7 beautiful stages to the Ultimate Old School Sleepover
1. The rental
Who doesn't have excitement-fuelled memories of being driven to Blockbuster by your friend's dad, browsing the VHS-filled aisles and carefully selecting the films that would set the tone for your evening? The Blockbuster card was a staple in every parent's wallet, just waiting to be brandished whenever the moment came. You just had to follow the simple rules: rewind and post back within 48 hours: no-one needs a Blockbuster fine of shame.
Good news! There are still 12 Blockbuster stores open. You just have to... move to Alaska. Or I guess you could just stream something if you're not THAT committed.
2. The necessity of pizza
You can't have a sleepover without pizza. Really, it's the only food choice for said occasion. You don't need cutlery, you can share it with a flexible amount of people, and... well it's pizza. The choices? Domino's (obviously, but only if you can get a deal), Papa John's (minus that DIABOLICAL garlic dip), or, a fun alternative... make your own, yo! This was a particular treat at one of my friend's houses, and doubles up as a team building activity. Share those ingredients, cook together, eat together, STAY TOGETHER.
3. Film snacks
Keeping on the theme of food, let's not forget the unsung heroes: the snacks. Microwave popcorn that gives you a kitchen firework display and inevitably burns the roof of your mouth, Haribo Starmix (kids and grown ups love it so) AND... ice cream. So much ice cream. Ben and Jerry's Phish Food if you're lucky. Tesco's own chocolate ripple if you're on a budget. But remember to save enough for the elusive 'midnight snack.'
4. Home cinema time!!
The snacks are in and it's time to get down to business. Get your comfies on (PJs completely necessary), grab a blanket/cushion, fill every available bowl with snacks, make sure the 2 litre bottle of Pepsi (that came free with the pizza) is at arms length, and turn the lights down low. The programme?
7:00pm: One mild-moderately scary film (12A): think The Village, The Others, Sixth Sense
9:30pm: Toilet / snack refill break / de-scare
9:45pm: Chick flick/comedy (also 12A): A Cinderella Story, She's the Man, Bring it On, etc.
5. Tween beauty regime
This can take place before or in between the two feature films of the evening. Options: face masks (the ones in the sachets with the photos of women with fruit on their eyes), nail painting (multiple colours preferable) or perhaps something hair related. But NO eye make up. That can wait until you're at least 15, thank you very much.
6. Late night chats
The films are over, the lights are out, but the night is still young. Time for some post-film discussion, starting with comparing thoughts on the leading men, planning sequels and the 'alphabet game' (name a film beginning with A, B, C etc). If there is stationery available, get on the consequences game. Or it might even be time to start planning the NEXT sleepover. Whatever happens, NO SNOOZING til 1pm.
7. The next morning
The sleepover isn't over til the last person leaves. Therefore, breakfast is not to be underrated. One parent might provide delicious bacon sandwiches. Another might let you keep your sugar high topped up with pancakes, chocolate sauce, and... if you can stomach it... MORE ice cream. The possibilities are endless (but don't settle for anything healthy). The aim is to feel terrible but triumphant.
The seven stages are complete and I think I've done enough to convince you. Let's all move to Alaska and get this PARTY STARTED!