Some NSFW content ahead. You’ve been warned!
What do you do when you have three themes that could be standalone concepts for a party, but you can’t decide which one to go with? You go with all three, of course.
My grandma, Dilia, is a very special lady. She’s the only grandparent I grew up knowing, with all others passing away before I was born or when I was very little, so she’s extra special to me. If you know me, you know a bit of her as well – she’s colorful, scandalous, loud, funny, loves music and loves to party, and she’s unruly like no other. So when her 80th birthday was coming up, we knew we had to do something as special as she is.
Dilia – or Yiya, as all of us have lovingly called her since babyhood – is very simple when it comes to things she likes: she loves Mexican actors/singers and music from the golden age: Tony Aguilar (whom she named her son after!), Pedro Infante, Juan Gabriel, Javier Solis and a few others can count themselves among the lucky chosen ones that my grandma considers her “husbands.” She also loves, LOVES flowers and plants of all kinds. Gardening and growing nature are one of her favorite past times and I swear she loves her trees as much as she loves her kids. Last, but definitely not least, she loves penises. Yes, you read that right. My grandma has a hilarious obsession with all kinds of penile paraphernalia, and everyone that knows her knows it, and loves that about her. My grandma’s 60th birthday was actually COMPLETELY penis-themed, and since I was 6 at the time, I asked her why her cake and her pinata were a letter “T” if her name started with a D… oh, little Kathy, if you only knew!
So with all three themes in mind, and knowing she had some aspect of each incorporated into a previous birthday, I decided to throw all the ideas together and have a theme on steroids. Here are all of the things I put together for the party:
- Digital Designs & Memes: my grandma is a breast cancer survivor, but she had to have a mastectomy and it was obviously very hard on her not to have her breast reconstructed. Since my cousin is an artist, she has jokingly asked him many times to do a nude portrait of her, but with a young body and both boobs. Since I knew my cousin was busy, I put my digiskills to the test, got carried away, and created six nude portraits using different paintings I found online. Here’s the least offensive (but still NSFW) one:
- Photo Booth Props: of course, my bread and butter had to be a part of the party, but these are no standard set of props. There are many custom designs with sayings that only those close to her understand, as well as some, ahem, inappropriate ones:
- Decor, in general: we hosted the birthday at an event venue in Santa Marta, Colombia (where my grandma and a big chunk of my family lives). We asked for colorful linens for the tables and chairs, and we brought all the accent decor items with us from the US. I made two standing 3D numbers (the 8 and 0 for 80th birthday) out of poster board and pictures, and created a backdrop for the photo booth station out of a dollar-store shower curtain, a Party City fiesta kit and some folkloric posters from on Amazon.
- The clothes: we asked everyone to come dressed in colorful outfits for the party, but my grandma’s clothes had to be extra special. I found her this folkloric dress on Amazon, and I made my nephew David a “Charro” (mariachi) outfit.
My mom and my brother helped me with the logistics, music, drinks, food, etc. and my grandma had THE TIME OF HER LIFE during the party. She was in her element, and all of her friends came up to me saying they’d never been to a party like that. A group of her friends also decided to do a sort of poem/acronym with her name, and she totally loved it. But why tell you, when I can show you? Enjoy!
What do you think of the theme mix and the party in general? I had so much fun planning this and it’s something I hope my grandma will never forget. Here are my favorite pictures from the party: my grandma walking in and seeing the papel picado banner that said “Dilia Cumple 80” which I designed, me showing her the memes I made of her, and her hugging me to say thank you for everything I had done ❤