Kids' Birthday Parties in the 70s Vs. Now

How about a little Throwback Thursday action with this repost from 2014?

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

How to Throw Kid's Birthday Party in the 70s

1. Call up all your friends on the block and tell them to come over around three this Saturday for a birthday party.

2. Get a box of Duncan Hines yellow cake mix and bake it. Decorate with a can of vanilla frosting. Food coloring can be added if desired. Red #2 is quite appealing to children. Sprinkles are also fine but don't go overboard.

3. Don't forget to buy a 5 gallon, clear plastic tub of vanilla ice cream. The kind with no label that costs about $1.50 for the whole thing and melts into a big pile of foam.

4. Twist a few crepe paper streamers and scotch tape them above your picture window in your living room. If you're feeling mighty generous, you may also blow up a few balloons and toss them around the living room. 

5. Haul the card table and folding chairs up from the cellar and set them up. You are now finished decorating for the party.

6. Find a kid with chicken pox and invite him to the party too so that all the other kids will get it and be done with it.

7. Mix up several pitchers of Kool-Aid. Dump potato chips into bowls. Open a can of Planter's Cheese Balls. Be careful not to sever a finger on the metal lid. You are now finished with the party food.

8. See if the Sears catalog has that ridiculous Ice Bird snow cone maker thing your child sees the commercial for after Hong Kong Phooey and keeps fussing about. If they don't have it, oh well. Get her a Slinky and some Silly Putty. You know she's just going to play with it once and get bored anyway and before you know it, she'll be right back to wrapping a bath towel around herself, jumping on the sofa saying she's Isis.

9. Wrap the birthday gift in the funny papers from last week's Sunday Times.

10. At the birthday party, loosely organize a few games. Simon Says is good. Also have the children stand on a chair and attempt to toss clothes pins into a mixing bowl on the floor. After that, play musical chairs to the Grease soundtrack on the record player. That's enough. The kids don't need to get too wound up.

11. Sing "Happy Birthday," cut the cake and take some pictures. Be sure to buy extra flash bulbs for the camera just in case. Serve the cake and ice cream on some paper plates with plastic spoons.

12. Send the kids out into the yard until their parents come to pick them up.

13. Before you child can play with any gifts, make him sit at the kitchen table with a pencil and a pad of paper and write Thank You notes to everyone who came. Tell him if he doesn't hurry up he'll miss Emergency! when it comes on at eight.

14. Go make yourself a White Russian and light up an Eve; freshen yourself up a little so you don't look like a Sleestak.



Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

How to Throw a Kid's Birthday Party Now

1. Decide on an event location. Visit several. Question your Facebook parenting groups accordingly for opinions.

2. Hire an expensive caterer. Ask them to make pizza, chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese. Even though they are expensive caterers. Arrange for an open bar for the adults.

3. Attend several cake tastings. Consult Facebook again. Post sample photos of potential cakes to all social media outlets asking for input. Making a decision between fondant and buttercream is hard. Also, can they make vegan buttercream like out of coconut oil or something so you can incorporate more medium-chain fatty acids into the menu?

4. Find a handmade cake topper of your child's favorite character on Etsy and order it. The have your baker recreate it out of fondant and spun sugar.

5. Hire a photographer for the event. Show them at least 15 twee mommy blogs whose candid, yet quaintly natural style you'd like to copy. Yet not. But sort of. You know, right?

6. Obsess over Pinterest for cake table decorating ideas and search desperately for someone to make you a bunting EXACTLY LIKE THIS ONE that you saw on Pinterest. Go buy lots of cake stands and tall glass jars to copy the exact look.

7. Go to a stationery store and pore through books of sample invitations. Choose one and include a professional photo of your child to personalize. Send it out several months before the party actually occurs.

8. Audition entertainers. You want to have at least two costumed characters, face painters and balloon animal makers.

9. Rent your bounce house.

10. On second thought, go ahead and rent a petting zoo too.

11. Worry incessantly over head count. How many parents will be present? Will guests be bringing siblings even if they weren't specifically invited. Is that rude? Wait no, maybe it's rude to not want siblings and all the siblings should be invited too? Oh my God! This is SO STRESSFUL.

12. Take a Xanax. Holy crap, have a Caipirinha too even though you can't even freaking pronounce it. Insist that you see them make it with Splenda. Wait, how many calories are in Cachaca?

13. Begin dieting for party, but don't call it a diet. It's a 30 Day Holistic Nutrition CHALLENGE.

14. Have your low-lights touched up, get a gel mani-pedi and spray tan. 

15. Buy an expensive costume for your child to wear. If you have a daughter or a non-gender conforming son it must involve an exceptionally large tutu. There must be tulle. Lots of tulle. And a tiara. Possibly wings, but definitely a tiara.

16. Have your party planner assemble themed, gender appropriate goody bags as party favors. Wait no. That is totally a micro-aggression. We are all about gender-NEUTRAL now. Make the party planner redo the bags, but put them into cute little Chinese takeout boxes. OMG, is that cultural appropriation?

17. Decide at the last minute that you need a separate menu for the adults. Call caterer in hysterics.

18. Oh my God. Call the caterer back. There will also need to be gluten free, casein free and vegan options of every single menu item and absolutely no peanuts.

19. If Toys R Us is out of the "must-have" toy of the season, go to extreme lengths to make sure you get that toy in time for the party even if this means finding it on eBay for $600.00 and driving four hours each way to pick it up from a woman named Wanda Lee who lives in a trailer and is a hoarder. Eww.

20. Since Wanda Lee is also an animal hoarder, take home at least one kitten and one puppy from her trailer. You have to save those animals. High tail it out of Leisure Land Central just as the A & E cameras pull up with the 1-800-GOT-JUNK trucks.

21. You totally forgot to call a DJ. Facebook status about this immediately from your iPhone. Use A LOT OF CAPS LOCK. Post a selfie where you look super upset but your overlined lipstick is perfect and your eyebrows are on fleek, of course.

22. After the party is over, worry if you've tipped the vendors enough.

23. Mail out the pre-printed Thank You cards that all say the exact same thing and have a picture of your kid on them just like the invitations did. Not having to write them out for your child is so so so much less stressful.

24. Book therapy appointment because this was all just so...triggering.


How to Make a Man Fall in Love With You.

IMAGE CREDIT: Google Images

IMAGE CREDIT: Google Images

Pretend to be unavailable. Except actually be available. Just don’t look available. Don’t call or text him. Except call and text him sometimes.  Don’t be needy. But don’t be too aloof either. Try very hard to figure out what any of this actually means.

Mutilate your body in a vain attempt to conform to a very narrow standard of beauty that you will probably never be able to attain anyway. Pay a lot of money to have strangers pour hot wax on your crotch so you are as hairless as a toddler. Blow your life savings to have a doctor cut open your chest and stuff you full of plastic bags. Because that’s sexy.

Pretend to be very adventurous. Fake that you like football and eating ribs and driving fast cars and risk taking. Definitely go bungee jumping and sky diving. You know, like a date on "The Bachelor." Adventurous girl = wild in bed. You definitely want to convey that you are wild in bed without actually saying that you are wild in bed because then you’ll look like a slut.

Do all kinds of kinky, freaky stuff even if you aren’t comfortable with it and it doesn’t make you feel good. You don’t want him to think you’re a prude and leave you for someone who is more fun, do you?

Never complain about anything. Men don’t want a woman who is a pain in the ass. But you should occasionally assert yourself, just not to him, because men also love bitches. So be very sweet and submissive, but also be a fucking bitch sometimes. Good luck figuring out this tricky balance.

If he tries to change or fix you, do whatever he wants you to. Dress differently, change your hair, eat food you hate, whatever it takes to transform yourself into his version of the ideal woman.  Being loved for who you are isn’t really important.


And you know it is. You know in your very soul that every word of this is wrong-headed, toxic fucking bullshit, don’t you? But you do a lot of these things anyway, even if you won’t outright admit it.

Here’s why you do it.

Because women are told from the time that they are little girls that we have to earn romantic love, and that only the most worthy women get “picked.” But love isn’t a fucking kickball team in seventh grade gym class. You don’t stand around hoping you’re good enough at the game to be chosen, and rescued and validated and told that you are lovable. We think it works that way, but it doesn’t really work that way.

The truth is that love doesn’t work any kind of way. It’s one big, beautiful, magical mystery.

 I suspect it has something to do with a complicated cocktail of pheromones, timing, parent issues, karma, culture, fate, connection, and availability. Lord only knows what else is involved, but what I do know for sure is that when these things are all in line, it’s rare and it’s lucky. So many of these factors are completely out of our control 99 percent of the time, that it’s just pointless to even worry about them.  Let go of grasping for love or trying to force it or trying to make it happen.

Here is what else I’ve learned:

You cannot make a man fall in love with you.

Seriously, if women could do that, if anyone truly had that power, we’d all be in secure committed relationship, people wouldn't cheat, sports bars would not exist, our houses would all be clean, we’d all get cards and flowers on our anniversaries, and no one would ever get cosmetic surgery and I wouldn't be writing this.

There is no code to crack, no love spell that actually works, no secret formula. The women who aren’t alone, the ones you see on Facebook with the adoring husbands who post cute selfies together all the time so that you want to stab them in the eyeballs, they don’t know something you don’t. They don’t play the game better than you. They just got lucky. At least for now. 

And it’s not because they’re pretty or weigh less or dress cuter or are more successful or can do advanced yoga poses in public and post them all over Instagram. It’s not because they were more fun or more or less ladylike than you or because they give blowjobs with Altoids in their mouths or have multiple orgasms, hands-free, from penetration alone, and fling themselves out of puddle-jumpers at 10,000 feet when you can’t even take a comfy 777 on a three hour flight to New York without a full bar of Xanax.

A long time ago I set out on a mission to make someone love me. I went through a checklist of accomplishments (lose 20 pounds, make a ton of money, stuff like that) that I truly swore would make me rejection-proof. I worked very hard on this list. I thought of little else besides my goals of making this man love me and when I accomplished every single thing on that list two things happened:

1.       I kind of started to hate myself for doing this in the first place because I knew I was compromising my integrity.

2.       I did not “make” someone love me.

3.       (Okay, three things happened) I gave up accomplishing things solely because I thought I needed them to earn someone else’s love, and I started accomplishing things that I wanted to accomplish purely for my own joy and satisfaction. Then I learned to love myself again, which was a way better feeling than having some guy tell me I have great legs (which I do, by the way).

Love is not something that you have to work for. You can’t trick someone into loving you. You cannot transform yourself into something more lovable. If a man doesn’t fall in love with you, no matter how much you wanted him to, or how deserving you believe you were of his love, don’t blame yourself or consider it a failure. All it means is that one or more ingredients of the mystery cocktail were missing and you had no control over the situation. So cry and eat some ice cream and listen to Adele and be disappointed and then get the fuck over it and go live a beautiful, wonderful life on your own terms without his sorry stupid ass.

Let me tell you one more time.

There is nothing you can do or not do or be or not be to make a man fall in love with you.

Detach from all of these ridiculous expectations and fears of loneliness and abandonment. Give yourself a break from the idea that love is work, because isn’t. Take a little rest from this. You need it. You’ve been struggling with this your whole life. You can stop now. Go have some fun just for yourself.

Love is a comfort, not an obligation.

Love is a gift that we give and accept.

Sometimes it is fleeting and we have to accept that too.

Love is not the highly classified code to an atomic bomb that only, like, four people in the whole country are allowed access to, so like a terrorist you have to try to crack it even if it fucking kills you in the process.

Love is not an outcome that we can manipulate to avoid imagined future suffering.

Love is the ultimate lesson in living in the present moment.

If you are in a man’s heart, you are already there. You don’t need to fight to stay because he will hold you there in that space on his own accord, and he will call you and he will text you and he will like your idiotic Facebook posts and he will make all the time he can to see you, and you will know.

And if you’re not in his heart?  Fuck that ignorant bastard.

Weekly Recap - The End of February

Okay, so I realize this is more like a two month recap, rather than a weekly recap, but be patient with me. I'm a writer. We are delicate. I got all kinds of busy since Christmas. But here are all the things that have inspired me, made me happy, and made me think lately:

Brene Brown perfectly sums up the current state of my life in this quote.

This post and especially the words on the side of this building.

Danny Bowien's ridiculous fried rice with freaking potato chips crushed up on it. Watch the video embedded in the post too. You have to make this.

My cousin Jordana in Delaware took this photo of a snowy country road at sunset, and it makes me calm and homesick.

My cousin Jordana in Delaware took this photo of a snowy country road at sunset, and it makes me calm and homesick.

All December I was in a funk and I couldn't stop listening to The National, but I'm out of my funk and I can't stop listening to the most recent Arctic Monkeys album, AM. It's sexy.

But when I write I listen to the Beastie Boys.

The staff writers at Buzzfeed, as usual, had me cracking up over this post where they make fun of inspirational home decor. This was probably the funniest things I've seen on the Internet in a while.

I got this set of three pairs of earrings and I have strong passionate feelings about them and I think they are really reasonably priced for the quality and size (they're big!). I was so excited when they arrived and looked even prettier than the picture. I can't decide which pair is my favorite, but I think it's the rubies. I like red. And no, I wasn't paid to advertise. I found these on my own.

This weekend, I found myself with a sort of psychic hangover, so I sat around on the couch and watch free documentaries on Netflix. You have got to see Kumare. For real. Like right now. It made such a profound statement about a few different things. I won't ruin it for you, but it's about a young man who decides to fool people into thinking he's an Indian guru (he was born in New Jersey) and he ends up realizing that he'd been fooling himself all along. Seriously. Go watch it now. This movie was life changing.

I also loved The Search for General Tso, which is a documentary about the origins of General Tso's Chicken. Except it isn't. The popular dish is just the lens through which the film-makers tell the story of Chinese immigrants and their assimilation into mainstream American culture. And it's fascinating and heartbreaking and occasionally funny and altogether completely interesting and important. Really really well done.

I just got The List App, because I adore B.J. Novak and I liked the idea. I haven't made any of my own lists yet (I'll let you know when I do), but I've enjoyed reading other people's. Cheryl Strayed and Lena Dunham have some good ones.This

Last week my cousin came down to Florida to visit and we went to the Ancient Spanish Monastery in North Miami for Ash Wednesday, and it was truly a beautiful day. This year I decided to give up being an overreactive asshole for Lent. Whenever someone does me wrong, which is, alas, bound to happen, I decided not to throw a fit, and instead to react with calm, kindness and empathy, even when I want to throttle them.

That's about it for this week. I have some fun new projects that I'm working on, so at the moment I haven't been blogging quite as often as usual and I haven't been writing for any of my favorite websites lately, though that will probably change in the near future. In the meantime, I am very active on my Facebook page (I post new things there every day!) and on my Instagram. I have to say that I really love Instagram and I use it as a different sort of creative outlet than writing. It inspires me to seek out different adventures and to look for beauty and happy things to photograph wherever I go, so I do hope you'll visit me there because I like to see your pictures too. If you follow me, I will follow you back.

Last but not least, of course, my book is available for pre-order everywhere! Yay! THIS IS NOT MY BEAUTIFUL LIFE will be out June 7th.