So, I took my Little Sister, Velrene, out for her birthday on Friday. We went to Chuck E. Cheese and V could NOT BELIEVE that I had never been to one before. It was there I discovered several things about myself.
I have a filthy mouth: Also, my swearing policy around children needs to be updated. I'd figured that as long as I avoided uttering "fuck,", I'd be okay.
I hadn't realized that 'piss' - as in, 'Don't piss me off!' said jokingly - also qualifies. V's eyes got big and, while pointing straight at me, yelled: "You used a swear word!!!" Nearby adults glared at me as we stood in line.
I look weird: Years ago, I was laying on the floor of an airport, reading and completely minding my own business. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw two young boys playing Nerf football. One of them came near to retrieve the ball and stopped cold when he saw me:
"Can I help you?" I asked him.
"You look like that witch lady on TV," he said matter-of-factly. "Yeah, you look just like her. It's in the eyes." He took off before I could ask which show but I'm hoping it was something like "Charmed" and he merely noted my inner Shannon Doherty. (Why hadn't someone said this to me during the Bewitched years?)
Fast forward to Chuck E. Cheese on Friday. So, this itty bitty Latino kid kept staring at me and following me around. He had nothing to say but was clearly fascinated - perhaps it was my red hair, or my white skin (I was the only cracker in the joint) or my funky glasses. I couldn't tell if he was smitten, amused or disgusted. .
I'm Big(ger): Chuck E. Cheese has one of those long climbing tubes that cover the entire ceiling space. I announced to V that I was going to climb in that Kid Tube and experience it for myself. She warned me, "Um, I think you're too big" but I brushed her off, pointing to a sign that invited 'Mommies and Daddies' to take off their shoes, and join in the fun. Darn it, I'm still a kid at heart!
Yeah well, as soon as I got my fat ass up in the tube, I realized V was right. Technically, I fit in the tube, no problem, but maneuvering it, well, it was mighty cumbersome, to say the least. Also, there was the distinct smell of excrement; I immediately wanted out of the Tube of Poo.
Trouble was, kid traffic was backed up behind me and turning around was not an option. So, I scrambled around on my hard, old kneecaps and watched pint-size individuals walk past me. God, what a big fumbling moron. Then, I turned a corner and came face-to-face with my little Latino admirer.
He just stared at me with those big silent brown eyes. Since he wasn't talking, I took the opportunity to vent. "I know, I know, I look ridiculous," I said to him. He blinked, said nothing and kept staring.
"I don't know what I was thinking! I mean, what was I trying to prove anyway? That I was still a kid? Jesus! I'm not a kid! I'm a middle aged woman with a filthy mouth, hard kneecaps and a flimsy fiscal policy, at best. Yes, I have learned much about myself in the Tube of Poo, things I could not have learned otherwise." He blinked some more and then, I caught a slight smile and the distinct look of pity.
"Hey, I appreciate your attention, listening to me and all but can you help me get out of here? The big, dumb white lady has had enough self-discovery for today." Then, he silently led me safely to the spiral slide which brought back to the ground and reality.
V greeted me, "Well, how was it?"
"You're right. I'm too big."
"I told you but you wouldn't listen."
Note to self: Listen more, curse less.