Friday, January 11, 2008

Nifty Fifties

My husband and I are planning a birthday party for my mom. I don't remember her ever having a birthday party, even though she threw some great ones for me when I was a kid. I guess it's just too close to Christmas and everyone is partied out. She's turning 70 this year, though, and it's time she had a party.

We decided we needed a theme. A 70's party? Nah, that would just be too weird. That was when we were teenagers, so it can't possibly have been long enough ago to parody. Besides, Disco Duck, leisure suits and John Boy? Too far out, man. But mom was born between the Great Depression and World War II - not the most cheery party themes. Finally we hit upon a 50's party. Get hip, Daddy-O! The amateurs are gonna roll up their jeans and give it a whirl.

This has turned out to be a perfect theme, because there is plenty of material out there for it (and because it is all relatively cheap!). Of course some of it was pretty tacky. Five foot tall Elvis cling-sheets, inflatable juke-boxes and "You Ain't Nothing But a Hot Dog" vinyl record impersonations by Frank n' the Furters didn't make the cut. We stuck to simple things. Crepe paper and balloons, record albums and sock-hop music, really cute invitations with mom's picture from tenth grade on them, and a fantastic 5-ft. long Happy Birthday banner covered with little pictures of mom across the years. It never hurts to be married to a graphic artist at party time!

Well, the gingerale is chilling and I have the lime sherbet to complete the punch. The chocolate cake is out of the oven, but I need to make the icing. Since mom's never, to my knowledge, had a birthday party before, a lot is riding on this one, so I better go get busy. I'll let you know if her tears ('cause I know she's gonna cry) are from happiness or horror!

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