Friday, April 12, 2013

The Weed at the Garden Party


It's that time of the year again here in Wilmington, North Cackalacky. That's right, 5 entire days devoted to a flower. Not just any flower mind you, but an azalea. WHOO HOO!!!!! For the past several years I have hibernated and stayed away from all thangs "Azalea related", 'cause frankly I think it's ridiculous and I've aged out of the party circuit. However, this year as part of my duties as PTO Prez of Ry Guy's school, I met Queen Azalea and the "celebrities" (and believe me that term is used VERY liberally) who came to town as part of the festivities. The highlight for me was meeting the stunning Emily Maynard, from The Bachelor and The Bachelorette fame. She's also a West Virginia girl so you can bet your bottom dollar I was quick to say GO MOUNTAINEERS!!!! Lemme tell ya, when ya stand next to her, ya sure do feel like an ugly duckling!
 
Now in honor of the big event, I am repeating one of my favorite posts among the locals:

It's Azalea Festival time again here in Wilmington and that means scads of people comin' to town to celebrate our beautiful azalea bushes for 5 fun filled days of activities. YEE HAH!!!! Since I'm a transplanted Yankee livin' in this southern town, it took me quite awhile to get used to ALL things south of the Mason-Dixon Line, but most especially 5 full days dedicated to a flower.

The HIGHLIGHT of these 5 days is the annual Garden PAR-TAY today where anybody who IS anybody will be in attendance for a mere $150 per ticket to stand in line for a barbeque buffet and to fight your way through the crowd for a cocktail. Now when I first arrived in town 16 years ago, I was a working attorney. I was the only female attorney in the firm, and the guys told me about the PAR-TAY a few days before the big event. There was a strict rule at our firm that we were NEVAH allowed to drink alcohol at lunch with clients, regardless of whether the clients ordered a drink. The senior partner informed me that Garden PAR-TAY day was the one and only exception to that rule.


HHHHMMMMMMMM, I thought this must be some sort of special event huh? So, I put on my best herringbone patterned suit that day, nude hose, and navy close toed lawyerly like pumps. I think I even went all out and put a fancy schmancy pin on my lapel.


Imagine my surprise when I got to the PAR-TAY and all the women were dressed like that, and I looked like Susan Boyle before she was discovered by Simon Cowell. Deb, the lawyer, looked like a dried up, nasty weed, amongst beautiful, luscious, spring like flowers. Yeppers, I was the weed at the Garden PAR-TAY!! I truly wanted to hide in those stupid ass azalea bushes and not come out until they were sweeping up the last barbeque residue. DAMN, that was one of the most embarrassing days of my life!!!!!

However, I rebounded quite nicely and that garden PAR-TAY became a highlight for many, many years. It was a drunk fest from 9am til 9pm. Hell, sometimes I even wore a fancy hat just like I was born and bred in these here parts. Our posse had a whole routine. We would go to this certain place for breakfast at 9am and load up with carbs (to soak up the inevitable alceehol) and share a few mimosas. Then we would be the first arrivals when the gates to the PAR-TAY opened at 10:30am and get first dibs on the cocktails. The guys would set up "base camp", meaning they would park their asses on folding chairs, while the ladies started workin' the crowd. If we got separated we always knew where base camp was located. All day in the sun drinking cocktails sure gives you a nice buzz. But when the gates close about 3'ish EVERYBODY who is ANYBODY goes to the after PAR-TAY down by the water. Now most people go to this one certain establishment, but you are literally standing shoulder to shoulder, and I swear one of these days that dock is going to collapse with hundreds of people falling into the intracoastal waterway dressed in their Garden PAR-TAY finest. We always preferred to go to the less crowded joint next door where we could actually have a waitress, a seat, and a view of the water. We would stay partying our asses off until someone in the crowd had sense enough to say it was time to go home. Lights out, PAR-TAY over.


There is a picture of me and the gals at the last garden PAR-TAY I attended 4 years ago. That's me on the far right end (sans hat). Although I have fond memories of the PAR-TAY, as they say, all good things must come to an end. I feel as if I finally "aged out" of this tradition. Gettin' all dressed up, liquored up and peeing and fallin' down in the azalea bushes just doesn't hold the same appeal to me anymore. Now if I want to do those things, I prefer to do them either in the privacy of my chambers, or with a few good friends, rather than in front of the whole damn town.

So instead, I'm hosting a small gathering at my house for like-minded individuals who are also tired of the crowds and all the hoopla. There will still be the famous garden PAR-TAY punch, barbeque, and a fancy hat or two. I'll even pee in my own azalea bushes just to keep the spirit of the real Garden PAR-TAY alive!!!! Gate opens at 9:30am, so if you are in the area stop on by.

17 comments:

  1. I'm thinking an azalea would be good with a 2 day celebration. Five seems a wee bit pompous for such a flower.
    Don't forget us little folk now that you have hobnobbed with the celebrities.

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  2. Rubbing elbows with reality tv people, did you feel any plastic on her as you did? lol

    And damn, not even santa claus gets five days, go azaleas.

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  3. Sounds like so much fun! If i was in the area i would totally stop by.
    And you are just as cute as Emily!

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  4. look at you all stunning in red in that first pic, even that lady in the pink is stunned in the left corner :)

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  5. There is no ugly duckling in that picture...no...none.

    Yes, five days does seem a bit over zealous for an azalea but every city has to figure out how to tap into touristy pockets.

    I would love to stop by if I lived in your area but I suspect me peeing on your azalea's might not get me a return invite.

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  6. You and Em are both extremely fuckable, but I don't see why your lil' ol' bush needs a festival.

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  7. It looks to me like you hold your own just fine. More than fine.

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  8. Oh Deb you are far too modest. I love you in your deep orange dress. Your dress is prettier than the 'royalty's' one. Yes nude is heels in the thing big time this year. Glad you have broken free of the basic black with my help? Did you get a pedicure, too? hahahaha. Hey, and I didn't know you were the PTA (o) prez. That is a hard job! You are mega talented and don't you forget it. (hug)

    Ps. I wish we had your weather!

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  9. I don't know of any flower festivals over here in Greenville/Spartanburg SC but I'm apparently right down the block from an award winning garden place or something. Never been but I often see people use the area for weddings.

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  10. "The lawyer, looked like a dried up, nasty weed" <--- bahahahaha nicely said... however, you still look good though :)

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  11. You an Ugly Duckling? I must have vision trouble. Because I can't see it.
    But....let's get to the important stuff.
    Drunk fest, you say?
    I could do without the peeing and falling down in the bushes, but....
    Drunk fest, you say?

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  12. Here in Portland folks go crazy over roses. We have the second larges Rose Parade in the country. I don't know if we have many azaleas.

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  13. Oh that does sound like fun. I used to go to a PR-TAY of epic proportions (of my own minds conjuring) back in the day. At least 3 days of drunken partying with everything from the younguns to the weathered cowfolks, barn maids, milk maids and buckle bunnys. Somehow everyone knew where to land when the lights went out and last call was made, usually not long before the sun came up. Those were the days.

    Now I'm doing good to down a few drinks and stay awake long enough to ring in the new year. Whew!

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  14. I loved this shiz. My azaleas won't bloom becauae my soil isn't acidic enough. Ill catch the next flight to your crib. I'd love to finally piss on an azalea that actually has flowers.

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  15. I think you look freakin' BEAUTIFUL, my friend! Gawd, I would have had so much fun at this shindig. Invite me next year, will ya?

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