A Super Sweet 15 for Farragut teen
On Sept. 23, Leslie [Gibbs] weathered the storm and threw her daughter the ultimate 15th-birthday bash at Maple Grove Inn in West Knoxville.I could quote on and on, but I just keep getting more and more nauseous. Suffice to say, the evening culminates with the presentation of a 2006 BMW Z4. To a 15-yr-old girl. Who can't even drive by herself yet.
Five young hunks didn't require an invitation to the party. The five Webb High School athletes were handpicked to mingle and dance with partygoers. Their uniform: pink bow ties, jeans, and a coat of spray glitter on their bare upper bodies.
Around 7 p.m., Hall, the invitation deliverer, announces Brittany's arrival. The DJ cranks up "Let's Get It Started" by the Black Eyed Peas. With her court in tow wearing pink and green satin evening gowns and shiny wings, she enters on a green litter trimmed with pink feathers, carried by four of the shirtless Webb athletes. The original plan had Brittany coming in on her quarter horse, Riley. The fifth Webb footballer, Bo Johnson, dressed in military-style regalia, awaits her.
Reactions from the public on the Sentinel's feedback page are scathing, and deservedly so. This poor girl's mother... I honestly can't say what I'm thinking for fear of being sued for libel. With a total budget for the party in 5 figures - 90% of which could have been used for a multitude of more philanthropic gestures that would've resonated throughout the girl's life - mom has securely bought her daughter's love and affection. Nice job.
And for those criticizing the Sentinel for covering this event - and you know who you are - think about this. The entire article could also be read as a satirical indictment of the occasion. A look into the life of a mother whose only way to reach her daughter is through money, cars, food and borderline debauchery.
UPDATE: Regarding the backlash against the Sentinel for covering the story, editor Jack McElroy writes:
How dare we cover, in a non-judgmental way, an event that raises a plethora of questions about values in 21st century America and East Tennessee! What of waste of time, for us and apparently for the thousands and thousands of people who invested their mornings devouring the story in print and online and discussing it across town, merrily condemnnig all involved.I love it too. It's amusing, yet sad to watch people miss the entire point.
I love it.