It is funny how this definition changes over time.
When I was a child, it was mainly birthday parties that helped me claim my status as a "party girl." I have so many wonderful memories of sharing birthdays with my cousins and my friends. Coming from a large family, there were always dozens of birthday parties to attend. Of course, I loved it and I am sure my parents dreaded it. As a parent now myself, I understand the chaos that is instilled in planning and attending birthday parties. The first birthday I remember of my own was my third, which is strange to think that I can remember turning three. My brother was in the Air Force and he came home right before my birthday. He brought me a one piece jumper suit, similar to the ones I am assuming they wear in the Air Force. It was tan and complete with all the "official" Air Force badges. I was so in love with it I wore it for my party. I made a wonderful "party girl," even at such a young age. Our family tradition is quite humorous. Cabbage Patch Dolls were much more popular in the 80's and early 90's than they are today. For each birthday celebration that was held within my family, each girl would bring their doll to the party. Then all of the children would sit together on the stair steps, scrunched and bunched like a herd of sheep, girls holding our dolls tightly, and smile for the camera. What a tender moment. I love to think back on this, a moment we all endured, and at the time lived for. Now, we all look at those pictures that have survived all these years and laugh. I still have a couple of those Cabbage Patch Dolls. I even bought Ava one in hopes of carrying on the tradition, and at her birthday party, I lined up all the kids on the stair steps for a family picture.
Then as I grow and make friends in elementary school, the parties change. Slumber parties are the new Cabbage Patch Dolls. I attended many a slumber parties, and hosted quite a few as well. Early on in this new fascination, I was actually scared to stay all night at a friends house. I remember going for the party part, but when it came time for sleeping, I chickened out and went home. It did not take me long to grow out of this. I quickly learned that staying away from home was fun, and that has stuck with me for most of my life. One friends party was complete with a magic show. That was definitely cool. She was popular for awhile after hosting such a fest. It's humorous how slumber parties automatically kick out all rolls that are normally in play. We used to mike mountain dew, kool aid, and marshmallows for a tasty treat. WTF?! How many parents would normally allow that? None! That is what made slumber parties so exciting. I loved having parties of my own. I'll never forget the infamous alligator game that was played in fourth grade! I cannot even elaborate on this because it is too funny!!
Moving onto 5th-8th grade is an enormous step when you are 12. You truly believe that you are extremely mature, in love with the boy you sit next to, and up to date on all the latest fashion. This turned out to be false. Ha! Who would have thought! But living those years helped us to become the thriving adults that we are. The parties continued, and they changed yet again. The newest trend in party madness is co-ed! BOYS BOYS BOYS! That is basically all a girl could think about in those puberty-hitting years. This is where I really earned some brownie points because my parents allowed to host not one, but TWO co-ed dance parties in our barn. Needless to say, my friends and I enjoys this to no end. We thought we were so cool planning the party, making our VIP list, and banning those we knew could not hold a dance move! Not that any of us could actually hold a dance move, but we sure as hell tried. Dancing to those classic 90's songs that were so untastefully tacky but so hip was all we lived for on those cool nights on the barn. Friendships were made and broken. Some may have experienced their first kiss, or their first boyfriend/girlfriend relationship in that barn of mine. We all thought we were so cool, but I am sure that we all look back now and laugh at ourselves. It was a time that can never be forgotten. We learned to love, make friends, and most importantly....DANCE! I smile to think that I was a "party girl" during those years and may have helped to bring out the inner "party girl" in some of my peers.
As we grow older, parties change more and more. High school parties are a whole other ballgame compared to what most of us had already experienced. We all chose different paths as to which type of partier we wanted to be. It started out innocent. For some, it may have stayed innocent, and for others, myself included, it turned not so innocent. Alcohol, and even drugs are experimented with in highschool and college. The urge to fit in with upperclassmen drives the underclassmen to try new things that had never been introduced to them before. I'm not sure what my motives were, but I'm pretty sure that I had a head start on these compared to most of my friends and classmates. I tried new things, made new friends, lost old friends, made mistakes, but I had fun -- most of the time. By our senior year of high school, and freshman year of college, most of my friends had caught onto the things that I was already excelling in. I'm not sure that it was good that I was excelling in these things, but I was having the time of my life! I was definitely considered a "party girl" during these years. I did some that most would not approve of, namely my parents. I was not always safe or smart in my decisions, and I am so very thankful that I never caused harm to myself or to anyone else. Not physically at least. There were definitely some emotional meltdowns that I had and may have caused. But we all grew together. We learned from our mistakes and set our own limits. There are still many that are my age that are still in "party girl" mode. I have moved on. I think it is because I started earlier than most, I got it out of my system. I am thankful for that because I can focus on my family without having regrets of what I missed out on.
As a mother, my "party girl" definition has changed tremendously. When you are a mom, or even a young adult stepping out into the world with your own apartment or real job, the parties that are popular are home parties. I am a junkie. I haven't hosted many but have attended more than I count. The latest these past couple of months in home parties is Pampered Chef. I love their products -- but I have been to or ordered from 5 parties in the last 6 weeks!!!!! And I have two more coming up, and am going to host my own. Outrageous! This consultant is making a killing off my family's addiction to kitchen supplies. The only reason I am having my own party is so that I can have an excuse to bring people to my new house, and so that I can get free products. I think most people host for the free products. I do enjoy these parties. It is fun to socialize with friends and family, even though this is breaking the bank!
I have to laugh when I look at where my life has come. "Party girl" I am -- I just never knew this is the kind I would be. I am happy with it. I may revisit some of my old "party girl" habits every now and again. But I have reached a new age, and with that comes new parties. I look forward to experiencing whatever parties are in my future. I can only imagine where the party industry is headed. I have made some wonderful memories in the partying that I have done over the years. I can only hope that my friends and family can look back and share those memories with me. I hope to give Ava some of the same memories -- not the highschool ones though, lol! Either way, I have come a L-O-N-G ways, and those parties helped to shape the woman and mother I am today.
I am off to plan another party -- our Fourth Annual Christmas Party. Can't wait!
P.S. Here is some interesting reading on how to be a "party girl":