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Monday, April 30, 2012

Tori Spelling's Party Planning: Details Matter, Calories Don't

Posted By on Mon, Apr 30, 2012 at 7:30 AM

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After reading celebraTORI, professional famous person Tori Spelling's 275-page Pinterest post about "unleashing your inner party planner to entertain friends and family," I am somewhat surprised to report that my inner party planner does, in fact, exist, and that it thinks party favors are the coolest.

But my snarky sense of skepticism also exists (and is decidedly healthier), and it smirks, rubs its fat hands together, and orders another whiskey on the rocks when it encounters suggestions such as, "You must have many desserts, and they must be displayed at all different heights."

Because let's face it: Tori is not a terribly sympathetic character. This is a woman whose tits have gotten more press time than most other architectural mishaps, from when her daddy first bought them in her 90210 days to the picture her husband Dean McDermott "accidentally" tweeted last November. She's also the kind of person who whines about an $800,000 inheritance, so perhaps it should be unsurprising that her money-saving tips include, "Sometimes it is just plain better, and sometimes even cheaper, to throw money at the problem." (Trying to sort out her logic actually gave me a tension headache.)

But hey, I needed an excuse to have my friends over, and for most people "come meet my cats and cuddle in the sun room" is not a good enough reason to make the trip across town. So I promised cocktails and appetizers, and then I set to prepping with celebraTORI as my guide.

Three Cheers for the Details

In a party-planning book that is longer than some novels, statistics alone dictate that some of the ideas have to be good ones. One win: Tori advocates paying attention to the details. "They say the devil's in the details," she says, "but for me the details are heaven."

For someone who used to yank a half-full bottle of liquor from the freezer and declare "party time," it was actually kind of fun to buy flowers, serve drinks in pitchers instead of plastic bottles, and light enough candles to create a fire hazard. At Tori's insistence, I also chose the theme "word salad," because the party was on 4-20 (more on that later). But considering my $80 budget, I did not create the recommended color scheme with matching picture frames, nor did I order 100 raspberry dahlias like Tori did for a baby shower once.

Despite her over-the-top examples -- she had a "cowboys and lace" party at an actual ranch, and her spa brunch included a mud masque bar -- she does at least attempt to be sympathetic to middle-class pocketbooks. It's common knowledge that her hobbies include "shitting on piles of money," so she prudently overuses the word "budget" and makes multiple references to Costco and Target, which she just calls "those places where poor people buy cheap laundry detergent and ugly jeans, or whatever."

Party Foul: Coco Doesn't Want That Cake Pop

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In this awkward picture, Tori is trying to feed a cake pop to a silkie named Coco. Coco may look like an eyeless freak that evolution forgot, but she is actually a fluffy type of show-chicken that was apparently bred for humiliation. Tori's left breast is also weirdly exposed, as if she's trying to say, "Look, motherfuckers, my tits do not look like they've endured a hailstorm anymore, so shut the fuck up about it already."

Three Cheers for "Dean's Favorite Gingerade"

This recipe combining lemonade, honey, and ginger syrup (a hunk of fresh ginger shredded, boiled, and strained) is as delicious as it sounds. It's also cheap and easy to make, and it mixes well with vodka. My friends enthusiastically drank all of it. Another simple recipe she suggests that probably would have killed: mini grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup shots. Her other basic favorites include taquitos, cocktail weenies, and mac-and-cheese. "Calorie count be damned," she says, noting that nobody goes to parties to eat salad.

Party Foul: Onion Dip

Oh, the onion dip. Its simplicity was appealing: Just add one packet of Lipton onion soup mix to 16 ounces of sour cream, and boom -- dip. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," Tori says. "At the end of every party where I serve it, that bowl is licked clean. People love it."

After serving this dip at my own party, though, I suspect that her friends are all drunks. The moment I finished mixing the dip, I was skeptical: It was lumpy, brownish, and almost overpoweringly strong. I put it out in a colorful striped bowl, hoping to distract from its musk, but almost no one touched it. Except for my boyfriend, who said, "I know something about Tori Spelling now. Her breath smells like onions because she ate this dip once."

Three Cheers for S'mores Kits and Party Favors

I can't believe I'm about to say this, but Tori's s'mores kits are genius.

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My friends said they were "adorable" and "fancy." Because I live in an apartment, we skewered the marshmallows and cooked them atop my gas stove. I will say it again: Brilliant. Everyone loves s'mores, especially jaded 30-year-olds.

Also brilliant: Motherfucking party favors. I used my "word salad" theme and wrote random excerpts from Charles Bukowski poems on note cards and handed them out as people arrived. Then, throughout the evening, my friends and I read filthy poetry to each other. It was lovely.

Party Foul: "Snay Day"

Throughout the book, Tori gives examples of "trainwrecks" -- parties she's thrown that, for whatever reason, did not quite go according to plan. Unfortunately, it's nothing tantalizing like "Oops, public sex!" It's mostly stuff like, "Boo, the flowers were wilted," or "Shit, I spelled someone's name wrong, and people are so sensitive about their names," or "The allegedly bite-size appetizers actually required three bites."

But then there's "Snay Day." In short, she attempted to create a winter wonderland for her kids and some guests from Ronald McDonald House in her Los Angeles backyard, complete with a snow machine, a hill for sledding, live reindeer, and icebergs in the pool. Her crew hauled in the snow after two days of heavy rain, resulting in a brown, slushy mess. They used hay to absorb the moisture where the snow had melted, which you'd think would be totally cool, right? But when Tori saw it, she cried. "Some winter wonderland," she whines. "There was hay and slush all over the backyard!"

She obviously thinks, "LOL, Snay Day! Here's a party fail people can relate to!" But it sounds more on par with, "These goddamn diamonds are so heavy while I'm jogging." You have a snow machine. In your back yard. In Los Angeles. So shut the fuck up, get that sucker running, and go sledding already.

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Angela Lutz

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