Friday, July 16, 2010

Flashback Friday: Party On

I've been blogging for almost 3 years now.  In the beginning I was talking mostly to myself.  I had a few friends find me over time, and my family, but I didn't really seriously get into networking my blog until this summer.  I have so enjoyed meeting new bloggers and sharing stories about our lives.  It occurred to me that during my early days of blogging, I had some really good things to say.  But no one got to hear them.  And I don't really expect anyone to dig through 3 years worth of a blog to find good posts to read.  So, I've decided to implement my own Flashback Friday.  Every Friday for the rest of the summer (so basically for the next 4 weeks), I'm going to post one of my favorite older posts.  I hope you enjoy!

Party On - January 22, 2008

I've recently been to hell and back.  And on Planet Pink, hell goes by the name of Chuck E. Cheese.  At 6pm.  On a Friday.

Seriously, WHY would anyone schedule a birthday party at 6pm on a Friday night at Chuck E. Cheese?  Your Majesty got the lucky job of chaperoning all 3 Princesses at this joyous occasion as my loving husband had to work (lucky dog).  Let me just paint this picture for you:

SIX birthday parties crammed into one tiny section of the restaurant, in front of the stage containing the sub-par automated animals somewhat resembling rodents that Princess #2 is terrified of.  An at capacity entertainment area full of games that are out of tickets and scores of unattended children running around in their stocking feet begging for more tokens off of any adult who happens to look at them.  A salad bar that has been ransacked - bits and pieces of lettuce and tomato are strewn all over the floor, which is already sticky from soda being spilled and not cleaned up.  A bathroom that... well, I'm just not even going to go there.  Use your imagination.  Now add in Your Majesty, desperately trying to keep tabs on all 3 Princesses since I don't even come close to trusting the teenager at the door to actually CHECK the invisible number that they stamp on your hand and your children's hands as you walk in and am pretty convinced it would be darn easy for some stranger to waltz off with my children.  I've got Princess #3 balanced on my hip (WHEN did she get so heavy?), Princess #1 and #2 running around from game to game, winning one ticket at a time and me running after them, silently cursing myself for not bringing along a bottle of hand sanitizer.  

After 30 minutes of game torture, the party gets underway, and Princess #1 (the actual INVITED) joins the group of kids squeezed around a party table, while Princess #2 throws a fit about wanting to sit at the table too.  Your Majesty sheepishly asks the mom of the Birthday Girl if they can spare a piece of pizza for Princess #2, which occupies her for 2 seconds and allows me to find an empty seat at the end of the table.  Within 5 minutes Princess #2 is begging for a drink.  Feeling bad about bringing her to the party but not being able to participate since she wasn't really invited, I cave and haul myself and the 2 littles out of the party area and toward the counter to order one kids drink.

Now, this should be simple, right.  Stand in line, order the drink, restore order to Princess #2's life.  Ha.  We join the line at the counter which is about 10 deep.  That should have been my first clue.  We stand behind a rather interesting family, specifically the dad who is sporting a wicked awesome mullet.  While I'm busy admiring his 'do, I fail to realize that the line is not moving.  Meanwhile Princess #3 is growing heavier on my hip (seriously, WHEN did she get so big?).  My arm is about to fall off when Mullet Man turns around and declares to me that there's only one register open.  Now I'm not in food service.  I have no clue what it takes to run a restaurant.  But really?  On a Friday night?  At an obviously VERY popular restaurant (God knows why)?  When there are FOUR registers on the counter?  And they're only working 1.  

We FINALLY begin to move a bit.  We're 3 people away from the counter (including Mullet Man) when Princess #2 starts tugging on my pants.  Yep, you guessed it.  Sometimes having a potty trained 3 year old sucks.  At this point I'm thinking I want the floor to open up and swallow me whole.  No way in the world I'm leaving my place in line, which has consistently grown longer behind me and a line has in fact begun OUTSIDE the door to the restaurant, of people just waiting to get into this torture chamber.  I express my frustration outloud and thankfully the woman behind me hears and offers to hold our place in line while we make a potty break.  I grab Princess #2, hike Princess #3 higher on my hip and make the brave trek to the bathrooms.  Let's just say that was the fastest potty break ever.  And I'm cured of EVER using a public restroom again.  EVER.

We rejoin the line and about 10 minutes later reach the counter.  A somewhat frazzled looking teenage girl apologizes for the wait and informs me that it will be a hour until pizza can be ready.  Thank God we were only in line for a kid's drink!  I place my order and she very graciously hands me a kid's cup and says no charge.  The one bright spot in the whole night.  We return to the party area where thankfully the present opening is nearly done.  I snag a leftover piece of cake for Princess #2 and polish it off myself when she only eats the icing.  As soon as the last gift is opened, I collect Princess #1 and we make way for the prize counter.  Ah yes, the magical wonderland of cheap plastic toys and Stuff That Will Be Thrown Away.  We count our collection of tickets - 57.  Just enough to buy one plastic pony tail holder and Tootsie Roll for each girl.  Lovely.  Even now, 3 days later I'm not sure where those stupid pony tail holders are...

Finally, FINALLY.  The party is over.  We leave the cacophony for the peace of our minivan.  I have never been more relieved to be driving on the highway, headed for home.

Now honestly, no offense if this is your idea of a great birthday party and are currently planning one yourself.  By all means, party away at Chuck E. Cheese.  But you might consider a different day or time.  Perhaps at 2pm on a Tuesday afternoon?  You know, when the employees have more time to attend to things like cleaning bathrooms and keeping up with the salad bar.  Just sayin'.


1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree more! Chuck E. Cheese is the worst...I get anxiety every time I go there. Too much of everything!


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