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Love is in the Air Part Two

Besides that earlier wonderful experience I have had other dalliances with women. The problem with me and relationships is God seems to find it amusing to make sure I fall for girls who either I have absolutely no chance with or like me for a little while then wake up from a trance and decide being attracted to me is about the same as being attracted to a saber toothed tiger. One of these particular types of relationships occurred just a few years ago. I met this girl through a friend and we hit it off immediately. She was very beautiful and after about a week of talking I asked her out and she surprisingly said yes. The only thing I regret is that I knew practically nothing about her at the time. Getting to know a person before you go out is slightly important as I soon found out.
A couple weeks into the love train it was time to celebrate her birthday. I would like to think of myself as a birthday party connoisseur. Laser Tag, football, fancy dinners, I’ve been to all of them. I’m a pretty good judge of whether a party is going to suck or not. Of course the key is the pizza and cake combo. You can’t go wrong. Some people try too hard and end up ruining everything. Just get a couple greasy pizzas and a nice big ol’ chocolate cake and you make everyone happy. Ice cream is a bonus.

Anyways, my girl at the time tells me to come to her birthday party at the local hotspot; Chuck E Cheese. Now back in the day I would have been all in for this. I loved that place as a kid. If you have never been there you need to reevaluate your life. Chuck E. Cheese used to be Disney World, Kings Dominion, and Pizza Hutt all rolled into one, but better. The place had terrible lighting, foreign workers, and the little tubes you crawl in and wave at your mom through the tiny window. Still to this day I have a reoccurring dream in which I get stuck in one of those tubes with an obese little boy who has very bad gas and I try to communicate to my mother that I am about to suffocate at the hands of this monster but she is just smiling and waving like a zombie.
The other loveable part of the place was the tickets you win. There were literally thousands of games which you could put in your quarters and win tickets. The only issue I had as a young buck playing the games was that it seemed that whatever machine I was playing on would, after hours of nonstop gaming, end up distributing the grand sum of about five tickets. I would walk away from the scam shaking my head after blowing about seven million dollars (or somewhere around there). You couldn’t cash in much for five tickets. I think you could usually trade that in for a tissue or colored pencil. After collecting my “prize” I would walk back somberly to the machine I had been using only to hear the sirens roar and Mr. Cheese’s voice going, “You’re a winner! I love you!”. I would quickly turn to see some three year old sucking his thumb under a pile of tickets as big as Mount Vesuvius after putting in only one quarter. But I’m afraid to say that the Chuck E. Cheese nowadays has completely lost its touch. The best part of that place was the robot animals, including Chuck E., who would play instruments and move their eyes around wildly at the children as if it was feast time. This small event would usually escalate when the robots broke down, as they usually did, and the performance ended with flames, smoke, etc.
I arrived to the establishment in birthday party mode. I had bought a new shirt earlier that week to wear for this special chance to really impress my lady. I had a present in one hand (a necklace which cost about ten dollars but looked around two hundred) and a plate of brownies in the other. The brownies were my mother’s idea, “Women love men who can cook!” she advised me right before I stepped out of the car. The only problem was that I could not cook and I broke my spatula just trying to remove the treats from the pan. I could have probably thrown one of those brownies and killed anyone who dared step into its path. I confidently walked through the magic doors expecting wild fun and adventure awaiting me. I was, as usual, disappointed.
My first observation was that I must have gotten the wrong address. The place was practically empty except for a small congregation of what seemed to be the Japanese national convention. I forgot to mention earlier that my girlfriend was of Asian descent. I looked around for any other of my white brethren but apparently I was alone. My second observation was that this was not the birthday party I was expecting. There were no other presents in sight so I tried to hide the gift behind my back as I walked up to the group. As soon as I came within ten feet of them they all stopped talking and stared at me. It was dead quiet and many things could have been said on my part to help ease the situation. Instead I had to go and mumble, “I’mhereforthepartybroughtbrowniessorryaboutworldwartwo”. The words became jumbled together so my audience easily determined my stupidity almost instantly. My girlfriend finally appeared out of no where and explained to me that she apparently had forgotten to tell me that she had changed the date of the party and today was just when she and her family would celebrate.
I decided to make the best of the situation and spent the afternoon playing games, throwing brownie missiles at the robot animals, and slamming piece after piece of greasy pizza into my gullet. The whole time the congregation of my soon-to-be-ex girlfriend’s family just stared at me at horror from their corner but I didn’t care. I was having the time of my life. After a couple hours I was ready to go get picked up by my mother. Before I left I strolled by the flock, gave a little wave, and with a grin yelled, “Happy Birthday!”. I kept the necklace and still have it to this day. It’s being saved for a future girlfriend who, if she says one day, “Hey let’s go to Chuck E. Cheese!”, I will cringe and politely suggest a good movie instead.





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