Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Southern Girl 101: Bespoke Beverage Delivery Systems

Okay, so "bespoke" (meaning "custom") is a British term, not a Southern one.  But it's one of my favorite words lately, so deal with it.

Southern girls like to accessorize and personalize.  They are also fond of beverages.  So, natch, we accessorize and personalize our beverages.

Here is a partial list of things that my friends and I obsess over, and acquire in mass quantities:

Koozies.  We carry them in our purse and keep baskets of them handy for when friends come over.  We monogram them.  We even buy them for our wine glasses.  (Really.  They are called Woozies.)  They are so darn handy, because they maintain the temperature of your drink (critical in the South) while also allowing you to distinguish your drink from someone else's.

Koozies are such a big deal around here that (1) people have them printed for special occasions (among the items in my personal collection:  wedding koozies and 40th birthday koozies) and (2) women's groups distribute them among their members as a means of branding.  I have three or four different styles of Junior Woman's Club koozies, and the Junior League has gotten into the koozie game as well.  (I like my Junior League koozie, because it is teal.  Lately, lime green has been the go-to shade of koozie green, so teal stands out in a crowd.)

Charms.  It started with wine glass charms, and then wine glass charms begat beer bottle charms, and so on and so forth.  You must have several sets - can't be handing out the Christmas-themed charms in July.  Unless, I guess, your party is a "Christmas in July" theme.  Then that would just be too gosh-darned cute.

Personalized bottles.   I cannot tell you how many personalized water bottles and "grown-up sippy cups" I have given as gifts in recent years.  For the uninitiated, a grown-up sippy cup is a plastic water bottle with a snack cup that screws in to the base, a pop-up straw built into the lid, and a double-walled construction allowing for the placement of a monogrammed liner (might be fabric, might be oilcloth) around the center.

Beverage, oilcloth, monogram - it's a Southern girl hat trick.

Lately, I have been getting my adult sippies from Sweet Caroline Designs on Etsy.  SCD is from Mississippi.  Told you, it's a Southern girl thing.  (But not, I guess, a girl-only thing, or a grown-up only thing, as sweet Parker James has a SCD sippy to take to soccer games.  It has his name embroidered in orange dot letters, on a Batman-patterned fabric insert.)

Personalized glasses.  The latest trend is the double-walled acrylic cup that mimics a disposable one (shaped like a fast food cup, with a screw-on lid and straw).  You can get these personalized with initials - another hot gift item.  Here's an example from The Palm Gifts:

The Palm Gifts is located in South Carolina - but you could have guessed that, right?

Also a perennial favorite:  styrofoam cups with sayings on them.  Cruise by the Junior League's Christmas in Cowtown bazaar, and you will see the women walking around dragging ginormous sleeves of styrofoam cups - juggling maybe seven or eight of them.  Because you cannot have just one style.  You need cups with your initial on them (I am partial to the ones that say "Mc", rather than just "M"), cups for tailgating, cups for the holidays (Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas) and cups for everyday.  See?  That got you to six sleeves right there.  Popular slogans include:

If I die at Wal-Mart, please drag my body to Neiman Marcus.

Mommy's sippy cup.

Does this cup make my butt look big?

(For Halloween) Witchy Waterford; Boo Brew.

(For Thanksgiving) Gobble 'Til You Wobble; Turkey Toddy.

(For Christmas) Reindeer Roadie; I Believe!  I Believe . . . I'll Have Another Drink!; Dear Santa, I Can Explain.

School-spirited phrases like Tech Tonic (for Texas Tech) and Horned Frog Hooch (for TCU).

I think the Tech folks should market a cup that says "Raider-Ade."  You know, because they are the Red Raiders?  Anyway . . . .

I think that these may be my next Christmas purchase:

If you knew my friends, you'd understand the appeal.  Found these on Crazy About Cups' Web site. Not sure where Crazy About Cups is located, but - judging from the "school spirit" section featuring mascots primarily from the former Southwest Conference and the number of Cajun references (like "Heaux, Heaux, Heaux") - I'm guessing that they are from these here parts.

Can't forget the stadium cup.  Fraternity boys gave 'em to us, and we never outgrew 'em (I'm talking about the boys AND the cups).  Had a bunch of cups printed for my birthday, and handed out cups that said "I'll Get My Elves Right On That" for a Christmas party a few years ago.  It's possible that my children are unaware that glasses exist other than personalized stadium cups.  The best part - Friend Melanie, whose "big birthday" was a few weeks after Elizabeth's and my combined shindig, had cups printed as well.  They were turquoise, just like ours.  I acquired several of them.  So now both boys can drink milk out of a turquoise stadium cup at dinner, the turquoise totally matches my dining room colors, and - since one has Mom's logo and one has Mel's - THEY DON'T GET THEIR DRINKS CONFUSED. 

Again, this is just a partial list of blinged beverage options.  There's a lot of room left to cover - and, I'm sure, products yet to be developed.  Personally, I think the market is ready for a stadium cup koozie.  You know, for when one layer of personalization just won't do.

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