Monday, December 16, 2013

Ugly Sweater Party

For my birthday this year, I decided on a North American theme: an Ugly Sweater party (Suéter Feo).  For anyone unfamiliar with this concept, around Christmastime people in my Canadian hometown pull out the ugliest sweaters they've ever been gifted, or scour the secondhand stores. We make them even uglier by adding Christmas decorations, and then go out and party!


Based on my friends' reactions, it was obvious that Fiesta Suéter Feo had never been done in Villacarrillo before. When I sent them example photos, about a third of them were absolutely enthralled by the concept. The rest were horrified at having to wear them in public. The protests on Whatsapp were hilarious: “We have to make our sweaters UGLY?”  “Maybe we can go to the bar.... in the afternoon?”  “But if I go out like that, I'll lose clients for my business.” 

But my friends are troopers, and love a good party, so they were game to bring my idea to life. I was so proud of them because they worked so hard on decorating their sweaters!  Watching them slave over their outfits for hours made me wonder, “Will they be brave enough to go to the bar wearing them?”  I secretly hoped so!

Getting ready for the party
When they showed up for dinner at my apartment, I was so happy to see their work. Even the ones who were adamant about not doing the theme showed up in ultra-ugly wear! But after dinner, would we go out as a group and show them off?

(Just in case the townspeople didn't know which one was the foreigner...)
My friend turned her entire self into a Christmas tree!

...Not this year; when it came time to go out, invitees started taking off the decorations. My Canadian friend, who was visiting from Madrid, tried to guilt them into keeping them on. But I couldn't force anyone to do it; doing so would have been like asking them to run naked in the streets. An Ugly Sweater party is such a strange concept here that making them go out dressed as such would have been cruel. It's like Hallowe'en; years ago, no one here celebrated it. But now, kids dress up and go out, and next the adults will. Is there any hope that one day people here will have Suéter Feo parties?  Based on the fun we had, yes there's hope.

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