Here’s Why You Need To Eat More Than A Cheese Stick For The Whole Day Before Having A Party

*Disclosure – Most names and identities have been changed in order to protect the embarrassed innocent.

 

When I opened my eyes I first registered the soft glow of the early morning light streaming into the bedroom above the curtain rod.  I looked over at the clock – 6:17 am.  I could see both clearly.

Uh-oh, that’s not a good sign.  It means I went to bed without removing my contacts.

Next I noticed my left knee hurt.  Did I fall?  Did I stumble into something?  No clue.

My mouth felt like a herd of elephants had trampled through it overnight.

I was still wearing my Madonna clothes, minus the boots, necklaces, earrings and rubber bracelets.  Ummm, did I do that or did someone else?  I had no recollection at all.

Then I waited.  Waited for the pain, nausea and general malaise to wash over me.  Waited to feel like absolute garbage, but strangely, it wasn’t happening.

I needed to go to the bathroom, but didn’t want to move.  I was afraid that if I did the inevitable hangover would kick in.  The following thought actually crossed my mind:

“How bad would the clean up be, really, if I shit the bed right now?”

And then it hit me.  I missed it.  I missed my own 80s party because I got S.H.I.T.F.A.C.E.D. and passed out during the height of it.

I MISSED IT!!!

Ohhh the regret!  The absolute sadness I felt!  I planned for this party for weeks; thought through every detail.  I wrote about each and every bit of minutiae I could think of relating to throwing 80s party – the fashion, the quiz questions, the food, the music.  How could I allow this to happen?  Oh what had I done?!?!  As I lay there in bed the few memories I had crashed over me with full force.  I rolled my eyes – Oh Dear Lord.  Boy, did I have some ‘splainin to do.

I couldn’t stay there any longer.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to go back to sleep.  Had to face the music.  After  s l o w l y  moving to get out of bed I walked to the bathroom.  “That’s weird”, I thought, “I feel great.”  It was 6:25 am.

I went into the bathroom, took care of business, washed the tri-colored eye shadow from my lids and then changed into yoga pants and a tank.  Ugghh.  What mess awaited me in the kitchen?

I tip-toed down the hallway not wanting to wake Charlie.  I didn’t know when he went to bed and I certainly didn’t want to wake him this early.  I turned the corner into the kitchen.  My jaw hit the floor.

It sparkled like Christmas morning.

The food was gone, presumably thrown away.  All of my entertaining dishes were perched upside down on the counter, washed and drying on towels.  I hung my head and slumped my shoulders covered in guilt with a side of humiliation.

Here’s how I got to this point:

Friday, May 11th, the day before my 80s party.  I took the day off from work in order to get the cleaning done, any food ready that I could and anything else that might pop up.  My house was already decorated with the fabulous 80s posters I bought through Amazon.  And I smiled broadly every time I looked at each of them – they made me so giddy I just couldn’t wait to hang them.  I got Emma on the bus at 7 am and went to work right away with getting things done.  Tasks were coming together quickly and I was pleased with my progress.  I even took some time to do a little dancing in between cleaning.  By the time Emma and Charlie got home I was dog tired and took a catnap on the couch.

I went to bed at my normal, “weeknight” time, 10 pm.  Then for no reason at 2:30 am – DING!!  I was wide freakin’ awake.  The only reasoning I can offer for this is that I was so excited it was finally May 12th.  I lay there until 4 desperately trying to go back to sleep and finally gave up.  I figured I would be totally pissed at myself later when I had a ton more to do and needed to go back to sleep.  There’s nothing worse than a tired, cranky party hostess, after all.  So I got out of bed, went into the kitchen and started to make my PacMan and Michael Jackson glove cookies (see my previous post, Blinky, Inky, Pinky and Clyde for details on how to make these).  Thankfully (because I’m good at party planning), I had made the dough a couple of days before.  While drinking coffee, I rolled them, baked them and marked them with a B (I’m totally kidding about marking them with a B, although I did roll and bake them).  It was 6 by now and I was cruising!  I was so excited – it was finally here – the day of my 80s party!!

I cooked the pasta for pasta salad and put that together.  “Damn I’m good!” I thought.  I got the filling together for my pepperoni bites (see my previous post, Get In My Belly! for details on how to make these).  By this time I had to get myself together to go teach Zumba class.

Class ended and was flying high by the time I got home.  After a quick shower to get the stink off, I had more coffee and a cheese stick and started cooking the bar-b-que sauce for the chicken (I had already cooked, shredded and froze the meat the week before).  Sauce & thawed chicken went into the crockpot and I silently congratulated myself on kicking major party preparation ass.  Then I sat down to put the icing on the cookies.  This took 2 hours.  By the time I was done it was 1 pm – 5 hours before the party was to start.  “I’m so good at this!” I thought proudly.  I was SO excited!!!

I decided to go take a nap and slept for 2 magnificent hours.  I felt so great when I woke and started getting really pumped – the countdown was on – 3 hours left until party time!

I showered again and dressed.  And oh how fabulous my 80s garb was!  I found electric blue leggings at Target, a tu-tu looking black skirt thingy at Goodwill for $3.00 (SCORE!), a lacy sleeveless black top to wear over a black bra at some slutty store in the mall.  I was SO gonna look the part!!  Thanks to ridiculous amounts of hairspray and pomade my hair looked like a rat’s nest and I held it back, of course, with a black bow I had fashioned by cutting up an old shirt.  3 different shades of eye shadow, pink, green and blue, went on my lids even though no one would be able to see them behind my badass Ray Ban Wayfarer knock-offs.  My lips were bright red.  I was bouncing off the walls.

Madonna?

Practicing this move since the 'Dress You Up' video debuted on MTV.
Thank God I could finally use it.

I was SOOOO excited!!!

Although it was very difficult, I refrained from listening to any of the 80s music loaded on my iPod.  I wanted to savor every note during the actual party along with my guests.  So instead, I danced along with Cee-Lo Green, Beyónce and Katy Perry.

I was SOOOOO excited!!!

Charlie had taken care of getting all of the outside stuff together at ‘Swing Bar’ (This will be explained in a future post; it wasn’t THAT kind of party – get your mind out of the gutter).  I just took a few final things (i.e., bottles of liquor) out back, along with my iPhone to hook up to the stereo.  I had a smile on my face the whole time – could barely contain myself!  I hit play and started the 80s music!

I was SOOOOOO EXCITED!

The clock struck 6.

HOT DAMN!  It’s time!  I’m SOOOOOOO EXCITED and I’m gonna have a drink now!”, I thought to myself.  I broke out the blender, added ice, and my Total Wine procurements: vodka, coffee liquor and Irish cream, hit ‘Mix’ and then poured the  Mudslidey chocolatey goodness into a martini glass.  The effects of the pure-alcohol elixir took their effect on the second sip.  I felt loose and fun.  (Note to the reader – this is foreshadowing at its finest.)

80s Hosts
  Me & Charlie. It was like 1984 threw up all over us.

The first guests pulled into the driveway; a lovely couple Charlie works with so I had to behave.  I set the drink down and put on the charm.  I offered the woman a drinky-winkie from inside the kitchen.  She accepted and into the house we went.  Next thing I know my kitchen is full of people laughing at each other’s 80s clothes and getting drinks from the blender and the rum punch I had already mixed.  I couldn’t let them drink alone so I picked up my glass again.  We moved into the living room where I had hung all my 80s posters with pride.  We laughed at the ridiculousness of our teen years, sung along with ‘Jesse’s Girl’ and sipped our refreshments.  It was really hot inside so we “took it out back”.  More people had shown up, including  Heather Locklear (who was sick most of the week) and I was PSYCHED to see that she was able to make it.  She was dressed in a neon-off-the-shoulder number and made my heart swell.  Her husband, Fabio, was wearing a warm up suit with a headband and I thought that was unusual (and kinda lame) because he is usually so fun with this kind of stuff.  Oh well, I get it, it wasn’t Halloween after all.

3 best friends

Hey Molly Ringwald, we ALL loved Jake Ryan.

A few pictures were snapped and my sides were hurting from laughing so hard over how great everyone looked.  Leg warmers made an appearance as did popped collars, lace-top ankle socks with heels, crimped hair and Miami Vice jackets.  I was running around making sure people had what they needed, checking the food in the oven and smiling from ear-to-ear like a complete ruh-tard.  Thanks to the Mudslide I was feeling NO pain.  Now, I don’t know what possessed me to do this, but I refilled my martini glass at this time.  Food was ready and I flung open the back door with the intention of letting my guests know they could eat.  Instead my dear, dear friends from a former job, Luke, Laura and Bobbie Spencer had just arrived and were walking up onto the deck.  They promptly laughed their asses off at the sight of me.  I was SOOOOOOOOOOO EXCITED!!!  I took them inside and got them squared away with the wine they brought.  Just a few minutes later we made our way outside to join the rest of the partiers.  As we got to where everyone else was hanging out, Laura Spencer says to me, “So who are all these people?”

She couldn’t have set it up for me any more perfectly.  I have ALWAYS wanted to do this… I took a deep breath, smiled and proclaimed…

“Everyone, this is Luke, Laura and Bobbie Spencer; Luke, Laura and Bobbie Spencer – this is… Everyone.”   Just like that scene in ‘Sixteen Candles’.  I was living the dream.

I took a moment to savor the scene.  My guests were having fun.  If they weren’t playing games or singing along with the 80s songs or filling out the 80s trivia quiz, they were laughing at the people who were.  I sure as hell was having fun.  And I carried my martini glass with me everywhere.

At this point, Heather Locklear’s husband announced he had a reveal.  Oooohhhh!  The music was turned down, voices kinda hushed, cameras appeared from nowhere and the sun even shone a little brighter with anticipation.  And then he removed his warm up suit (complete with break away pants) to display this little gem:

Fabio

It was on.  Thanks to Fabio, the tipping point of the party was crossed and CHAOS ENSUED.

Boys chased girls.  Girls chased boys.  Blondie was thrown to the ground by Fabio only to have him do push-ups over her perpendicularly!

 Push Ups

Much alcohol was consumed.  There were demonstrations of making out in the corner at a junior high dance, reminiscent of this…

Dancing

There was a lot of dry humping of inanimate objects (trash cans, tables, beer coolers, etc.).  There were costume changes, a moment of silence for MCA and a very energized, heartfelt recitation of ‘Paul Revere’ (I’m pretty sure this was recorded on Ted Nugent and Bob Marley’s iPhones and I must remember to kill them both in the very near future in order to destroy the evidence).  Prizes for the quiz were announced by Charlie.  3rd place went to Heather Locklear who received a ziploc bag of plastic Banana Clips.  Bret Michaels took 2nd and was awarded a snazzy ConAir Curling Brush complete with original packaging.  The GRAND PRIZE, a 25-year-old VCR, went to Molly Ringwald.

The whole party was glorious!  Just like a John Hughes 80s teen movie.  Only it was happening at my house.

At this point (I think) I was called into a game of beer pong.  I suck at beer pong.  So in order to combat my ineptness, I employ obnoxious distraction tactics on the opponent.  It was easy enough to do because it was girls vs. boys and boys are simple to distract.  I can’t believe I’m going to admit this here, but the boys, Ted Nugent and Bob Marley, were about to throw for the final cup.  I turned to my game partner, Nina Blackwood, on my left… and licked her boob.  Not the whole boob, mind you, just the skin that what was showing above her shirt, but still…

Oh and it worked.  The boys missed the shot.

Things were starting to get fuzzy for me around this point.  I know stumbling was involved.  I vaguely recall having a hard time keeping the Pac-Man cookie I was chewing in my mouth, Heather Locklear telling me I should put flip-flops on and having to pee a lot. 

 My outlook
This is how things were beginning to look to me.

I do remember one lucid moment where I thought this was bullshit because I had only had 2 measly drinks.  Apparently they weren’t so measly (she said with her eyebrows raised while leaning in towards you a bit).  I don’t really know what happened to me next.  I have a cloudy recollection of someone putting me to bed.  I think I said stupid shit to them too because ‘Drunk Jen’ thinks she’s sooooo funny!  Ugghh.  (Please don’t tell me.  I do not want to know.)

Thankfully, I did one thing right before the party started – I put my camera out on the table next to the stereo.  And although I passed out when things really started getting good, my fabulous friends took care of me and made sure I didn’t miss it after all.  This is how they did it…

Blondie instructed Molly Ringwald to start taking pictures.  Then Blondie totally

LOST.

HER fucking.

MIND.

There are pics of sweet looking Blondie kissing my 8×10 Jon Bon Jovi poster.  There are pics of silly looking Blondie, Bret Michaels and Andre Agassi licking said Jon Bon Jovi poster.  There are pics of estatic looking Blondie making my Jon Bon Jovi poster motorboat her boobs.  There are pictures of seductive-looking Blondie shoving my Jon Bon Jovi poster under her skirt.  There are pics of zombie looking Blondie showing off her Thriller-esque pose in front of my Michael Jackson poster.  There are pics of puppy love-looking Blondie petting my 24×36 Ferris Bueller poster while both were laying on the ground.  She looks CRAZY in each pic and every time I look at these I laugh to the point of tears.  It was like the movie ‘The Hangover’ in that the main character (me) goes M.I.A. and the friends take a mess of incriminating pictures so they can all laugh (and remember what happened) once it’s all over.  Of course, I can’t show them to you here because I still want Blondie to be my friend.  But know this ~ Everyone should have friends like Blondie and Molly Ringwald.  Oh, how I love them!

The next day I received reports that Heather Locklear had to pull over on the ride home so Fabio could puke, and Andre Agassi, Ted Nugent, and Charlie spent extended hours in bed.  In the days that followed, I had MANY attendees text, email and call to say it was absolutely fantastic and exactly what THEY needed.  I like to think that this party helped them to forget about mortgage payments and diapers and stressful jobs for a little while.  To remember a time when the word ‘Party’ was a verb and their only care in the world was when and where the next one would be.

So that’s what happened.  I was too excited, ate a mother fucking cheese stick the whole day and got annihilated on 2 Mudslides.  But you know what?

IT WAS THE BEST PARTY I’VE EVER HAD.

It was so good I think I need to do it again.  Yep – just have to have another 80s party.  I don’t think I’ll ever be able to replicate it, but a girl has to have a goal, right?

 And I heart them

Images *borrowed* from: Long Duk Dong & American gf – You Offend Me You Offend My Family.com; Molly Ringwald face – Red River Pak.wordpress.com; Fabio face – River Front Times; Heather Locklear face – lbcolby.blogspot.com

All Good Things Must End

I’m going to cover two distinct and separate topics in this post.  Hope you don’t mind.

Previously, when I looked back on my high school years (during the 80s) I did so with dread.  I hated high school.  Self-conscious and scared of my own shadow, I was an unpopular dork who didn’t like team sports and had no other talent so I just kind of put in my time and flew under the radar of students and teachers alike.  Only Jenni and Denise and a very few other people liked me or even knew I existed.  I remembered it like a nightmare and forbade myself from thinking about it as much as possible.But through the power of crafting these 80s theme party posts I’ve gained a new appreciation for that time of my life.  I have had so much fun pouring over memories in order to write them.  Laughing out loud while thumbing through old pictures of friends and parties and vacations.  Giggling with sheer pleasure while out shopping when I see the recycled 80s styles in the windows.  Singing along at the top of my lungs to all of those songs I cast aside so long ago (except for Prince of course, I listen to him all the time).

I think I must have channeled John Hughes or something.  His films entertained us as teens, of course, but, more importantly, they keep teaching us as adults – that’s why they are so special.  Over these last several weeks, I learned it wasn’t just me who questioned everything I said or did.  For, thanks to writing about my youth and channeling John Hughes’ brilliance, I now know that whether society defined us as “the brain, the athlete, the basket case, the princess or the criminal” we were all really just self-conscious dorks, who desperately wanted to be cool, emerging from the shelter of childhood; finding our own paths as adults.  We were all a bunch of dweebs trying to figure our way in life.  Trying to learn what it was to be who we were, not a version of who someone else thought we should be.   

 

 Genius.  Pure & Simple.

I will never wear stirrup pants again, but I can now look back fondly on valley girls and banana clips, on parachute pants and Miami Vice 5 o’clock shadows, on high school and my own dork status.  With this said, I would like to thank anyone who has read or commented or physically talked to me about my 80s theme party posts.  It was you who fueled my fire to write about the topic and I’m so tickled you did.  So with all the sincerity I can muster in a written post where you cannot hear my inflection, Thank You.  It’s been cathartic.  With a little bit of sadness in my heart I will be moving onto other party topics.  Don’t worry though, I will share pictures and give details from my 80s gig in the future.  I have other things planned for you in the next few months though, my dears.  Fasten your seatbelts.

Onto my second topic…

I had another heavenly experience at Total Wine this past Friday night and I have to tell you about it!  With under 2 weeks until we have our 80s party, Charlie and I had nothing else going on so we took the road trip to the Wilmington, DE store. 

We listened to Purple Rain on the ride there.

This was not a one shopping cart kind of trip.  With the party approaching we knew we would need a decent amount of beer – 7 cases oughtta do it (if we happen to have leftovers, well, that’s not the worst thing that could come out of it).  Each of us grabbed a cart and headed inside.  We strolled down Whiskey Alley and made our way to Case Land.  My Moxie was there.  Ever the alcohol professional, she was helping another customer.  I made eye contact with her, unsure whether she would remember me.  “Moxie?” I inquired and she smiled at me with recognition.  I introduced Charlie to her.  He reiterated to her how fond of her I am.

Charlie and I pondered which types of beer to buy.  I went to look in the next aisle for even more choices.  While turning the corner of the aisle, I heard Moxie say, “YOUR. SHOES. ARE. FABULOUS.”  My heart swelled.  She’s a shoe girl too!  I was sporting my 6″ brown suede stilettos with the cute bow on the toe and yes, they ARE fabulous.  She walked over to me and we chatted for a few minutes.  She told me she laughed out loud when reading the content contained in my blog.  She gets better and better every time I see her.

With our carts full of liquid refreshment, we headed to the registers.  Me leading the way, Charlie following.  A young, handsome guy named Ryan rang up the contents of my cart and I moved over to wait for Charlie.  With the contents of both our carts tallied, he handed over our credit card.  As the order was processing, Mr. Young and Handsome turned to me and said the words that every 40-something-girl-who-still-feels-somewhere-between-28-and-32 wants to hear…

“May I see your I.D. please?”

I died and went to heaven.  Oh how I love Total Wine.

Images *borrowed* from:  John Hughes pic – Wikipedia

Video Killed The Radio Star? I Think Not.

Thanks to your favorite party blog writer, your menu is planned, you know what you will be wearing, your decorations are on their way and your games are ready to go.  The only thing you need to do now is get your 80s music list together.  Well, I am here for you.

I go through stages with music.  I’ll listen to something incessantly and then, all of a sudden, get sick of hearing the same stuff over and over and won’t play it again for a very long time.  Case in point – a couple of years ago I had a hard-on for all things Beatles.  Charlie and Emma and I went to see Sir Paul in concert and I couldn’t get enough of the Fab Four (he was AWESOME by the way).  My ipod was filled to the brim with every one of their albums and that was all I wanted to hear.  Then one day I just couldn’t stand the thought of hearing Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band one more time.  No rhyme or reason – just couldn’t. 

Conversely, I had heard every song from the 80s a million-gazillion times during my youth and never even entertained the idea of playing them again.  I was burned out.  For, like, 20 years.  But people change; I’ve  listened to little else recently.  It’s funny how music triggers memories.  Going to the beach with friends…proms…break ups.  I have really enjoyed this journey back in time.  It makes me proud to look back at myself and see how far I’ve come in 30 years.

And though I typically don’t like to read a lists of someone’s top 20 songs/movies/tv shows because I find them boring, I am going to provide you with a list of some of the songs I will feature at my 80s party.  My hope is that this will help you with your music selection…

Michael JacksonBeat It because Eddie Van Halen plays the guitar solo, P.Y.T. because girls want a man to write a song like that about them and Thriller because it is awesome and we all want to do those dance moves.

 

Madonna – Where do I begin?  Hmmm, let’s see:  Holiday because it is dance-y and makes me feel happy, Material Girl and Into The Groove too.  I could put a TON of her other songs on there, but that would be overkill.

Beastie Boys – I am trying to refrain from playing all of Licensed to Ill.  You can’t go wrong with She’s Crafty, Brass Monkey or  Paul Revere though.

Bon Jovi, Motley Crue, Poison, Warrant, Ratt, Cinderella – I was never into the hair band thing, I just didn’t get it.  But all my girlfriends were (and still are).  I am relying on them to loan their cds to me in order to please the crowd.  Otherwise, I got nothin’.  I’m open to advice though so feel free to educate me on the best hair band songs by leaving comments below!

PretendersMiddle of the Road

Pat Benatar Love is a Battlefield (who doesn’t remember that video?)

Cyndi Lauper Girls Just Wanna Have Fun because well, we do.

Billy Idol – I’ve gained a new appreciation for the spiky blonde wonder lately.  His music was pretty good.  Rebel Yell is my favorite.  I can really fist pump around my living room to that one.

INXS – Anything from Kick.  But you should have them on your playlist mostly because of Michael Hutchence.  May his hotness rest in peace.

All kinds of smoldery.

Human LeagueDon’t you want me?  That’s the name of the song, not an invitation.

George MichaelI Want Your Sex.  Again, not an invitation.

Van HalenPanama and Hot For Teacher

Duran Duran – Let’s pause for a moment to let the awesomeness of Duran Duran wash over us.  The catchy beats, the smooth lyrics… John Taylor.  Oh how I loved DD.  Rio, Planet Earth, Girls On Film, The Reflex, Hungry Like The Wolf.  Any of these songs are quality choices for your set list.

I so had this poster.

Whitney Houston – Since she died if I hear I Will Always Love You one more time I may set myself on fire.  However, How Will I Know and I Wanna Dance With Somebody are still great tunes.

U2Desire

Rob Base – Quick… When you saw ‘Rob Base’ on my list did you hear “I wanna rock right now” in your head?  Yeah, I thought so.  That’s why you have to have It Takes Two on yours.

Rick Springfield – Causing women everywhere to get a shit-eating grin on their faces and sing along no matter where they are, “Jessie is a friend…”.  Do I really need to explain this one?

The Psychedelic FursLove My Way and Pretty In Pink.  Both songs have a kinda sad, creepy undertone.  So 80s pop-goth.

The Go-GosWe Got The Beat and Our Lips Are Sealed

Sold to us as clean cut good girls.
They were really just a bunch of drug snorting sluts.
I swear.  Watch 'Behind The Music'.

Def Leppard – I don’t consider them a hair band because their music was good.  Photograph and Rock of Ages are essential.

Hall & Oats – An 80s powerhouse.  You Make My Dreams and Private Eyes were in constant rotation on MTV.  Daryl Hall could really rock the white jacket with 3/4 length sleeves and skinny tie.  Absolute musts for any 80s theme party.

The Cars Shake It Up

and of course,

Prince –  See my last post Eat Your Heart Out, George Orwell for a detailed explanation.  Additionally, Little Red Corvette and Kiss are required.  And don’t forget – Purple Rain should be the last song on your playlist.

NOTE: You will find no Bobby Brown or Guns ‘n Roses on this list.  My best friend, Heather, would kill me if My Prerogative was mixed into the rotation because (as she put it) “HE RUINED WHITNEY HOUSTON!”.  And no GnR because I think Axel Rose can’t sing and is a cunt.

P.S. – While searching for images of our 80s icons to entertain you with in this post I came across some funny pictures.  I may not know what my ideal job is, but I can tell you this, I never want to be a wig model.

Images *borrowed* from:  ; MJ Thriller video – YouTube; Michael Hutchence pic – Babsbeeitch.blogspot.com;  Duran Duran pic – Cosmicamericanblog.blogspot.com; Go-Go’s pic – Hollywoodhatesme.wordpress.com; 80s Rocker Wig – daydreamersfancydress.co.uk

Eat Your Heart Out, George Orwell

Without question 1984 was my favorite year of the decade.  I was FINALLY in public school.  I started working my first job and earning my own money.  My crippling self-consciousness had begun to subside.  And Sixteen Candles was in theaters. 

But the best part, for me, was the music.

We were 2 years into the release of Michael Jackson’s Thriller; it was still going strong and everyone was pretending they could moonwalk.  Van Halen unleashed 1984 and, in conjunction with it, the Hot For Teacher video (for my guy friends, the video is below.  (You’re welcome.).  Like a Virgin was charting and, oh yes, I was into the groove.  And we only had another 2 years to wait for The Beastie Boys to advise us to fight for our right to party.

But by far, the one piece of music that changed everything for me debuted that summer.  The first single hit airwaves on May 9th.  The very first time I heard that song I knew I had to start saving some cash to buy the album.  I waited 6 excruciating weeks before I could get my grandmother to take me to the mall so I could scurry my stirrup-pants-wearing-ass into Sam Goody to buy the cassette.  June 25, 1984 to be exact.  That was the album’s release date and I bought it that day.  My grandmother didn’t have a cassette player in her car so I was in agony on the ride home until I could put it in my rectangular tape player and press ‘play’ (looking back it was probably for the best!).  I remember sitting in her car, tearing open the cellophane wrapper and scanning the cover.  He was dressed like a woman or a pirate or a woman pirate or something like that.  He was short in stature but had the confidence of a Goliath, bordering on downright cocky.  He played the electric guitar like it was his lover; like no other human being burning up MTV.  And although I was never attracted to him, every move he made dripped raw sexuality and clicked into my burgeoning hormones, making me yearn for someone (preferably Rob Lowe) to wear my vagina like an oxygen mask.  

Of course, I’m talking about Prince and the Revolution’s Purple Rain.

I’ve been listening to the album a lot lately in order to write this post.  There are only 9 songs on it. 

Nine phe-fucking-nominal songs. 

Let me state for the record (I don’t know which record; just some imaginary one, I guess) that the album should only be listened to in its’ entirety.  28 years later and I cannot pick one song I love more than the others.  From the first organ cord and  subsequent sermon (“Dearly Beloved…”) of Let’s Go Crazy to the final orchestral strings of Purple Rain – I am breathless throughout.  I know every word, but still have no idea what the hell many of them mean.  No matter though – it’s the music that rivets my soul.  The repetitive tribal beat of When Doves Cry.   That damn guitar riff in The Beautiful Ones.  The trance-like opening of Computer Blue.  The seemless transition between I Would Die 4 U and Baby I’m A Star.  Yeah, there’s no way I can pick just one as my favorite. 

Yes, Prince is weird as shit.  But, despite his name changes, flamboyant ruffled capes and words shaved into his beard, I love to watch that man play the guitar.  2004 was the last time Charlie and I got to see him in concert (for the Musicology tour).  We walked through the security turnstiles of the (then) Wachovia Center and were promptly handed a copy of The Purple One’s new album.  The Time and Jill Scott opened for him and they were just fine.  But when the lights dimmed, Charlie and I and the rest of the frenzied crowd leapt to our feet.  That night he performed 7 of the 9 songs on Purple Rain, eliminating only Computer Blue and Darling Nikki.  I imagine because they are both songs about lust and he’s a Jehovah’s Witness or something now.  The opening set was balls-to-the-wall electric Princeness.  His 5’2″ frame bounding all across the centrally situated stage, using his guitar as an instrumental phallic extension of his own body.  A true Rock God.  For his second set (my favorite) he sat alone on the stage in a swivel chair playing the acoustic guitar, intermittently turning to face each direction of the crowd to interact with us minions – encouraging us to sing his choruses; teasingly correcting us when we messed up.  He closed the night, of course, with the epic Purple Rain.  The emotion in the building was palpable and moved me to tears.  Sounds gay, but I’m baring my innermost feelings here.  Leave me alone.

So when planning the music list for your 80s theme soirée, keep in mind that it would be a unforgiveable sin to not conclude your celebratory tribute to those bodacious 10 years with the song Purple Rain.  Preferably giving your guests lighters to hold high over their heads while listening to one of the best guitar performances ever recorded.

May he reign forever.

PRINCE

Is that a musical pirate?  No, it's only Prince in 1984.

 

Images *borrowed* from: Hot For Teacher video – YouTube, Prince pic – Wikipedia 

Are You Kidding Me With This?

I usually only make an effort to decorate for a party at Halloween (believe me, you will read about that in September and October) or for one of Emma’s birthday parties.  However, I’m making an exception for my 80s theme party.  Nothing too elaborate… some well placed posters (thanks to Amazon), clean pizza boxes instead of serving platters to house the food, maybe I can find a boombox around my house and turn into a centerpiece somehow (I’m sure some DIY genius already has done that on Pinterest somewhere).

Holy shitballs you guys!  I just googled ‘boombox centerpiece’ and sure enough some crazy-dumb stuff turned up.  Particularly this:

 

This will not be at my house.

A paper cutout of a boombox with music notes and Beaker-esque fountain hair coming out of the top?  NOT my idea of decor.  I do have a multi-colored strobe light/disco ball thingy I can use.  And a Rubik’s Cube.   I may even have some cassette tapes hanging around somewhere – I’ll have to do some digging.  Whatdaya think? Anything else? I would love to hear from you!  Feel free to add a comment!

Images *borrowed* from: Boombox pic – Arcade Party Supplies

She Had Me At Hello

Menu planning for my 80s theme party has begun.  I already know which spirits I will be serving – Mudslides, a vodka punch and beer.  I had some extra time the other day so I decided to take advantage of it and went on a field trip to my beloved Total Wine in Wilmington, DE.  I’m an early bird so I set out around 8:45 in order to get there at about 9:30.  I drove the 45 minutes singing at the top of my lungs and having a blast by my damn self; eager with anticipation to browse the alcohol mecca’s abundantly stocked shelves.

When I pulled into the Milltown Shopping Center parking lot there was only a smattering of cars peppering the spaces.  I navigated into a spot right in front of the store.  Score!  That never happens when I go to Total Wine because they are usually always so busy.  Pleased with my choice to avoid the crowds I flung open my car door and headed for the shopping carts.  I never cross the threshold of Total Wine without a cart – I mean, who would I be kidding?

Once inside I started scanning the aisle markers hanging from the ceiling as to guide myself toward the vodka.  Another customer was blocking Vodka Row so I had to pass down Bourbon Avenue in order to get to what I needed.  When I turned the corner I slowed my cart and started browsing the shelves.  That’s when I heard her for the very first time.  “Hi there”, she said, “If you need any help with anything let me know.”  She was all kinds of adorable with her short brown hair accented by a funky, stylish headband.  Her voice full of sincerity; really wanting to help me with my selections.  She exuded warmth and friendliness and made me feel comfortable.  I’d be surprised if she’s even 25.

Because I think I know everything I responded with my usual, “Oh thanks, I’m just looking for now.”  But instead of going back to stocking the shelves right away, she dropped a joke to which I responded, “You could be my new best friend.”  She giggled and I opened up a little more to inform her I was shopping for an 80s theme party.  Her eyes lit up and she said, “Well, then you MUST have Poppin’ Vodka!  There’s Cherry Cola, which is a little on the sweet side alone, but good when mixed with Coke or Sprite, and then there’s Marshmallow Puff Poppin’ which is fantastic all by itself.”  I was smitten right then and there.

She proceeded to offer advice on the bottles lining the shelves before me.  I told her I wanted a good vodka but was hesitant to pay for Grey Goose.  “Ugghh, don’t buy that!”, she said.  “The reason it is so popular is only because it is the best vodka carried by restaurants – it’s way too expensive.  What you want to buy is Esmé.  It was voted Best Vodka at the Los Angeles Spirits Competition.  It’s from the same region in France as Grey Goose and is distilled the same way.  It’s just not a household name.  I would offer you a taste, but it’s really early.  Oh and my name is Lauren, but I go by Moxie.  Oh and so you know, when you see the yellow tags on our products it means that no one else can get them so we don’t have any competition and can sell them at cost.  Oh and Thursday mornings are a really bad time to come in here because it’s truck day and we are restocking everything so the aisles are usually blocked.  Oh and if you ever buy something we recommend and don’t like it you can totally bring it back and we will refund your money.”

The price is right.

I had to pinch myself to keep from thinking I was in a dream.  This young girl was so knowledgeable.  So confident in her ability to speak to the Total Wine brands.  So bubbly.  It crossed my mind to ask if Total Wine management required their employees to eat their Wheaties before coming to work, but I couldn’t get the words out.  I stood there stunned and wide-eyed and had to blink a few times to regain my composure; had to wipe away the saliva I could feel forming in the corner of my mouth.  I took the opportunity to shamelessly plug this blog and said, “I sing the praises of Total Wine on my blog all the time and am going to do it again thanks to you.”  Her eyes brightened again and she said, “I love reading blogs, what is yours?”  So I gave her my URL and told her it was all about parties.  She said she would read it (yeah, right).  She then gave me advice on the best Irish Cream and Coffee Liquor to buy for the Mudslides I plan to make for my 80s gig.

I got the few other staples I needed for the upcoming outdoor season, strolled over to the checkout and paid my bill.  Upon exiting, I felt happy to have met such a dynamic person who seems to passionately love her job.  So often I leave stores with an empty feeling from the customer service I receive.  Not so with Moxie at Total Wine in Wilmington, DE.  I felt completely satiated during the drive home.

As if I needed another reason to tell you that you need to go to Total Wine for all your party spirits, I found one on this trip.  Not only do they have the best selection and best prices you will find in the tri-state area, they also have superb customer service.

Sure enough, later that night I got 5 new comments on my various posts.  My new bff had, indeed, visited my site, likes my writing and thinks I’m funny.  I needed that.  I’ve been bummed lately because I think no one is reading this stuff.  

I like to believe it is no accident that the English translation for Esmé is “admiration and allure”.  For that is exactly how I feel about my new friend, Moxie.

Moxie's recommendations.

80s Quiz Results

As promised, it’s been a week since I posted The Official ‘I Just Believe In Parties’ 80s Trivia Quiz.  Here are the answers:

1.  Which musical act which was not featured at Live Aid?  Answer:  Joan Jett and the Black Hearts.

2.  Name Arnold and Willis Jackson’s adoptive father.  Answer: Phillip Drummond.

 

3.  Who said, “Government’s first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives”?  Answer: Ronald Reagan.

4.  Rainbow Brite and the…  Answer: Color Kids.

File:Rainbow Brite and Color Kids.jpg

5. The mom from Family Ties, Meredith Baxter-Birney, is now a lesbian.  Answer: True.

Images *borrowed* from: Joan Jett pic – Golyr.de;  Diff’rent Strokes pic – sitcomsonline.com; Reagan pic – cracked.com; Rainbow Brite pic – Wikipedia; Meredith Baxter-Birney pic – Film.com

Target Practice

While strolling through Target the other day I was stopped in my tracks.  Why?  It wasn’t because the new line of outdoor, pretty yet practical, party supplies distracted me so.  It wasn’t because of the fantastic deal I scored on hair products, either.  It was because much of the apparel hanging there on the racks is paying tribute to the 80s, that’s why.  The neon colors, the off-the-shoulder sweatshirts, the Swatch Watch knockoffs.  I took a few pics as to share with you the fashion that struck me…

Oh my eyes!
Target - making it easy to dress for an 80s party

They even have this little beauty for the guys:

Save Ferris indeed.

So if you find yourself in need of relatively cheap clothing to wear to an 80s theme party, stop by Target.

I did happen to purchase a perfect little something for myself.  Only $12.99 and they look just like I remembered.  I’m just giddy over them!

Ray Ban Wayfarer look-alikes.  BOOM!

Happy Shopping!

So…What Are You Wearing?

I consider myself to be pretty fashionable.  I don’t know if you would call me a “fashionista”, meaning I won’t be wearing anything you see on a runway because that shit is usually ugly.  But I do like to pair up a tailored outfit with some funky, bad-ass heels.  Most of my clothes come from Ann Taylor Loft or Banana Republic nowadays.  Yes, they can be a bit pricy, but I always have some sort of discount to use and they hold up for years.  Most importantly though, they make me look gooood.

But when I look back at pictures of my teenage years I wonder what the hell I was thinking.  The hair was bad enough.  But add into the mix: boxy t-shirts, parachute pants, leg warmers, headbands, skinny ties (girls wore them too), lacy gloves, overalls, pleated Guess jeans (I never actually had these, but desperately wanted that damn little triangle on my butt), shoulder pads, neon, Members Only jackets, turned up collars, banana clips and the dreaded stirrup pant – I just want to crawl into a cave.  I thought I wanted to go back and remember how I looked in the 80s.  So I climbed up into the attic for a pictorial trip down memory lane.  Big mistake.  Thumbing through my high school yearbook is cringe-worthy, but funny nonetheless.

 Let's get physical and keep our ankles warm at the same time!

But I say all this tongue-in-cheek.  It was the ubiquitous style at the time and we all just wanted to fit in.  Looking at those moments captured in time really does make me smile.  And while we, as mere mortals, may not have worn each and every one of the above-mentioned fashion trends, our heroes certainly did.  Thanks to the dawn of MTV in 1981, we were exposed to it right in our very living rooms.  Every day after school (and all day during the summers) I was tuned in.  Watching that astronaut land on the moon.  Waiting (im)patiently for Martha Quinn to rotate in the latest Prince video.  Suffering through the Culture Club video I had already seen a thousand times.  But how could I ever even think of changing the channel?  First of all, there was no remote and I was too lazy to get up to physically switch the station.  Secondly, cable tv sucked in 1983 and I wasn’t about to watch another rerun of the Brady Bunch.  Especially when both overt and implied sex seeped out of Music Television.  Finally, regardless of the fact that I had seen each video a gazillion times, I wanted my MTV!

For the life of me, I can’t remember attending a friend’s wedding 10 years ago, but I can remember every single detail of every single video from the 80s.  Amazing.

So for my upcoming 80s theme party I gave my invitees the option of dressing in era clothing if they want to.  I’ve been doing a little shopping myself and there is plenty of 80s garb to be had in stores.  Rue 21 has a crazy selection of stuff you can make work.  The leg warmers and the short gloves; the baggy pants and the skinny ties.  It’s ALL there.

At first I thought I may want to dress like one of those iconic ladies from the video images that are forever emblazoned into my hippocampus.  Like Pat Benatar, with her black leather pants slinking across the set of the You Better Run video.

Do I have the balls to try to pull this look off?

Or Chrissie Hynde, with her guitar and I’m-so-cool-I-don’t-even-need-to-see-what-you-look-like bangs burning up the Middle of the Road stage.

Chrissie Hynde, The Prentenders, Chrissie Hynde Birthday September 7

Could I ever attempt to look this cool?

Or Cyndi Lauper, with her neon eyeshadow and her quirky, flouncy skirts dancing all over the streets of New York in Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.

Shes so unusual

She was unusual, but I could pull this one off.

But let’s face it – those are just fleeting dalliances.  I will be dressed like Madonna.  Spandex skirt over electric blue leggings.  Black bra under a black mesh top.  Rosary beads, mis-matched earrings, short lace gloves, an impossible amount of rubber bracelets and a big bow in my messy hair.  Yep, that’ll be me.

And I’m gonna love every minute of it.

Images *borrowed* from:  Olivia Newton-John pic – USFJade.wordpress.com; Pat Benatar pic – benatarfanclub.com; Chrissie Hynde pic – retrorebirth.wordpress.com; Cyndi Lauper pic – clevescene.com