Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tacky Tacky!

Have you heard of them...

The Tacky Christmas Sweater Parties?

We got wind that one was happening near us and invited ourselves to the party.

Yep. We're officially those people.

The Terrys hosted a Tacky Christmas Party at their house, and we practically begged to come.

We tackily invited ourselves to a tacky sweater party.

So thick with tacky irony.

So the gist of the party...

Find a tacky Christmas sweater and wear it.

This was one of those moments when I wished with all my heart that I never threw my clothes away. I had some of the best tacky sweaters in the 90's. Some required batteries.

Selah...calmly stop and think of how awesome the 90's were.

Okay...stop thinking about Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch.

So where did we find a tacky Christmas sweater present-day?

Goodwill was pretty picked over. Apparently this tacky Christmas sweater deal is extremely hot right now.

Because of this Tacky Christmas Sweater trend, during the month of December (perhaps for many years to come) there will be two sorts of people.

People who proudly wear tacky Christmas sweaters in real life.


People who need to grab one of these hilarious beauties to wear to a tacky Christmas sweater party.

When one starts the process of finding a tacky sweater, inevitably the question comes to mind...

"Who could we borrow one of these sweaters from? Who wears these things and would loan us one?"

Yes! Yes! Who can we borrow one from? Pictures of people you know in their tacky sweaters start popping into your mind. This is going to be great! If I can get my hands on one of those sweaters, I'm going to be the tackiest of them all.

Then quickly the next question arises....

"How do we ask someone who owns a tacky Christmas sweater and wears them proudly if we can borrow their clothing to go to a tacky Christmas sweater party?"


Sort of like how I wonder what casting calls looked like for the Burbs. "Needed...the ugliest people on the planet. If that's you...come audition!" Or how about the casting call for Hurley? "Wanted...a really fat, sweaty man." Who jumps at that opportunity?

The answer to our sweater issue...

Maybe a little lying and deceit.

Perfect for the Christmas holidays, no?

You approach the secretary at your job and sweetly say, "I'm going to a Christmas party, but have nothing to wear. You know that sweater you wear every Thursday in December...that one with Rudolph..and his nose lights up with batteries...that sweater would be perfect for the party. Rudolph only has one eye, but that's okay. It's amazing how his red nose distracts from his deformity. Do you think I could borrow it? It looks so lovely on you, I'm hoping I can wear it and look half as beautiful as you do."

If you see Charlie around, ask him how he got his hands on the sweater Kirby wore to the party.

Aaron thought to ask his boss if we could borrow a tacky Christmas sweater.

When he mentioned her, I was confused...not only did I not want Aaron to get fired, I have always thought of his boss as trendy. Try as I may, I could not put a tacky Christmas sweater on her and it look right in my mind.

"But she taught for like 25 years or something."

Ah! Yes. Teachers! I think colleges hand out tacky seasonal clothing items when teachers graduate. "Here's your diploma and a turtleneck with ghosts on it"

I've always imagined teachers having this secret society...this secret place...like where Hagrid takes Harry Potter...Diagon Alley...minus all the cool wizard stuff and instead filled with seasonal sweaters and wooden jewelry.

So...we were going to ask his boss for the sweater.

But how do you ask for the sweater without saying, "I think you're tacky?"

We read and re-read the text. Will she know we don't think she'd ever wear one of these now? Will she know that when I grow up I want to be as cool and trendy as her?
Will this offend her? Will Aaron lose his job?

His boss was incredible. She wasn't offended at all...and mentioned that if someone has taught for 25 years they are FAIR GAME for asking them to borrow a tacky Christmas sweater.

So we got the sweater. I actually got two. A vest and a light coat.

I was able to layer my tackiness.

Aaron drove all over town looking for a Christmas sweater and never found one. He kept calling me...so annoyed. "I can't find anything...and yet there are old ladies all over Goodwill wearing the exact sweaters I'm trying to find. There's something so wrong with this!"

"Would it be wrong if I asked an old lady if I can buy her sweater off of her?"

Yes honey...it would. Keep looking. You might have to lie to find one, but we're not mugging an old lady. We do have some scrupples. In that moment I heard that old saying..."Sin takes you further than you'd ever want to go." I had to laugh imagining Aaron on the news...a mugshot of him in a tacky Christmas sweater...and then shots of an elderly lady...very angry...shaking her finger while wrapped up in a towel. "Local Worship Leader takes the Tacky Christmas Sweater Phenomenon too far."

Aaron did find something better than a sweater...a puff paint poinsettia t-shirt.

When he was checking out with his fabulous find, the check out lady looked at the shirt...then at Aaron...then back at the shirt...then at Aaron and in her very thick African American way of speaking said..."You buying this for you?

Aaron hesitated...probably really wanting to get through this whole ordeal without harming the elderly or telling a lie.

Then the check out girl jumped back in with..."Wait...You buying this for one of those parties?"


Only Aaron would wear something like this.

When he put it on, Anson came around the corner and saw his dad's clothes.

You should have seen Anson's face. We had purposefully not told him where we were going, or why we were wearing the clothes we had on. We wanted to see his reaction.

He looked at Aaron and very sweetly said...

"Dad...do I have permission to tell you honestly what I think about your clothes?"

I could not breathe I was laughing so hard.

Anson was not sure about going anywhere with his dad looking the way he did.

Aaron never smiled...he played it off as only he could. "What...you don't like my new shirt? Feel it...it's puffy."

The puffiness did not change Anson's mind.

Poor Anson. It was sad to watch our child look at his dad and wonder if his father had lost it.

"But dad...you look pretty dorky."

"No..." Aaron said. "I look cool. You've got to feel this shirt. It's puffy. Do you know what these are? They are poinsettias. Puffy Poinsettias!"

Every time Aaron said puffy, I found it hard to breathe.


On the way to the party I thought about how much potential there was to offend someone at one of these parties.

You see...some people don't wear tacky sweaters from Goodwill. Some people wear their very own tacky Christmas sweaters.

It happened more than once at the party where something like this went down...

(walk up to someone wearing a tacky Christmas sweater) "This is horrible! Where did you get it?"

(nervous awkwardness) "From my closet. It's mine."


(very sarcastically) "Love that sweater!"

(unsure of themselves) "Oh...well..I didn't have anything else to wear...so I wore this...but I wear it in real life...as in, I wore it last Tuesday"

Lots of fun times at a tacky Christmas Party...but also a lot of the ol' foot in your mouth as well.

Happy Holidays!


Bob & Judy said...

Absolutely couldn't play this game. Makes my stomach hurt to think about how many ways I could hurt people's feelings!!

Brave children

Hendrick Family said...

Yes...super stressful. After I heard a few of those exchanges, I vowed to wear my sweater in silence.


Denese said...

I have to admit I had a tshirt (actually a whole pantset) just like the one Aaron found! Don't tell Megan I told you - LOL!

Hendrick Family said...

I did too! Not a pant set..but a sweatshirt just like the one Aaron wore.

So funny!

Gabbie said...

Ok Heather, I am in that "group" that you are talking about....but that's ok, since I am a grandmother now! I love Christmas wear! Socks, sweaters, blouses with Christmas appliques, jewelry...I even have a Christmas purse! I love Christmas! Who wouldn't? It is Jesus's birthday! It is a festive time...a time to celebrate! At our house, we eat on Spode Christmas Tree china, exclusively the whole month of December. We have Christmas towels in the bathroom, Christmas rugs in the kitchen. However, I am not offended when others make fun of me. I know that really they are jealous! LOL Wish I still lived in College Station....sounds like I could make a few extra bucks renting out my Christmas wear! My favorite is a pantsuit with Frosty appliqued on the front! Oh, and I forgot one important fact..my dog even wears a Christmas scarf around his neck!

Hendrick Family said...

I love you Mrs. Gabbie! You keep wearing those sweaters with pride!
(and letting your dog wear them)

Squeeze that sweet family of yours for me!


Melissa Terry said...

You guys make tacky look cool! I'm so glad that your sweet family came- it wouldn't have been a party without you!