Spring break. Here it comes. And whether you’re imagining Paula Prentiss in Where the Boys Are, or Tom Cruise in Losin’ It, there seems to be an overwhelming focus on the essential rites of the birds and the bees during this season. I hear you pagans, “Duh, it’s Beltane! Time to celebrate fertility!” Chicks and bunnies duly noted, thank you.
Here in Santa Cruz the phrase “Spring Break” is a double-edged sword. Maybe even triple-edged. Kids get a break from school: good edge. Visitors descend on our quiet burg: bad edge. Visitors stuff money in our local economy: good edge. They date our daughters and leave juice boxes on the beach: bad edge. They date our needy friends and leave large tips: good edge.
Growing up Catholic, and attending a parochial school, we referred to the week as “Easter Vacation.” In hindsight, not only does this make my grown up pc brain cringe (asking Rajit what he got in his Easter basket), but the label also seems a bit fluffy for the end days (physical) of the icon of the largest religion in the world. Vacation? Really? After all that walking, falling, crucifying, dying, rising? Wouldn’t “Easter Triage” or maybe even “Easter Recuperation” be more fitting? Chocolate eggs and Peeps hardly fit the bill, at least in my opinion.
Then again I, like many of my Catholic-schooled peers, am no longer a church-going Catholic. For various reasons, which I will not go into here, but suffice to say it had nothing to do with the awesome music and donuts, I find myself with the overused label of “spiritual, but not religious.” And I know it’s almost as bad as calling oneself “a people person.” I apologize. I celebrate the coming of spring as part of the circle of nature’s life, and believe you me—I’m as lazy a full-moon pagan as I was a Sunday-Mass Catholic.
What I do adhere to (dare I say religiously?) on a yearly basis is my attempt to watch as many spring break movies as possible, both the secular and the sexular. This serves a multitude of purposes for me: keeping me indoors and out of the path of lost strangers, reminiscing about my more faith-based youth, filling my creative pot with plot lines and character arcs that lend themselves to relaxation (aka fluff-induced coma), and confirming my belief that watching 1980s era John Cusack is about as close to a perfect moment as I’m going to have between March and June.
Following are some party ideas for you, culled from the Kim Luke Events Planning Guide. Rent the films. Call your friends:
‘Where the Boys Are’ Cautionary Tale Pot Luck
Suggested attire: button-up starched cotton with shameful secret lingerie. Be sure to provide both a make-out closet as well as crying towels for post coital guilt and angst. Men, be ready to defend your gender! Ask guests to bring to the table any and all hang-ups and stereotypes, with serving spoons.
‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ Air Guitar Kegger
Suggested attire: rockin’ togas and earth-toned leather vests. Provide swaying and snapping lessons for all guests. Women, prepare to develop a crush on the fair-skinned, blue-eyed Christ! Menu might include fondu, or any other snack poked with a stick.
‘Losin’ It’ Purity Ring Sock Hop
Suggested attire: well-laundered clothing, white socks, party hats. Distribute Purity Rings, the “symbol of a promise with God” to be chaste until marriage. Be ready to collect them all after this film erases any libidinous essence remaining in your guests. Finger food from Taco Bell highly recommended. Favorite quote (represents the tone of the entire 100 minutes) “… the nastiest, raunchiest, most bitchinest place in the whole world– Tijuana!”
‘The Last Temptation of Christ’ Charades Invitational
Suggested attire: thorns, blood, beards. Invite attendees to play a highly competitive and entertaining game of charades. Suggested secret phrases include “artistic license,” “historical fiction,” and “who’s a better Pontius Pilate – David Bowie or Telly Savalas?” A hint for competitors: there is only one Word, or so I hear.
‘Easter Parade’ Anti-Depressant Luncheon
Suggested attire: something pretty, and a hat. Hand-holding and witty small talk is encouraged. Be sure to serve Braised Rabbit, Prozac, and a cake of many layers. Remember, dancing is a metaphor for you-know-what. (wink)
‘Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise’ + ‘Spring Break’ Shame Fest (double feature)
Suggested attire: switches, cat-o’-nine-tails, veils of shame. Provide a perfect opportunity for friends and family alike, regardless of social or political leanings, to gather in shame and self-loathing for a double feature of wacky gender mortification. Serve up the crow and take a drink every time someone says “makin’ it.” (Note to hostess: guests may want to shower to remove the thematic grime from their evolved selves.)
If theme parties aren’t your cup of tea, and let’s be honest, they’re probably not, you might enjoy stepping outside to enjoy the anticipated spring-like weather. I salute you, and wish you well. But be forewarned—it’s fertile out there.
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