On my last birthday I was horrified at how fate had put me into the middle of a children’s party place.
My niece, Patty’s birthday was the day before mine and my husband and I had made elaborate plans for her party at Chucky Cheeses. We ordered two cakes, extra pizzas, and extra game tickets.We had invited all fifteen of our nieces and nephews, all of our adult friends with their children and grandchildren.
Unfortunately, my niece got admitted to the hospital the morning of her birthday as she had taken a bad spill on her new birthday bike and had a serious head injury. We could not get a refund on the party so at the appointed time we all headed into the building. My plan was to pick a different niece and have the party for her even though her actual birthday was several months away. I was in front of the crowd when we got to the chained entrance where they ask you questions about the birthday child. My best friend blurted out that the birthday child was in the hospital and that I had a birthday the following day and since we couldn’t get a refund on the party that I was going to be the birthday girl. I nearly fainted and my husband was out at our vehicle still gathering items for the party so I decided it would not be a good idea to faint without him there to catch me. I just stood there turning very red. The nice young man who was asking the questions put his arm around my shoulders and said, “That’s okay, you can be my birthday girl.” He walked us back to our set of tables and seated me at the kids table close to where Chucky would dance. My husband finally came in and when he found me he asked me why I was sitting at the kids table. Just then David, the young man who had pledged that I would be his birthday girl came over and put a large blowup crown on my head. When he left I explained how I ended up where I was.
The party continued and Chuck Cheese came up and started to dance. Children crowded around him dancing to the music. My adult son came up behind me and insisted that I dance with Chucky. I did and when I looked over at my son he was sliding off his chair in a fit of laughter. In fact all of my friends and all of the children were having a marvelous time laughing and encouraging me. I bit the bullet and managed to smile. After that I sat back down at the kids table and had some pizza. About twenty minutes later David came up to me to advise that the ticket booth was now ready and insisted that I go in and grab as many tickets as I could. Well, I figured the kids would love to have them so I got into it. I let most of them fall into my crown and when I saw two 500 value tickets on the ground I got down and picked them up. My tickets totaled over three thousand points. While I was in there I looked over our table and saw my daughter’s mother-in-law laughing loudly and pointing at me. I was happy when I got to sit back down.
My embarrassment was not complete because David then came up and placed the two cakes in front of me. He asked, “Can I put the candles on now.” I was devastated. I told him I didn’t want everyone to see the 65 candles on my cakes. He told me he had a good plan for the candles and to leave it to him. Shortly he game back and made a six out of a few of the candles on one cake and a five on the other. Altogether there were only about twelve candles so I was okay with that. Everyone sang Happy Birthday and I blew out my candles. You have to imagine the laughter that surrounded me. Finally it was over and I got to go home. But the next day when I checked my Facebook page, there I was. My son had put a picture of me smiling with my crown on and my daughter had done a video of me dancing with Chucky. I turned off my computer and refused to answer the phone.
Months later I went back on Facebook and looked at the comments. To my surprise, everyone loved the pictures and video and thought it was wonderful that I had my sixty-fifth birthday at Chucky Cheese.
I was still embarrassed, but tried to put it behind me because every time I thought about it I shuddered and shrank another inch. All I could think about was how I had humiliated myself.
Well, it has been a year and my kids and friends still tell me what a wonderful party I had for my big birthday. They thought I was really a cool mom and really courageous.
When I think about it now I don’t feel humiliated. I think about how everyone including the kids and my relatives, and friends had such a great time at my party. I also realized that I had actually had a fabulous time also. I keep my crown and the medal they gave me hanging up where I am reminded every day about what a smashing birthday I’d had. The embarrassment faded with time and I was happy that I was courageous enough to stay and see the party through. I am glad that I stayed because it has become one of my favorite memories.
A Birthday Party at Chucky Cheese