“How My Birthday Party was Almost Ruined” or “It was a dark and stormy morning. A shot rang out.”


This morning, at 6 a.m. I awoke to sick children.  Apparently, they’d been puking all night long.  Nooooooo!  No, no, no, no, no, no!  Noooooo!

What’s that?  You think I’m overreacting?  That’s because you don’t know.  You just don’t know.  So I’ll explain.  Read this excerpt from The Blog dated March 31st:


Just yesterday I was wondering, “Hmmm.  I wonder what I should do for my 40th birthday?”  And after today, I know.

Laser tag party. 

Laser tag party!  

I played laser tag for the first time today.  I took my sons to a kid’s birthday party today.  Anyone who wanted to pay extra could play laser tag.  And yes, of course I wanted to play laser tag, are you kidding?!

I am so glad that I have boys and I am so glad that they’re not babies anymore.  Here’s why:

Baby/toddler:  Mommy, take me to the park so I can get sand in my eyes and cry and eat a bug and you can push me on the swing in the boiling sun for half an hour, then I’ll get a runny nose and smear it on your shoulder while I scream in your ear because I don’t want to leave and then I’ll pee in my car seat on the way home.

Seven/Nine year old:  Mom, take us out to laser tag where you can skulk around with us shooting everything that moves and pretend you’re G.I. Joe for half an hour, but without the real guns and bullets and death and drill sergeants.

Sweating from pushing a kid on a swing: pure misery.

Sweating from skulking around shooing a bunch of kids with a blaster: pure delight.

Who knew that you could get so sweaty just skulking around?

I’m not sure who to invite to my 40th Birthday Laser Tag party.  Will any of my friends even want to come?   I may end up having to invite a bunch of ten year olds to come play with me on my special day. Let me know if you are interested and I’ll get an invitation out to you.  It’s in December, so you have time to get in shape and practice your aim.


People, I did it.  For my 40th birthday, I planned a Laser Tag Party.  It was scheduled to start today at 9:00 in the morning.  I invited all of my friends and as of yesterday evening 75 of them said they were coming.

Now, let’s start over:

This morning, at 6 a.m. I awoke to sick children.  Apparently, they’d been puking all night long.  Nooooooo!  No, no, no, no, no, no!  Noooooo!

And, to make matters worse, it was snowing ice crystals.  Noooooooo!

The laser tag party, with 75 guests, was scheduled to begin in a mere three hours!!  And the kids were droopy, begging for water, puking with fevers and the weather was bad.

Fortunately, Mom was willing to sit at home with the boys while they puked.  Oh, that woman is a saint.  And fortunately, the kids didn’t begrudge us going to the party.  What sweetie-pies they are.  I love them dearly.

Now, details:

First of all, as I wrote on March 31st, I wasn’t even sure anyone would be interested.  I brought it up at Soup Day, “Should I have a laser tag party for my birthday?”

I was positive that Barbetta would say no.  She’s my most sensible friend.  I was sure she’d talk me down.  But she said, totally off the cuff, “Sure, why not?” I was astounded!

But then it turned out that she thought I meant a laser tag birthday party for Boy10.  She said, “Wait, you mean a laser tag party for the adults?!?” And I thought, “Ok, here’s where she talks me down.” But instead she went on to say, “Oh, I am SO in! Do it!”

And there, my friends, was the green light.  If Rob and Jo-Ann, Kevin or Scott, or Michael and Kim say, “Sure have a laser tag party,” that doesn’t mean anything.   I mean, Rob and Jo-Ann are busy planning their bouncy-house party as we speak.  (Right, guys?  Because I am SO in. Do it!)  Michael and Kim are encouragers, so they’ll tell you to go for anything that’s not illegal, and Kevin and Scott are just goofy.

But for Barbetta to say have a laser tag party?  That means something.  That means the laser tag party is a go.

Highlights of the party:

1.  Cake.  Today is actually Darling Husbands 45th birthday.  My 40th birthday is tomorrow.  So Traci made two cakes.  She told me, “You cannot look at your cakes until you’re at the party and all the guests are there.”

I followed her instructions and waited to reveal the cakes until everyone was assembled.  There aren’t enough words to describe how much I adore these cakes.  Traci even picked out our favorite flavors without me having to tell her (carrot cake and red velvet).  I love my friends so much.

I got pictures of the cakes, but honestly, I was very distracted by all the dying giraffes (more on that later), so the pictures don’t do the cakes justice.

Traci managed to find the least flattering pictures of Darling Husband and me and turned me into Princess Leia….


And Darling Husband into an Ewok….


Hey, if you’re going to celebrate your 40th and 45th birthdays with a laser tag party, then you get Star Wars cakes.

2.  Singing.  Do you remember what I wrote on December 23rd?  Here’s the excerpt:


After Christmas dinner, we headed to SIL and BIL’s house.  Somewhere in the festivities, Aunt Shirley in Ohio called, as she always does on holidays, and we all sang to her on the phone.

You do not ever want our family to sing to you.  We all pick a song (this time it was We Wish You a Merry Christmas) and then everyone chooses their own tune to sing it to.  I chose Somewhere Over the Rainbow.  Then, on the count of three, everyone sings the song to the tune of their choice.

It’s very disturbing.


When it was time to sing Happy Birthday, Dad was ready.  I don’t know if everyone knew what to do because they read The Blog, or if it was because of his amazing conducting skills, but without a word, he had the entire group singing Happy Birthday to whatever tune they felt like using.

Dad lifted his arms, started it off by warbling a lengthy, “Haaaaaa…” and everyone started droning along.  It had to have been the best worst rendition of “Happy Birthday” ever sung.  Later when I talked to Darling Husband about it, he said, “What?!  They were singing?  It sounded like…noise.”

And that pretty much describes it: noise.  They stood there Making Noise.  I’m not sure what sound dying giraffes make, but if there were a herd of dying giraffes all making dying giraffe noises, it would have sounded like my friends singing Happy Birthday.  Good job, guys!  I’m proud of you and you made my father-in-law very happy.

3.  Reactions.  The people who had played laser tag before enjoyed it as much as ever.  They knew what to expect and once the games started they were off following their own little strategies they’ve worked out in the past.

I was happy that they were happy, but I had the most fun watching the reactions of the first timers.   They basically had the same reaction that I had: they were astonished by how much they loved it.  Barbetta stopped me in the middle of the pitch dark laser tag arena with the music blaring to say, “I LOVE THIS!!!!!”  Jo-Ann laughed the entire time like a maniac in a Tarantino movie while she mowed everyone down.  Rob was delighted by the cardio workout.  I think he might forgo the gym membership and sign up for three sessions a week of laser tag.

Even Janet and Gerhard played.  I was a little surprised when they said they wanted to play, being that they’re my peace-loving hippie friends.  Blasting everyone with lasers doesn’t quite fit my image of them, but I am so pleased they enjoyed themselves.


In the end, I think that everyone had a good time.  They all seemed amused at attending a 40th birthday laser tag party in the first place, and then either fell in love with laser tag for the first time or they fell in love with it all over again.

Oh!  And even though I wrote on the invitations, “No gifts: stalking and shooting our friends is gift enough,” we got gifts!

Chinese takeout salt and pepper shakers:


Picture frame magnet:


Um…a box of Christmas cards.  Maybe as a hint?  I haven’t sent out Christmas cards since Boy10 was born.


OoOOooh!  They aren’t Christmas cards.  They’re gift cards packaged in the Christmas card box:


And more gift cards:


Star Trek and Star Wars greeting cards.  Gotta have the Star Trek and Star Wars cards:


A travel notepad.


And a Tardis ornament:


Here was the setup for the pictures, if you were wondering:



8 thoughts on ““How My Birthday Party was Almost Ruined” or “It was a dark and stormy morning. A shot rang out.”

  1. That cake is AMAZING!!!! What a great birthday, perhaps the kids being sick let you be free for the day. I say they planned it to be nice! 🙂

  2. Lazer tag! Wish I was your IRL friend and lived closer. I would have been so there. Your ckes are fantasic, too. My dh liked the Star Wars card.

  3. Belated Happy Birthdays! The Traci cakes are the BOMB as usual!!!!! We’lll have to work in a trip to Laser Tag next time I am in Gettysburg:)

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