50 years after her first appearance on Broadway, Elaine May won a well-deserved Tony Award.
July 14th isn’t currently a widely observed date in the U.S., but it’s an important holiday: Bastille Day. Celebrated overseas as French National Day, Bastille Day is on deck to take on the likes of St. Paddy’s and Cinco de Mayo as a day Americans devote to usurping historical and cultural significance and morphing it into an excuse for Yankee bacchanalia.
So how does the provincial American create some trashy debauchery out of fancy French customs? Here are some hot ideas to amp up your Bastille Day blowout!
Curate a playlist
Set the mood for your hootenanné with a wicked playlist of French classics. Crank the bass for the score of Georges Bizet’s 1875 opera Carmen. Bust a move on the backyard patio to a track from Claude Debussy’s “Suite bergamasque.” Watch asses go skyward to Edith Piaf’s banger “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien.” If assembling your own playlist still seems too daunting, Spotify has quite the thumping Bastille Day playlist! (Search for Jacques Jams.)
Celebrate the cuisine
Celebrate the Fête de la Fédération with some authentic French cuisine, like Buffalo escargot poppers (you’ll need LOTS of blue cheese dip for this French-as-hell classic) or a steak tartare burger bar! It’s just like a regular cookout, but keep that beef cold and pink. No grill needed! Round off your nibbles with a signature cocktail: the Dark and Storming (of the Bastille).
Dress to impress, non?
The French are known for their refined fashion, and that should kindle your fête getup. But if you can’t afford to eat your potato salad in a Givenchy silk satin top, consider showing your sensitivity to French culture with plastic party berets from your local party supply store. They’re cheap, they come in any color you want (including METALLICS!) and you can easily trash them at the end of the night when you’ve grown callous to their novelty. Accessorize further with an Eiffel Tower bead necklace or a piece of crèpe on your shirt. Marie Antoinette herself will be turning in her grave at how turnt you look.
Party like a true American francophile
It wouldn’t be a proper rager du jour without some traditional French fun!
Sit and paint an impressionistic rendering of your neighborhood 7-11. Become inspired by the luminescence of sunlight upon the oversized Doritos window advertisement and the commotion of customers who need more onion dip.
Watch a culturally woke French flick, such as Moulin Rouge or Ratatouille. For extra fun, drink every time you hear the buzzwords “Paris,” “cigarette,” or “female body hair.”
Grab a couple of consenting cuties and have a freaky French ménages à trois. Leave your American jealousy, modesty and condoms at the door; today you perform as the French do!
- Rent a guillotine.
French kiss the world
On Bastille Day, everyone is a little bit French. If you’ve ever admired the minimal elegance of the French national flag, now is the time to paint it across your paunch, cheeks, or nipples. If you’ve ever been hypnotized by the beautiful language, now is your chance to wear a crop top that says “Eat Me Out, I’m French.” And if you have ever stood agog in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles, today is the day to kneel over the toilet as you vomit from those ten motherfuckin’ (pardon my French) Chardonnay spritzers. Vive la France!