Some of you who follow me on Twitter or know me in real life may know that I have a secret (or not so secret) love for Toddlers and Tiaras. It's my favorite train wreck aside from Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant. So you can imagine the absolute euphoria I felt (and the dread Dan experienced) when I saw this beauty was airing on TLC last night:
Yeah, boring logo. Awesome show. Perfect show for me to recap: found. The series premier featured the ridiculously over-the-top princess party of Gracie, who was turning 6. Initial budget for the party: $15,000. Kind of. Or $10,000. Or, if Dad had his way, $60. So it starts off with little Princess Gracie and her delusional mom meeting with the planner to discuss this budget. Basically, right off, we can tell Mom is going to be hiding costs from Dad. Which makes me wonder - how does this guy, who is the breadwinner since Mom is a stay-at-home air-breather, not have any idea what's going on with his finances? How do you hide spending $15,000 from your husband? And their house, while big, is not a mansion (the kitchen is sad, folks), so it's not like it's $15,000 out of $1.8 Billion.
Speaking of which, I also watched The Unpoppables on TLC, about balloon figure designers. This woman was throwing a party for her husband, who she says is stressed about providing for their newborn son while she stays home. So she goes and throws him a huge surprise party in this wicked fancy hotel ballroom, complete with these monstrous crazy balloon things. And those were only the decorations. Now, call me naive, but I'd imagine that paying a staff of 3 people for 4 days to blow up, tie, twist, and build a sail boat and tiki bar out of 3,000 balloons can't be cheap. So definitely, when your husband is stressed about being the manly sole provider, the obvious choice is to spend his hard earned money on a party decorated with a boat load (literally) of balloons. And again, how did this guy not notice that his money was being spent like that? You'd better believe that if I was our sole breadwinner, I'd be watching our accounts like a freaking sniper. There'd be no surprises. Ever. Moral of the story: stay-at-home moms need something to do other than plan parties, because things get carried away.
Anyway, Gracie. Gracie's a piece of work. She's quite the demanding little thing. Spoiled rotten. Dances on chairs during dinner, slurps down Starbucks like it's going out of style, the whole bit. Her mom explains that she was a surprise - she found out she was pregnant with Gracie at 40, when her older kids were 9 and 11. If Gracie's turning 6, that means the older siblings are turning 16 and 18. Older Sister makes sure to note that therehas been no mention of huge parties for their milestone birthdays. More than once, Mom refers to the older kids as "already gone." What she means by this is that they no longer believe in fairytales and might as well be shipped off to an old folks home because they're no longer entertaining to their mother. But, Mom has a solution for that. Older Sister gets to make her cheer squad make up a Gracie cheer (G-R-A-C-I-E... creative). She looks mortified. Older Brother and his friend, who was unfortunate enough to have been sitting on the couch, get to dress up as royal page boys or something or other and go door to door yelling "hear ye, hear ye" to deliver Princess Gracie's $3,000 scroll invitations. They both look thrilled, let me tell you.
The party is obviously getting out of control when Mom and her equally delusional mother take Gracie shopping for her cake. Mom says she thought that Gracie would choose a kiddie cake. Oh, no. Not Gracie. Child picks out a $2,000 wedding cake and wants a BLUE bird on it. At the dress shop, she chooses a puffy pink and white gown that cost $750. My wedding dress? Cost half that.
Next, Mom goes to pick out Gracie's horse and carriage. Yes, Gracie will be arriving in style in a Cinderella-style pumpkin carriage. Cue Mom stating once again that her older kids are fuddy duddies who don't believe in fairytales and this is so special for Gracie and her last chance to do this. You'd think believing in fairytales was as necessary to sustaining life as oxygen, according to this woman. Next up is a visit to the venue to sort out details, where we discover that the cost of the party is going to be at least $20,000. Ruh roh. Mom goes home and tells Dad about all the amazing costumes and special effects. Dad clues in and wisely states there's no way you can plan a party like what he's hearing about for $10,000 and Mom skates like Tanya Harding around his questions, saying "it'll all be so magical and worth it."
Finally, it's party day. Gracie's hair and makeup stylists cancel last minute, which is probably what everyone else involved in this monstrosity should have done. Little Princess refuses to let anyone dress her or do her hair. Mom is running around like a crazy woman and throwing the coordinator under the bus because the buffet table isn't where it should be. Dad is walking around turning pale taking it all in: costumes for every guest (cha-ching), at least 10 decorators (cha-ching), hired dancers (cha-ching). At this point, I'm giddy with anticipation of the big blow out, and Dan is looking nauseated. Gracie pulls up in her horse and carriage with 6 of her rug rat friends. She doesn't look any more excited than if she were at Chuck E. Cheese. Mom, however, is squeeeing all over the place.
Once in the party, there's not much going on. Six year-olds don't seem to do much at parties. Finally, the hired Good Witch of the East/Fairy Godmother (cha-ching) announces it's time for the cake. And out comes pretty much the biggest cake I've ever seen. It's beautiful and very elegant considering a kindergartner chose it, but Gracie instantly spots something displeasing. The bird is blue! She freaks! "The bird is supposed to be bluuuuueeee!" I wait for her to go all Hulk Smash and instead she just bursts into tears and ruins her makeup, along with her dad's costume (cha-ching).
Thankfully, she gets over it, and it's on to present time! The Good Witch tells Crazy - er Gracie -to open her gift, and a pink Power Wheels Cadillac Escalade is revealed. Gracie's response: "but I don't know how to driiiiive." Womp, womp, womp. "Thank you" would have sufficed, kiddo. Stick that in your back pocket for next time.
Final party cost: $32,000. Eeek. The credits say Mom and Dad are still happily married, but Mom seemed pretty out of touch with anything even close to reality, so I doubt it. I'll be waiting for the spin off: When Kid Birthdays Cause Divorces. Hopefully, someone is able to come up with a better title, but you get the gist.
Until next week....