Yesterday was my 31st birthday. I must say that I exceeded my goal of making my 30th year one for the books, and am looking forward to seeing what the next year will bring.

Later in the week I’ll give a full recap of how I spent my birthday, but today I wanted to share a post from a few years ago when I through the most epic Rocky Horror Picture Show themed birthday party. As you may know by now, I love that movie to an obnoxious extent, so I just had to find a reason to force all my loved ones to celebrate it with me.

Here’s the post as it ran on “Life, Motherhood, and the Pursuit of Happiness” on January 28, 2015.


“You can’t just wait until last minute and throw it all together. You always do this. You don’t buy anything in advance and then you freak out when you can’t slap it together,” my mom chided in exasperation.

I nodded, wiping away tears of frustration with the back of my hand. She was right, of course, but it didn’t change the fact that I was crushed. More than crushed, I was disappointed in myself. I’m great at coming up with big ideas, but I am terrible at executing them. This is why, more often than not, I still put my mother in charge of anything that involves planning.

So, what was it that had me so upset? A missing costume and a seriously under-planned party.

Back in September, I decided that I wanted to do a Rocky Horror Picture Show theme for my birthday party. I made beautiful lists of all the things we could do with it, from the food to the decor. My brother created some amazing drink ideas and made some lovely suggestions, which I dutifully added to my list. As time went on, I got more and more excited about it.

At the time, I had thought, “Hey, January is 4 months away. I’m really on top of this! I have plenty of time to make all this happen!”

Those words, plenty of time, are always the key to my downfall. Somehow, my brain keeps churning out this refrain until the very last minute, leading me to moments like this. Moments when I find myself two days before a party and unable to find the things I was sure that I had on hand.

This time, it was the costume.

I had already accepted the fact that I couldn’t afford 5 different bottles of liquor to make the drinks we had planned on. I had already accepted that I would have to make my guest list smaller to accommodate the size of my best friend’s house, since I didn’t want to make people drive 20 (or more) miles to my place. I knew I could make everything else fall into place with some frenzied work and some delegating. But the costume…

You see, as I’ve mentioned before, I have a bit of an obsession with the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Like any good fan, I had put god-knows-how-much money and ridiculous amounts of time into putting together a Columbia costume on the off-chance that I’d get to wear it to a midnight show or a convention or something. I had started working on it when I was about 16 and was nearly finished with it. All that was left was to finish putting the stripes on the shorts. To be truthful, part of the appeal of the party was the chance to finish it up and get it off my to-do list forever.

I just wanted to look this fabulous!

I waited until days before the party to go fish it out of my bedroom at my Papa’s. I went through every box, tote, and closet only to find that it wasn’t there. I wracked my brain. It had to be in Almost-Mother-In-Law’s garage. Nope. I had my mom search her garage, attic, and basement. Nothing. It’s gone.

Gone. All that work. All that money. 12 years of waiting to wear the damn thing. All for nothing. Gone.

After taking some time to come to terms with that as well as I can, I had to think on my feet. We had a white shirt that we could destroy with fake blood and we had a black suit. I already have long blonde hair and we always have make-up around. I’d just be Riff Raff.

In the end, it all turned out okay. Not exactly how I imagined it (I originally wanted to build some big set pieces, like the jukebox and Rocky’s tank), but it was an amazing night!

Since my mother is amazing and is always there to save the day, she whipped up a couple signs for me:

Enter At Your Own Risk
Of course, we couldn’t find anything to affix it to the door, but the window works!

What Rocky Horror themed party would be complete without a Denton sign?

The red bowl was filled with candy lips and the movie soundtrack was running on the stereo when the party began. My awesome mom also made us jello shots, which may or may not have been my demise that night.

For dinner, we had hot dogs and steamed hamburger, which I labeled with these nifty signs (I’m totally proud of these, by the way).

Ex Delivery Boy Special (steamed hamburger) rocky horror birthday
Ex-Delivery Boy Special
Frank N. Furter we "MEAT" at last (hotdogs)
Frank N. Furter we “MEAT” at last.

Seriously, so very proud of those!

We also had shells and cheese, but that’s not part of our theme, so whatever. We made a drink we dubbed “Shock Treatment” in a nod to the little known “sequel” by the same name. Those were a shot (or a tad more) of AfterShock topped off with Sprite. They were seriously yummy. We had also planned for drinks called “Wise-Ups” (which would have been 3 Wise Men) and “Dammit Janets” (never settled on what those would be). However, alcohol is expensive, so we just stuck with beer and whatever else people brought.

Only three of us turned up in costume, so the contest didn’t happen. We looked pretty cool in our outfits, though!

Costume pictures, rocky horror themed birthday
My God-sister as Magenta, my stepsister as Columbia, and me as Riff Raff.

After we ate we did some Rocky Horror karaoke and played Cards Against Humanity (the only non-Rocky Horror themed activity). We planned to do the movie at midnight, however given how quickly people were becoming intoxicated we started it around 11.

Of course, we did it with props:
"Over At The Frankenstein Place" rocky horror with props newspaper
There’s a light….

That was easily my favorite part. We didn’t throw rice during the wedding scene out of respect for the owner of the house (my godsister) and only used one squirt gun (a spray bottle) for the same reason. However, we did nearly everything else and it was a blast! I was surprised at how well we remembered all the callback lines and I’m pretty sure there’s some video floating around of us yelling obscenities at the screen. For those not in the know, when you go see the movie in theaters, the audience typically shouts things at the screen. There’s a nifty script here with the audience participation lines in brackets []. The lines vary from place to place, but these are pretty close to the ones we’ve always used.

Since there is no longer a theater in our area that runs Rocky Horror at midnight (or, at least, not a good one), this was the best thing ever. Now, I’m planning ahead to my 30th. I’m going to create an even better Columbia costume between now and then and drag all my friends to the nearest theater to do it for real. Since this means going out of state, this means an awesome all-weekend party. What I’ll do for 29, I have no idea. I do know that I will start acting on making my plans a reality much sooner. I also know that I will not drink nearly as much, as I had to learn the hard way that 28 year old Brandyn cannot drink like 20 year old Brandyn did.
So there you have it! The party was a success and I learned some lessons. Now I want to know about your birthdays. What was your favorite theme thus far? What was your favorite year? Tell me in the comments below!
Share This: