- Olivia & Sophia
- Chris and Monica
Chooch decided a while back that he wanted to have a laser tag birthday party, even though none of us have played before. Believe me, I was fine with this because it meant SMALL. As in: FEW KIDS. I’m not sure who was more excited the day of his party: Chooch or me.
Once everyone arrived, our personal party coordinator came in and led us to the laser tag holding cell, where she bumbled through the rules of the game and pretty much had us utterly confused. We split into two teams without hesitation: Awesome Adults vs. Dumb Kids. And then Janna “accidentally” gouged the back of my arm with her stupid laser gun and I was like “Bitch, best count your blessings that we’re on the same damn team.”
But then I noticed that after Henry was done helping all of the kids suit up, he stayed over on their side. “C’mon, Erin. They have to have at least one adult or it won’t be fair!”
Yeah, exactly! Why give them a chance!?
I was instantly nervous about this. Henry and I being on opposing teams means that Super Competitive Extreme Asshole Erin comes out. I was hoping that we could be on the same team so that I wouldn’t have to get stressed out and possibly risk eviction from Laser Storm and/or losing a friend. (I really think this is why my friend Stacey hasn’t come to one of my game nights since 2009. I get real ugly.) So look, I’m competitive in general, but as soon as the competition involves Henry as an opponent, I take it to new levels. Any old friends reading this remember the dreaded New Years Eve Trivial Pursuit debacle that resulted in me flipping over the game board (the table was too heavy to flip) and screaming about how everyone hates me all over some question about Yoshi? And then spending the next year constantly bringing up the fact that not a single person there that night cared enough to stop me from driving home drunk and psychotic?
My mantra is always, “I don’t care if I lose as long as Henry doesn’t win.” And the sad thing is that he genuinely always wants me to win!
I’m sorry, Henry fans, but as soon as our respective team doors opened to the laser tag arena, Henry went from being my loving life partner/father of my child/all-around Jeeves to motherfucking Bin Laden. I COULDN’T WAIT TO SHOOT THE SHIT OUT OF HIM!
One of the twins was smart and chose my team. She said she didn’t want to be on her sister’s team, and I understood. SHE WANTED TO WIN.
Once we were in the darkened room, a strange combination of panic and adrenaline melted over me and I realized I forgot everything we learned, all of the rules, all of the objectives. But then I remembered that I had but one mission: KILL HENRY. So I put my blinders on to everything but Henry’s dumb head and I shot that motherfucker every single chance I got. I even did the whole run-dive-shoot thing at one point and sincerely hurt my hip but I think my shot hit him so it was obviously worth it.
Oh, and no big deal, but my team won.
Because Henry is a cheap-ass, he only paid for ONE ROUND of laser tag. And apparently one round is only like 15 minutes! (Which apparently is long enough for my hair to stick to my neck with war-sweat.) Luckily, we had the party room for an hour and a half though, so we didn’t have to kick anyone out after the game was over.
Back in the party room, Party Warden passed out everyone’s score cards and I was pleased to see that I at least beat Janna. I don’t think any of the kids so much as glanced at their score cards, but us adults studied and compared ours obsessively for a good ten minutes. Monica was extremely disturbed by the inaccuracy of her score card and I think it came close to ruining her whole day. “Apparently, it doesn’t matter how many times you hit base, because it’s worth ZERO POINTS,” she announced bitterly.
Asshole Henry shot me one time more than I shot him, so that sucked. But the real victory was that Henry was NOT the MVP of the whole entire game—Corey was! SUCK IT, HENRY!
But then Corey kept bragging about being MVP and I was like, “UGH SUCK IT, COREY!”
I took picture this shortly after I burst Corey’s MVP bubble by snapping, “Whatever, at least I can see colors.” #mybrotheriscolorblind
In this picture, you will note Henry’s naturally-sour face looking even more acerbic. Apparently, he had taste-tested the Sierra Mist and was appalled. “IT HAS NO TASTE!” he said repeatedly until people eventually started looking around the room and saying, “Do you hear something? Is someone talking to us? Oh, it’s just Henry.”
He ended up sending back the Sierra Mist because it was “just carbonation.” He was a huge dick about it too. The party warden was like, “Shucks sir, I have no idea what you’re bitching about but sure, I’ll bring you another pitcher if it means you’ll stop twitching your molester ‘stach in my general direction.” That broad could not wait for our 90 minutes to expire.
If Henry had a blog, his version of this day would be all about how he saved the children from imbibing defective soft drinks, spent so much money in order to buy his son’s happiness, and probably some boring anecdote about when he was in THE SERVICE not fighting in a war. Laser tag was probably more dangerous and combative than anything he did while “SERVING.”
Included in the party package was a cake, and it was actually not as disgusting as I imagined it would be. We sang the weirdest version of Happy Birthday to Chooch, and I have no idea who set the tone, but it sounded like a fucking funeral dirge. (See also: Nick Cave singing Gregorian chants to a dead person.) I thought maybe it was just me, but afterward, everyone seemed to mutually agree that it was weird and the party warden looked nervous.
In this picture, Monica is using the calculator on her phone to work out what her actual score was since none of her base hits made it on her score card.
All of the kids got tokens for the game room afterward, and there were a bunch left over so the rest of us practically mauled Henry for some.
Monica was obsessed with this old broad with her nose in a Danielle Steele book who had the audacity to make disgusted scowls at all of the children running around making gleeful sounds. She was sitting so close to the skee ball row that it’s surprising that no one tried to roll one of the balls off her surly, disapproving face.
“Seriously? You expect to be able to read your book peacefully in a LASER TAG ARENA?!” Monica scoffed. “Please take a picture of her,” she whispered to me.
I don’t remember being so terrible at skee ball. I gave the rest of my tokens to some child.
Chris texted me before the party and said that one of the gifts she bought him might be a bit girlish, and should she wait until the other kids weren’t around before giving it to him? I said no, because I’m always up for watching my child being humiliated, but it turned out to be a “yummy crochet” kit and he could barely contain all of the stoked feelings. Chooch mentioned not too long, at dinner with Chris and Monica, that he wanted to learn how to crochet (specifically, the Japanese style of crocheting, amigurumi). Of course, this conversation turned weird, with the suggestion that Chris become possessed by the ghost of Henry’s late grandmother in order to teach Chooch how to crochet.
Hey, if you read the post about Chooch’s actual birthday, then you already know the spoon story. But here it is again, anyway, BECAUSE I LOVE TELLING IT! We had a small family party on Chooch’s real birthday, and by the end of the night, he was exhausted and cranky. Some might say his “inner Erin” was coming out. When he walked past Corey on his way to bed, he stopped and in this totally shitty, sarcastic tone, said, “Oh and thanks for much for the present, Corey.”
“Your mom said I could just bring your present to your laser tag party next week!” Corey cried defensively.
“Whatever, it’s probably just going to be a spoon,” Chooch spat in a spoiled tone. And as he began to walk away, he paused and added, “For me to shove up my ass!” He wasn’t even trying to be funny, but Corey, Janna and I all fucking lost it. It was late, we were slap-happy, and then that happened and it turned into A Thing.
Corey made a note in his phone that just said “Get spoon.”
And oh, he got a spoon, alright. Corey had it tucked in the gift bag with the actual presents he bought Chooch, but I suggested that we take the real presents out and hide them, so it looked like literally all he got Chooch was a spoon.
When Chooch pulled it out of the bag, he was so confused. I couldn’t believe he had forgotten in a week! His cousin Zac said, “Is that for your mom to beat you?” and all of his friends were just like, “Your parties are so weird.” It wasn’t until he read the card that he realized it was from Corey and then it all kind of clicked, so he stormed off to “have words” with him. Total highlight of the party.
The Spoon. It has become something of a phenomenon in our house. We take #spoonselfies now and Henry is making a plaque for it so that when Chooch isn’t toting it around, he’ll have a place to hang it for the night.
In this short video, you can see the tail end of Monica saving my face from acquiring a basketball imprint, laser tag sounds (that’s my dumb voice screaming “OH MY G—-” at the end), and the Unwrapping of the Spoon. I wish I had a video of the super-sad Zoloft commercial happy birthday serenade, but COREY deleted it because he didn’t like how his VOICE sounded! Ugh, the worst!
Chooch just strutted past in his underwear and I asked him if he had anything to add while I’m writing this. He said, “Yeah, thanks for the spoon, Corey.” And then as he ascended the staircase to his room, he mumbled, “I love it.”
I still have no idea how we managed to not get kicked out.