Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Very Plaid New Year's Eve

With the new year approaching, everyone needs a fantabulous way to celebrate. Luckily, Better Homes & Gardens' Birthdays and Family Celebrations (1963) has us covered, especially if we have fresh-faced and golly-gee clean teens who would only be too happy to play grown-ups for the night by putting together burgers themselves (and would not so much as imagine taking a sip of champagne).

Here are two: one fussing over the condiment bar and the other smiling in her sweater and plaid wool skirt as she puts a burger from the table-side grill onto a comically oversized bun:

I imagine more than a few parents of the era looking at the picture and wishing their children's ideas of letting loose involved wearing a plaid jacket with a tie just inches from a Lazy Susan piled high with fresh fruit. I'm also sure those same children grew up to be far more interesting individuals than their parents had hoped, and now they can tell stories about hitchhiking across America instead of getting to put both raspberry and marshmallow topping on a banana split.

The companions across the table seem slightly more teen-like:

Second guy in a plaid jacket is looking straight up (almost at the camera) and taking a clownishly large bite out of his burger. He needs to be the center of attention. The girl is smiling too widely in her mustard-yellow sweater and green headband, gazing intently across the table at plaid jacket guy #1 rather than at the caramel sauce she will inevitably pour on her hand because she couldn't look away for a second. We can tell she's been distracted for quite some time because she apparently has a green onion on her ice cream. She also has years of therapy for codependency ahead of her.

If you want to have the party, the directions are all here! Be sure use a "little tote grill that's plugged in by the table" to avoid missing the action and be ready to "unzip those bananas needed for splits"!

In case the idea of making one's own sundae isn't clear enough, there are instructions for being "your own soda jerk":

I love the way the writers try to make the language seem  (like a middle-aged housewife's idea of) young: "crowning glories" for whipped cream and cherries, "go-alongs" for cookies, and best of all, the trying-too-hard "gooperoos" for sundae sauces.

Now is your chance to ring in the new year with your favorite gooperoos and plaid skirts and/or jackets!

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