Cookout 101: A Guide to Summer Madness

“And with a pen and pad I composed this rhyme. To hit you and get you equipped for the summer time!”- The Fresh Prince


It’s cookout season y’all! The grandmas, mamas, and aunties of the world put their foot in the macaroni and hammocks in the greens. The grandpas, daddies, and uncles pulled out the universal grilling sandals and proceed to burning hot dogs left and right. You and your cousins have linked and the kids are running themselves tired. The vibes are great, the music is going, drinks are flowing and everyone is feeling good. Follow the rules below  to keep the good vibes strong and to avoid being the topic of auntie’s phone conversation tomorrow.

“Where Y’all At?”

Ask for the tent number if you’re meeting at the park. If you’re relying on familiar faces and the amount of black people you see, you’re bound to end up at the wrong cookout.

The Solo Cup

This is the only cup we’re drinking out of. Don’t bring nothing else!

If you can’t handle the red cup, don’t touch it.

Empty Hands

Never show up empty handed. Bring a bottle, water, off brand soda for the kids, something.

If you didn’t cook, don’t fix yourself a to-go plate unless offered.

Dear White People

If you’re invited, mingle. Just avoid hair questions, politics and religion. Don’t give out any drunken nicknames and don’t over do it by trying to fit in. Just be yourself and don’t touch nothing if it ain’t yours.


If you can’t play don’t even breathe near the table.

Listen, “watching to learn” is a setup. It looks easy and you think you can play after watching a couple hands, you can’t! As soon as someone needs a bathroom break you might be encouraged by the opposing team to take their place, DON’T DO IT CUZ! Your “patna” is going to be mad for the rest of the year.


When grandma says “Y’all go ahead and eat!” acknowledge her, wait a couple minutes then go. Give the great aunties time to get their plate started.

If you don’t like it, talk to your favorite cousin about it tomorrow. Don’t you dare mention it or make a face. Somebody is watching you.

Wash your hands before touching any food!


I don’t care how old you are the rule still applies, “You not about to run in and out my house!”

You’re either outside or inside. Pick one!


If you bring a bottle, once you sit it down it becomes the homeowners. Bring a personal bottle for consumption.

You’re surrounded by food, so feed your liquor cause “ain’t nobody come here to take care of you.”


Keep it old school. Everything from Motown to classic 90’s makes you feel good. Some of the new stuff is cookout worthy but be selective in your choosing.

If you must play Bey’s version of “Before I Let Go” play it AFTER Frankie Beverly & Maze.


“Any kids gon’ be there?” is a very important question. If not, find a babysitter. If so, watch them!


Be clean. Be cool. Be cute. Be comfortable. Be presentable. If you have to pull up or pull down all day, leave it alone. Check out these cute ideas courtesy of FOREVER 21 and me!

Outfit Total: $21

The Details

  • Midi Tie-Dye Dress –Rainbow -$7.99
  • Overpiece-Thrifted – $3.00
    • Fun Fact: It was a dress before I cut the slip out!
    • Find similar options here.
  • Shoes-Cato’s by way of my mama’s closet-Free
    • Find similar options here.
  • Shades-Sassy Frames – $10

Cookouts are full of good people, good music, good food and good times. All you have to do is follow the unspoken (sometimes spoken) rules above, stay respectful, be considerate and send me the invite 😉



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