So this Saturday was my cousin’s third birthday party. And her parents, in their infinite wisdom, decided to have it at Chuck E. Cheese.
I hate children. I hate large, blinking anamatronic rodents. I hate shitty pizza. And most of all, I hate being sequestered in confined quarters with hordes of poorly behaved children with NO ALCOHOL IN SIGHT.
Alas, being the dutiful cousin that I am, I hauled myself out of bed at 8:30 this morning and headed out to my grandparents in the wild of suburbia. I’m not feeling so well (more on that later) but I did it anyway. I arrived at my grandparents in enough time for my grandmother to delegate the task of fixing my grandfather’s breakfast (fried egg, grits, and ham) to me, while she fussed at me to eat. Then, I took her underwear shopping (Have you ever tried to explain to your grandmother that 1) nope, she can’t wear the same size underwear as you, she needs a slightly larger size and 2) Victoria’s Secret PINK line was not exactly, uh, made with her in mind. Good times.)
We returned back to the house, my grandparents changed clothes (I’ll be damned if I put on any more than a t-shirt and jeans for Chuck E. Cheese. I doubt my cousin will remember what I was wearing anyways.) and we headed out. After getting some mis-directions from my blackberry, we managed to make it there.
This is where the fun begins. My grandmother is handicapped, and as such walks a little slower than usual. Not that we were in a hurry to get in, but… Anyway, she had a bit of trouble stepping over the curb. My grandfather admonished her to take her time, leading to the following exchange:
Grandfather: “Don’t get so excited! Slow down!”
Grandmother: “I’m not! My foot got caught.”
Grandfather: “What are you, excited to see white people?”
Grandmother: “Oh, you go to shit.”
We walked in, and my grandmother turned to me and goes (in her genteel Southern accent) “oh…my.” There were, as I’m sure you can imagine, kids EVERYWHERE. Poorly behaved, hopped up on high fructose corn syrup, screaming and rocketing around like deranged pinballs with sticky fingers. We made it to the table without me stealing my grandmother’s cane to smack anyone. My uncle walked up and greeted us:
Me: “So this is what hell looks like, huh?”
Grandfather: (surveying the mayhem) “Bring on the drinks.”
My cousin, who had been feeling feverish the night before, was still not doing so well, and as such, had a meltdown. Not that I blame her. I’ve got a solid 2 decades on her, and if I arrived to be surrounded by 7-8 kids much older than me, 20 adults, and a freaky rat in a baseball cap, I believe I’d be in tears too. We did the pizza and cake thing, with the adults clustered at one end of the table, looking like Bosnian refugees (only black.) I’d like to take this chance to comment on the TERRIBLE table manners these children had. It was a DISGRACE. I was lucky enough to have AM kindergarten and a grandmother who made sure that I could set the table for a seven course dinner by the time i was 6 years old, along with a healthy dose of cotillion classes. I know not every child is that lucky. But for the love of god, is it really so hard to impress upon your six year old that I should not have to see the full contents of her mouth every time she chews? Or that your (fat) eight year old should probably try and get more cake in him than around his mouth? Or that unless you are turning three or auditioning for a reality TV show, trying to shove an entire piece of cake in your mouth so you can run back for more is just a tad bit rude? Ugh. THIS is why I hate children.
After about two hours of this nonsense, my grandfather decides it’s time to go.
Grandfather: “Well, it’s four now. By the time we get back, the game will be on.”
Me: “And there will be beer.”
Grandfather: “And a straight shot of Jack Daniel’s for me.”
We gathered our things, said our goodbyes, and while I walked my grandmother to the door, my grandfather went outside to warm the car. As we got outside, he waved, rolled down the window, and said “I was just about to leave.”
Me: “I know you’re family and all, but I don’t think I could forgive you for leaving me at Chuck E. Cheese.
Grandmother: “Oooh, look! Those [insert unintelligible name of plant here] have berries! Mine don’t have berries.”
Grandfather: “Yes they do”
Grandmother: “No they don’t.”
Me: “Can we look at them as we drive away?”
Half an hour later, I was safely ensconced on the couch, watching Green Bay beat the shit out of the Seahawks and listening over my grandparents argue over who was nicer to the dog.