Darling D turns twelve this week, and as I am home for her birthday this year, that means party planning was all me. I love party planning, so I usually get really excited about this. Until D informed me that this year, she wanted to have a bowling party. Now if you know me, you know that there are two pastimes that I just can't handle. Two things that I hate, and sometimes make me want to hurl. Rollerskating is one, but luckily I haven't been forced to do that since the junior high nights at Shole's. Bowling is the other. Something about the combined odors of Lysol disinfectant, old smoke, and week old hotdogs just doesn't do it for me. In fact, it brings on the same subtle rage that develops when I hear anything by Nickleback. So you can imagine how I felt upon hearing D's birthday wish. But of course, this isn't about me, so I moved on to planning mode and grabbed the phonebook.
Sunday morning all was well. Party Favors? Check. Balloons? Check. Bowling Ball Birthday cake? Check. Then we pulled into the parking lot of the bowling alley and my stomach dropped. I mumbled, "What a fucking dump!" Luckily D was in another car with her dad, so she didn't get to hear that one. Crumbling pavement? Check. Tall weeds? Check. Peeling paint? Check. A certifiable shit hole. Inside was no better. It reeked of stale smoke from the days before I was born, the carpet was filthy, and the patron was a grumpy, middle aged social retard. I was not going to let that ruin anything though, so we set up shop and once the kids arrived, everything was great. They had a blast, even if they were all terrible bowlers, and we were lucky no one was injured. They ate cake and crappy bowling alley pizza, gossiped and shrieked for two hours, and went home exhausted. I didn't have to entertain, clean, or worry, and on the way home, D said it was an awesome party. I could say I've learned my lesson. Fun can be had anywhere no matter what, but I would still rather have it somewhere that doesn't make me crave a shower.