Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Ain't No Party

Let me tell you something about parties and me. Nothing in the execution of a party causes me more angst than the guest list. This is because I hate for anyone to feel excluded. This overblown empathy has been with me since I was a child. When I was in first grade my teacher made me get up in front of both first grade classes during morning meeting and tell everyone about my 6th birthday party. I had had a Halloween party since that's sort of a no-brainer if you're born on the holiday, but I'd only been allowed to invite 12 friends. So, when I stood in front of the 50 first graders, close to 90% of the kids had not been invited to my party. Never mind that I didn't really like that many of the kids and that the feeling was probably mutual. I thought they'd all be crushed to hear about how they missed it when we played pin the face on the pumpkin. So, I did what all overly self-conscience children do when they're put on the spot: I cried. I cried a lot in school, and I could see through my tears that Mrs. Beck was shaking her head and writing something in her notebook. A couple months later I received a "needs improvement" in self-control on my report card. This, not my SAT scores, prevented me from getting into Princeton. I am sure of that.

This was the least-dignified Princeton picture I could find.
I searched for Rutgers University pictures and came up with three dozen right off the bat that make the ice skating tiger look like the Queen of England. This, for example:

As always, I have digressed from my original point, which is that I am posting about a party and I'm sorry if you weren't invited even if you don't live near me and wouldn't have come anyway.

For the K's 40th birthday I decided to throw him a party. Not just any regular old party, but a redneck/white trash/trailer park/kountry/Appalachian-American/Honey Boo Boo party. Oh, yes it is offensive, but since my grandparents are from the Ozarks I think I can throw some stones. That's the nice thing about being the mutt that I am. If people have free reign to make fun of their own heritage I can make fun of Jews, hillbillies, and the French all I want. Throw the kids in there and I can make fun of Arabs and Germans. Is there really anyone else to make fun of that won't get you arrested?

I made the invitations on Paperless Post, which is like Evite, only with better graphics (in my opinion). Here's the invitation that I made:

I got the picture from Google Images by searching for "Red Solo Cup," because there's this Toby Keith song that's an homage to that noble vessel. Sample lyrics:
A red Solo cup is cheap and disposable,
And in 14 years they are decomposable,
And unlike my home, they are not foreclosable,
Freddie-Mac can kiss my ass. Woo!
 Toby Keith is the Shakespeare of our times. Randy Shakespeare, that is.

Over the next few weeks I hit many of the area's best dollar stores and picked out the tackiest items to decorate our house. I also ordered a half-dozen Nascar posters because that seemed to fit with the theme. I learned some things on my shopping excursions. For instance, the dollar store at Suburban Plaza makes Big Lots look like Neiman Marcus. I was briefly tempted to buy an $8 toilet seat and then thought, "why?" The shopping carts are the only things in the store with anti-theft sensors, presumably because they're the only things worth stealing. Family Dollar, over in Loehmann's Plaza was a far nicer dollar store and everything there actually cost $1.

To decorate the outside of the house, I had the children get a bunch of old riding toys, bikes, and other crap and throw it all over the front lawn. We always have two huge buckets of baseballs outside our front door (which is pretty redneck all on its own) but I put them front and center on the lawn and tipped one of them over. The whole effect was very DFCS-check-on-the-welfare-of-the-children-in-that-house.

So, here are some pictures of the inside of the house:

The outhouse. If you squint you can see the half-moon above the poster.

This is a big poster of Tony Stewart. Probably.
The packaging said, "goes with any decor." I must agree!
The kids love this blanket. They have been fighting over who gets to sleep with it each night. Turns out that polyester is very snuggly. It also melts if it catches on fire. The Girl loves horses and asked if they make any of the same blankets with horses. I'm sure the answer is yeah, howdy.

You can kind of see in the Tony Stewart picture that I made use of more red cups in my decorating. Here's a picture:

There's something a little Alexander Calder about this decoration.
These were relatively easy to make: I had some silver curling ribbon left over from Christmas and about 60 red plastic cups. I made a hole in the bottom of each cup with a mini-screwdriver, the kind you use to remove battery covers on kids' toys. The big thing was not making the hole too big because you want the cup to stay in position without having to knot the ribbon. I just threaded the ribbon through the holes in the cups, three to a string. Because I didn't have to tie knots to keep the cups in place, I could adjust the position of the cups on the ribbons after I hung them up. As you can see I used blue painters tape to attach the cups to the wall.

I'm sure someone craftier than I can come up with a more attractive way to stick these to the wall.
I think my favorite purchase was two and a half yards of camouflage material that I used as a tablecloth. I bought the cheapest camo fabric at Hancock Fabrics and it was, of course, the most crazy. Here is a closeup of the pattern which appears to be fish swimming in trees.

Realism in camo is for the birds, not the fish.
 Here is the table all set with my beautiful flamingo and silk flower centerpiece:

Y'all, that's more white bread than at the Republican Convention.
I ordered waaaaay too much barbecue from Fox Bros., thus we'll be eating it at the Baby's wedding. It was delicious, but there's only so much of that kind of thing that you can eat without feeling like there should be a juice cleanse in your future. Speaking of food that ain't so healthy, I give you the cake:

I thought the cake needed a hostess (wink).
I just pulled the Barbie out of the toy box and she was already dressed in this outfit. All of Barbie's clothes are redneck at best and whorish at worst. The girls even have dentist Barbie who came with an outfit consisting of a lab coat, turquoise pumps and nothing else. It looked like one of those "sexy dentist" Halloween costumes or something I imagine that the stripper at an orthodontist's bachelor party might wear.

But the cake...so, all I did was to make two boxes of cake mix and divide the batter among a big tube pan, an 8" round cake pan and a little bundt cake pan. Then I stacked the cakes so that the tube pan was on the bottom, the round cake went next, and the little bundt on the top. I sliced the tops off the tube cake and the round cake so that they would be flat and then frosted between the layers so they would stick together better. Then, I frosted the whole cake and speared it with Little Debbie snack cakes and Moon Pies. I stuck the snack cakes into the main cake with wooden toothpicks, which seemed to work well.

Little Debbie, Little Debbie (see below)
I know you all want to see more of the party, but I just have to share this video from Southern Culture on the Skids singing "Camel Walk" because it seems appropriate here:

Okay, back to the party. I decided that I would look up all the party guests' Honey Boo Boo names on this handy-dandy Honey Boo Boo nickname translator:

George Washington's Honey Boo Boo nickname is Goober Woo Woo
Then, I wrote up stickers with everyone's name and nickname and stuck them on the red (knockoff) solo cups because...well, it seemed like a funny idea at the time. Here's what they looked like:

I feel certain that Martha called him Goober.

And, of course, what's a party without a party outfit. Here I am with the Girl just prior to the kids getting packed off to Mom's house:

My first rodeo was, in fact, on Valentine's Day 2001.
This picture really hardly does justice to the awfulness of the pants which were both acid-washed and reminiscent of camouflage. The shirt was from Target and the pants were from Loehmann's. Just as a horrifying point of interest, the original price of the pants was $155. I bought them for $15. All in all, I think I was channelling 1980s New Jersey rather than white trash, but the outfit was bad and my hair was bigger than usual. The K donned his Merle Haggard shirt, camo pants, and work boots. Sadly for the K, the Girl said that the only thing weird about his outfit were his boots.

You can barely see the K's legs because they blend in with the tablecloth.

The party guests really brought the goods, though:

Steph's shirt says, "Watch out this girl is cray!" Gwinn's is airbrushed love leopards.

Those aren't jeans on Scott, they're pajama jeans and Molly's wearing pantyhose and white sandals.

We even had security. Not really.

That's Lauren in the curlers. She's married to the security detail, above.

You can't tell from this picture, but I think Paul rubbed motor oil all over his shirt.
Rodney's hat says "Beaver Patrol."

Emily was one of three party guests sporting fake baby bumps. And drinking. And pretending to smoke.

Emily, fake baby bump photo-bombing Mark and Robin.
I think Mark is heading to a Guns n Roses tribute band concert later. 
The K and his band mates played.
The bowls on the table contained pork rinds, Pringles, and cheese puffs.

Alcohol seemed to be the gift of choice for the K.
Here are Ed and Matt checking out a bottle of real moonshine.
It was a really fun party and it was great to see so many people get into the theme. So, what do you all think? Does this inspire you to plan your own redneck/white trash/kountry party? Let me know if it does, because I still have ten pounds of pulled pork in my freezer I'd be happy to send you!


  1. Too bad you don't still have Tricky Mickey

    1. And, Dad. Tricky Mickey was a go-go boots and psychedelic hot-pants wearing doll that I had when I was four and clearly incapable of buying such a thing for myself.

  2. I love the theme and that so many people got into it! I love a good costume party. Nice work.

    1. Thanks! Let me know if you need any pink flamingos. They are currently languishing in my basement.

  3. It was a great party. Stop giving all your secrets away. You can still write that Junior League book or trailer trash party in a box. You're on to something here.

    1. Too much work. I am getting a lot of pins on Pinterest with this post. Hopefully I've inspired others.

  4. In a word AWESOME. I hope Neal does not read this post or his annual b-day fete will turn redneck y'all. That is easier to do in Atlanta than in Chicago and I hate costumes like you hate excluding 1st graders from parties. I love how your friends got into the spirit!

    1. It was fun! I didn't post the picture of Debbie and Bill because she went almost too far in the costume and went without a bra. and pregnant. If you want to borrow/have any of my props for Neal's 40th, let me know and I will send them to you!