Sunday, August 28, 2011

Outrageous Kid Parties: 80s & Magic

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Outrageous Kid Parties
"Payton, Kennedy and Reagan's 80s Party" (S02E03):
The Background: Kimberly is throwing a "school's out" party for her three kids. [that's the worst reason yet for one of these extreme events!] She picked 80s as a theme because her kids don't know the 80s. [isn't that totally awkward? Why would you want a theme that you know nothing about? I wouldn't want a StarTrek theme!] Set in Matthews, NC, the family has a large backyard. Payton is 11, Kennedy is 9, and Reagan is 8. Kimberly and husband Joe have an ice cream truck business. [well that's interesting.] Kim took the girls to a roller rink (and they use rollerskates instead of rollerblades). Kim wants 150-250 guests. [I feel as if that's a strange range.] She wants an outdoor roller rink, an 80s cover band, an 80s car with cheerleaders, and a foam pool at the party. She starts with a $10,000 budget. They hit $35,000 FAST. [and, since Kim's friend says that's $15,000 over budget, it must have increased to $20k at some point.] They worry about the rain since chance of precipitation was 50%.
The Invitations: They pass out cassette tape invitations on the last day of school, interrupting a lesson to announce the end-of-summer bash. [though she means "end of school"] You have to bring your tape to get in the party. These cost $500. [the two younger girls are in the same class? and who has a "lesson on rocks" on the last day of school??] 
The Outfits: They go a vintage store to shop. Part of the problem is that Kim steals the outfit ideas the girls have, as she wants to match them. [this woman is SO weird.] Kim wore a cone bra over her clothes for part of the party. Total: $375. Hair and makeup cost another $850.  
The Entrance: Cheerleaders are $1200. 80s Mercedes rental for $250. [um, cheerleaders aren't especially 80s in my opinion, what do you think? And I would have gone for a Trans-Am as the quintessential 80s car!]
The Food: Catering was $3,000 estimated, but $2,000 actual. Plus another $2400 for the rainbow cupcakes and cake. Smashing cupcakes in people's faces got out of control.
The Entertainment: The girls are going to do a live performance so they get an 80s cover band to give them tips. They also have an original song and lessons for $1250. [I don't think an original song was appropriate... that makes it neo-80s, LoL,] They also rent an outdoor roller rink for $2500, a DJ for $850 ($1,000 originally...), decorations for $1100, and props for another $325 (separate from decorations apparently). Also, breakdancers for an undisclosed amount, the roller rink for $2500, a foam pool for $1250, a photobooth for $950, and a caricature artist for $750. Plus, another $650 for the impersonators - Michael Jackson and Tina Turner. [these are lost unto the kids, so useless money spent. I'm also not sure what the Club rental for $1700 was for.] Performing makes the girls nervous. [They're not used to singing and moving around at the same time, they sound out of breath.]
The Gift: They get an ice cream truck for $7,000. [I don't understand this at all. The parents must already own several, and the girls are YEARS away from driving!]
The Favors: none mentioned.

It does rain and they don't have a great backup plan. They keep setting up and it stops raining. [lucky for them!]

total cost of this one: $30,175.00.

Outrageous Kid Parties "Maverick's Mystic Magic Party" (S02E04): 
The Background: Betty has a son, Maverick, 5, graduating preschool in Riverside, CA. She also has Savannah, who is 3. Betty claims that Maverick has accomplished a lot and deserves the party. [...what? He can spell his name... big deal. He's no Doogie Howser!] Maverick loves magic. He wants a dragon cake that blows fire. The whole family, extended and immediate, go to meet a party planner at a magic store. They want a maze, swordfighting, costumes. Original budget is $30,000-40,000, though Dad doesn't want to spend that. [and I can't blame him!] Betty lets the kids pick out whatever they want and it's bought on the spot: $706.37. [and this doesn't exactly seem like a one-time event. Who lets their kids get whatever they want ALL THE TIME??]
The Invitations: They rent out Medieval Times to watch a small show to get invited. [...what?!? How much did THAT cost??] The kids learn some swordfighting and do mock battles to decide who gets invited. [really? you can't invite the whole class to a graduation?? Even the family seems weirded out by this idea.] Shield invitations cost $495. Maverick invited Wyatt and Cara. Then it was decided that everyone can come. [good. because if my kid got invited to audition to be invited to a party, I'd be pretty livid. I might not have even let him try out!]
Photo: TLC
The Outfits: $700 for everyone to take a party bus limo to the store to buy costumes and props. [I'm really getting confused on this mess! This is just uncalled for!] Knight, chair, horse, bows & arrows, costumes, King's Throne ($200), etc. totals $10,000. [!!!] Maverick wants his ear pierced and he gets it done the day of the party. [I don't understand why the grandparents go... they aren't okay with it! Why does this kid even think wizards wear earrings?] That's $75... and he gets a hoop. $950 for the family's costumes, pictured right. [couldn't these have been rented from a local costume shop??]
The Entrance: The idea is that Maverick will appear out of thin air. He appears out of a box, so it works. 
The Food: $1800 for the catering, $2500 for the cake - a dragon that's 4 feet tall, 6 feet long. The dragon had a sparkler in its mouth, which doesn't really count as blowing smoke and fire, so Maverick is upset. It's also really hot out and the cake doesn't fit in the tent it was supposed to sit in, though it doesn't appear to melt, luckily. 
The Entertainment: They audition a magician, who costs $1500. They have to go through a [shoddy-looking] maze to get to the party. That was $600. [which was reasonable given materials and labor, but still not impressive.] Swordsmen for $1200. [one guest saying, "I liked the swordfights because I'm in to violence" was disturbing!] Fortune Teller for $550. [for kids, just get a friend to fake it. c'mon now!] Wizard for $800. [...what did the wizard do, exactly??] Gypsies (who apparently sang) for $600. Water Balloon Launch Station for $218.[the amount being so "exact" amused me.]
The Gift: Scooters are Maverick's big interest, so he gets 5 of them. $595. [FIVE OF THEM. that is all.]
The Favors: none specified.

The extended family members keep expressing concern over what's going on, from the invitation system to the costumes, but Betty just wants to spoil the children. [Savannah is much shyer than Maverick... she almost seems scared of him at times, which I found odd.] Betty is looking forward to throwing something similar for Savannah. Maverick's last words are "I can't wait to graduate from kindergarten." [Boy is this family going to have its hands full!]

total cost of this one: $29,985.00.
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