I’m a Recovering Julie McCoy

Hi. My name is Shannon. I am a recovering Julie McCoy. It’s been 18 days since I threw my last party.

First and foremost… and you know this is coming. If you don’t know who Julie McCoy is, you need to get your ass over to Google. Right. Now.

I’ll wait.

Ok, good?


As a preteen in the late 70’s, early 80’s, I LOVED watching TV with my family on Friday and Saturday nights. At 8 years old, I clearly didn’t have much of a weekend social life. That would come later. Saturday nights meant bath, jammies, and then The Love Boat. With my hair still smelling like Suave strawberry shampoo and my skin like Avon bubble bath, I would bring my pillow out to the living room and set up my spot to watch in awe as Captain Stubing and the rest of the crew set sail for romance and adventures on their way to Puerto Villarta. I never thought to ask why that was the only port they ever seemed to visit. Though there was that one special when they went to Alaska. Good times.

The Love Boat was the epitome of glamour to my 8 year old self and my crush on Doc would foretell a lifelong attraction to lady killers of all shapes and sizes. Of course it cracks me up to think of this guy as some sort of a Casanova now, but he seemed to score all the ladies back in 1980. It was a toss up at the time who held my pre-teen heart, Doc from the Love Boat or Luke Duke from The Dukes of Hazzard. But more on that some other day.

I loved the character of Julie McCoy; bubbly, positive and helpful, she seemed to be someone I could easily be friends with. Organizing games of shuffleboard and making sure that guests made it to their cabins on the promenade deck? A clipboard to keep everyone organized? Hell YES. This was clearly a job I was meant for. Later in life in a two decades-long career in client service, I like to think corralling customers was a variation on this theme. I like to make people happy and ensure that they were getting their money’s worth.

There was, however, a bit of a dark underbelly that none of us kids learned about until after the series went off the air; namely that Julie (or Lauren Tewes in real life) was a RAGING coke head. Clearly, I was not paying much attention to Enquirer headlines during this time in my life. I also loved the Go-Go’s at this time and if Behind the Music taught us anything in the late 90’s… appearances can be VERY decieving.

Some might call my need to organize all the fun some sort of character flaw and one may actually utter the words “control freak” when speaking about me, but I prefer to think of myself who likes to make sure everyone is having a good time. I tended to be the person who made the call as to which house party to attend when none of the group could decide back in college. For the record, the selection was usually based on which cute guys would be in attendance.

As I got older and the disposable income at my fingertips increased, the fun got more elaborate. For several years, I organized a yearly wine tour which would involve ever bigger limos and then transitioned into limo BUSSES. The tours were timed to the minute to accommodate maximum wine tasting and included knowing how much time it would take the group to get from one winery to the next. Herding cats would be more efficient, but I loved every minute of it.

I never met a theme party I didn’t like and have eagerly heeded the call when other fellow Julie McCoys that I surround myself with have thrown themed tailgate parties, camping trips and elaborate new year’s eve celebrations. I have built jello-shot Christmas trees, people.

I own chafing dishes. Not just the basic ones, but true banquet hall versions in glorious stainless steel. I never met a serving platter, pretty serving spoon or cute dish I didn’t like. I love champagne flutes and nice wine glasses and will quite happily pull out the fine china and prepare a feast for 100 of my closest friends.

The minister at my wedding joked with the congregation about my planning binder. Yes, BINDER. That three inch, three-ring binder was the only thing standing between me and utter insanity. As I have already noted in a previous post; it was a bit of a three-ring circus. Chuckles erupted during the ceremony as the minister regaled the attendees about my planning capabilities. These people knew me well.

So when we meet, you can feel free to call me Julie. Some members of my crew do. I’ll make sure you have a good time. Always. I am a Julie McCoy at heart, without the raging coke habit, of course.

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