Where *are* we? I may have asked myself the same question a few times. Ok, full disclosure (and you know how I feel about sponsorships, ads on blogs, tie-ins with corporate entities, etc.etc. Why yes, I am a bore), but the girls and I were invited to a “Chari-Tea” party with Kelly Ripa on Thursday, sponsored by Electrolux to kick off their campaign to raise awareness and support for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. You don’t have to buy anything and you don’t even have to donate any money. All you have to do to participate is visit www.kelly-confidential.com , pick an outfit for a virtual tea party and Electrolux will donate $1 on your behalf for every visit. Look, I can get behind that. I can get behind raising awareness for ovarian cancer and these washer and dryers weren’t the focus of the event at all. The kids hanging with Kelly Ripa were. I appreciated that because I can only admire these machines from afar. Let me tell you, after seeing them in person these aren’t city washing machines. They are huge. If I had these in my apartment, I’d use them as extra closet space because these things really need their own room. Even if you did have the space in the city (lucky you), I’d bet that these would still look ridiculously big in your apartment. These are for the ‘burbs only. Claudine didn’t even know what to make of them when she looked up and saw them towering over her, all imposing, silver and shiny. “What are these?”, she asked. I told her that they were washing machines and she was all like, huh? “But they don’t look like our washing machine in the closet”. Precisely.
So another disclosure. We totally got picked up in a car that was paid for by Electrolux. When I found that they were providing transportation to and from the event, I was all, “oh, nuh uh, that’s not necessary. We live in Brooklyn and we can take the N train – we don’t need to get picked up by no car”. But then, you know…the day came, it was all arranged for and yeah, it was pouring rain that day so it beat walking to the train station and sitting on the N train for 45 minutes. Plus the girls felt all fancy and I wore heels! Not Kelly Ripa caliber heels, but heels! I pulled the girls out of school for the day and they were so excited to be going to a hotel, and not just any hotel, but the Plaza Hotel.
We arrived and the girls ran around the red carpet out front under the heated lamps (no, silly, not for us. The red carpet is always there) and we went inside. The girls ogled at all the flowers in the lobby and they kept saying, “wow. This place is soooo fancy”. Sheesh, it’s like they were visiting from the small, quaint town of Breukelen and seeing the city sights for the very first time. When we made our way to the Eloise Shop downstairs, we were greeted by Ashley who gave each of the girls a hanger with an outfit picked especially for them, complete with sparkly shoes, and a shopping bag with their names marked in pink tags. The girls got dressed and put on kid-sized panty hose for the first time. Mia said she liked the way it made her legs feel all tingly and cool when she walked (bwahaha). I guess the girls weren’t used to the sheerness of the white panyhose because they kept lifting their skirts to look at their underwear through the hose. Greaaaat. Especially since there were a lot of cameramen and corporate suits from Electrolux standing around. I kept having to tell the girls to keep their legs together and not to scratch their butts. At last, Kelly Ripa arrived and made a short speech (she actually choked up a little at the sight of all the little girls since her daughter is a little older), and then helped the girls accessorize and get their faces painted with flowers.
I don’t get star struck by celebrities at all, but Kelly was really attentative and absolutely lovely with the girls. She sat down at each table and chatted with each tea party group. I couldn’t hear what my girls and Kelly were talking about, but judging from the look on Mia’s face, she was totally charmed by her.
Oh, and you know, I totally tried to get the scoop from Mia.
Me: “so….what did you talk about with the lady in the white dress?”
Mia: “oh, you know…stuff. I don’t remember, really”.
Me: “Do you know she’s famous? She’s on TV”.
Mia (instantly brightens up and cracks a huge smile): “really?!” (Oh, I’m totally going to point out the big Kelly Ripa cardboard cutout at the TD Bank a few blocks from our house the next time we walk that way).
Me: “yeah. So, you can’t remember anything you guys talked about?”
Mia: “well, she said we had really long eyelashes, that she liked our eyelashes.”
Me: “really? She said that?”
Mia: “yeah. Then she told us that hers were fake”.
We left in a car with hat boxes of girly gifts, the outfits and the sparkly shoes. I’m glad I accepted the invitation to the tea party. The girls had the best time and have been recreating their entire afternoon ever since.