Monday, January 27, 2014

Dissection of an 80's Party

Listening to Don't You Forget About Me by The Wind + The Wave

The dark.
An unsuspecting victim.
A gang of people yelling.
A surprised face.
Faces laughing and cheering.
A husband validated. 
The surprise over.
A husband relieved...

This is the dissection of an 80's Party

I'm the kind of person that loves surprises. I'm also the kind of person that makes it very difficult to pull off a surprise so if you could pull off a double surprise - all the power to you.

When I climbed the steps to the rooftop, I knew there were people up there. I thought the 5 or 6 people we were going out with that night were waiting to toast my birthday and then we'd be on our way. I wasn't, however, expecting a PARTY of people. And then I began to take it in. I looked around to see faces of people that had regrettably told me they couldn't make it out that night. Faces of people that texted me convincing stories of previous engagements they had made that would bar them from coming out to celebrate my birthday. And then I stopped looking at their faces and noticed their outfits. What were they wearing? Three guys were wearing full on mullet wigs. One friend grew a mustache and donned intense silver aviators and a ripped sleeved GATORS shirt. A sea of neon exploded in my eyes like fireworks in a night sky. Side ponytails? Who wears side ponytails anymore? I haven't seen a side ponytail and scrunchies since... and just when I began to understand that this was no ordinary surprise party, DJ AmazingLee started the music; the familiar boppy entrance of Cyndi Lauper's original girls' night out anthem song, "Girls Just Want to Have Fun." And then I understood.
This was an 80s surprise party. 
I can only imagine how excited Husband was to get me to that rooftop, to get me to my surprise so that he didn't have to hold on to it anymore. He is a self-described surprise squasher. I can't think of how many times he's started a sentence with, "I wanted this to be a surprise but..." Great, babe. Surprise blown. And, I am, as I said before (-- understatement ahead -->) not easy to plan surprises for. I ask too many questions and organize every last detail and catch every double story.

In fact, I had already planned a wine night and a joint birthday party for this year's festivities. Poor Husband had to recruit help from 98% of our friends to lie, cover, and turn down plans in order to keep this surprise thing going. And they did. They even double-checked each other's cover stories before returning texts to me just to make sure they weren't blowing the surprise. 

Our friend, Beckett, who I was planning a birthday WITH, told me who was going to Miami - MIAMI! - so he wouldn 't be around until after the weekend. When I saw him around and asked why he was going to Miami he -without skipping a beat - said he had a dentist appointment.
"You know there are dentists on this island?" I told him.
Wherein he responded - again without skipping a beat - "Have you heard all of the horror stories about dentists here?"
I hadn't but he was so convincing that I didn't question it... and agreed.
Laughlin as his alter ego "Tommy"
Our other friend, Laughlin, had planned a "fake" party for next weekend so that between Beckett's dentist visit and this "fake" party, I would have to hold off all plans until the end of JENuary. And the jig was almost up when I sent Laughlin a text message from Husband's phone. I wasn't trying to catch him in something I was just trying to get details so I could plan my own party. Since Husband was driving he gave me his phone to text Laughlin and pretending to be Husband I texted Laughlin about the date for this "fake" party. Upon receiving the message, Laughlin nervously wondered why my husband was sending him a text message about a party he knew was fake so he showed the message to his wife, Sara, to ask her opinion of what to write back. Luckily, Husband had by that point snatched back his phone. 

Since the party was an 80's theme, Husband thought about how he would get clothes there for me. His answer came from our pregnant friend, Tammy, who suggested asking the other girls to bring stuff. "They'll love it," she told him. She was right.

Between Julia, Sara, Katherine, and both Amandas, I had 16 outfit choices: a black lace skirt, hot pants, a NKOTB t-shirt, leggings, arm gloves and neon earrings galore. Julia bought a hair crimper especially for the party. (I'm convinced that she would have been one of the the only people I know to make the 80's look cute. See her on left.) They did my neon makeup, crimped and side ponytailed my hair as high as hairspray would let it- the higher, the better.

With DJ AmazingLee spinning 80's music like a master, we danced, partied, and 80's-ed the night away. My only regret is that we didn't have the whole night on video.

Husband and I performed an impromptu killer lyrical routine to Cyndi Lauper's Time After Time so inspired and so flawless that friends thought we had been perfecting it for years. A dance battle ensued between the ladies when MJ's Beat It came on. It was dancing genius at its best. A quieter friend of ours sang Total Eclipse of the Heart like he had been waiting his whole life to sing it. To the tune of Asia's song, Africa, I sang a love song to our friend's mustache that was grown for the occasion. I couldn't have asked for more.

I repeat:
I was celebrated by friends who were honestly thrilled to celebrate with me: friends who ran around buying gear to dress me up in, friends who grew mustaches for a party, friends who set up nannies and babysitters to watch their children, friends who wore mullet wigs and crimped their hair, friends who danced the entire night away under the stars on my favorite rooftop, friends who definitely felt it the next morning. But that was no matter because that night they partied like rockstars (of the 80's).

 A week later we're still talking about this party. An "epic" bash. My best birthday: the time I woke up with hot pink eyeshadow on my forehead and that neon yellow scrunchie still in my hair.

May you all have at least one party like this in your life.

Thank you friends 
 -not just for helping me celebrate but for surprising me with the best party this 
80's girl at heart could have ever asked for.
The Late Night Crew

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