist so it’s just right to want it fitted, flattering and not boxy. It reminds me of poorly altered one-shape-is-supposed-to-flatter-all-bridesmaids dresses.

  17. I just recently subscribed to your stuff after reading and loving “Straight Up and Dirty” when it came out and briefly checking out your blog before I knew what one was. I thought, “What the hell?” as your video started. I laughed more than once, wished I could look half as good in your costume as you, and kind of hoped you wouldn’t wear it in front of your daughter. What I’m most impressed about, though, is your readers’ willingness to share their blatant criticism and your ability to receive it objectively. It certainly made me decide I could learn something from you. Keep it up!

  18. I think you have stayed pretty consistent after all these years. You have always been a PERSON, very real. Thought the video said a lot actually! We women, no matter what stage in life, tend to have the virgin or the slut weighing on us…. can’t imagine how it feels when we have our own children watching us try to decide. Love your wit, candor and flirty way of yanking the band-aid off. I continue to read and watch!

  19. Why do you speak like that? It sounds strange.. very affected and overdone. Is that more for effect or how you really speak? It reminds me of seeing one of the Olsen twins interviewed.. Mary Kate i think? So odd

  20. Wow, these comments. Yeah, seeing your mom in a slightly risqué outfit on Halloween as a young child will definitely mean you’ll need therapy or turn into a tramp yourself.

    The other days of the year don’t matter at all. One costume can ruin a child’s life. Fact.

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