What to do with an invitation that reads:
“Don’t be forward! Pants in reverse!
Join us with shoes on the wrong feet, socks in the opposite direction, and anything else you can zip up upside-down, button inside out, or wear sideways. Including hair.”
Uhm, ok….Just promise me the rest of the guests will play.
Theme parties add crazy twists to all sorts of summer celebrations, and while obvious for kids’ events, lots of grown-ups like to play dress-up too. Promise them great food, new friends, and ‘80s music, and pretty much everyone will be willing to get silly, within reason.
I have a soft spot for Backwards Parties – which seem to be growing in popularity. Here are some fabulous ways for you to revel in reverse.
A. The Invitation
Print at least part of it in backwords text, so invitees can use a mirror to decode it, or can read it without a mirror to exercise their right-brains. You can do this by:
1. Using the Mirror Read Messaging Module on this website, then paste to Facebook, email it, or save it as a .jpg.
2. Creating your invitation then “transform the image horizontally” using a graphics program like Photoshop.
3. Handwriting the invitation backwards then, photocopying – for the hardcore only…
Arriving – Ensure that each guest’s name tag is backwards – either get them to hand-write their own (give them a few tries), or prepare them in advance (see A above for how to do this). Seriously, this really changes the dynamic of introductions!
B. The Food
Dessert comes first at a Backwards Party! Eating under the table is definitely allowed.
Note: All food can ONLY be conveyed to mouth with the handles of utensils.
1. Put your icing-piping skills to the test by writing backwards on your cakes, cupcakes and cookies. Alice in Wonderland references come in handy here, like “Eat Me” or “Queen of Tarts.”
2. For a buffet or pot-luck, have name cards for each dish written in reverse text (see A above for how to do this).
3. If you are ever going to try your hand with molecular gastronomy, here’s your chance! Order up the unusual: Bacon foam on your burgers, and dry-ice soup on a skewer.
4. Eat your pizza crust-first, or deconstruct sandwiches using lettuce wraps with bread batons, cheese, and your choice of protein as filling.
5. For the ultimate in confusion, blindfold everyone during the meal!
C. The Beverages
1. Turn your guest around with backwards cocktails, like Cola DaPinas, and Hanmattens. Or my personal preference: Temples of Shirley, with twists.
2. For children’s parties, make homemade lemonade – then change it up by adding the unexpected, like maple syrup, rose water or mint extract. Food colouring optional.
3. For adults who prefer beer, decant bottles into glasses and flash freeze into slushees with signs that say, “Drink ME.”
4. Serve drinks in unexpected vessels, like clean jars, cans and plastic yogurt containers.
Of course, pinning a head on the tail of a donkey (or picture of the host) is a given, but there are lots of other ways to party in reverse:
1. Limbo contest: You think it was hard to do this going forwards, try it backwards – head under the bar before feet.
2. Two legged race: Tied with a partner back to back, carry an object/ kick a ball from one side of the room to the other side, the fastest.
3. Drawing contests: YOU try drawing pretty much anything upside down without a model!
4. Backwards charades: Upon entering the party, each guest is given A SECRET IDENTITY which they must try to guess by the end of the party using non-verbal hints supplied by others (e.g., Elvis, Santa Claus, Lady Gaga…)
5. Worst costume competition/ Backwards Fashion Show.
6. Scavenger hunt for loot bag prizes, with clues written in mirror text (see A above).
7. Mirror writing and reading contests (using MR books and games).
* Warning: Playing records in reverse to find the hidden lyrics gets really boring after only a couple of songs…
1. Blow up “Happy Birthday” or other logo balloons inside-out.
2. Post banners and signs upside down and/ or in reverse (see A above).
3. Turn over/ up-end any decor you can: Clocks, pictures, furniture covers, wall-hangings…
Then, Party Backwards!
Any more bright ideas? Let me know – and tell me how the festivities go!