They say the good thing and the bad thing about living in a small town is that everybody knows everybody. That's not always the case, as I learned today. While attending the boys soccer game, I saw some people I recognized. Assuming they would know me because it's a small town, and because my ego IS that big, I went down to say Hello. These folks were very polite, as they had always been. See, I had been to their house probably 100 times while growing up. I went to school, played sports, and attended various functions with both their kids. So, imagine my surprise when after talking to them for about 10 minutes, they asked me who I was. Now, it wasn't that outright at first. It started by, "And how do you know the boys again?"I realized then that I had just approached people I hadn't seen in over 15 years, and I never told them who I was. Still not wanting to believe I had changed in appearance that much, I immediately chalked it up to their being old. I began recounting how I used to go to school with their kids, played on the same sports teams all through childhood, had been to their house a bunch, they to mine a bunch. They still had no idea, as they asked, "Huh! What was your name again?", which after I told them, they began repeating it over and over with different inflection, like they were expecting the magic lightbulb to turn on. I was tempted to remind them of the time I was arrested with their youngest son, but I wasn't sure that would be my best choice at rekindling fond memories of yesteryear. I gave them a pass, since they obviously weren't going to be asking for my autograph anytime soon.
On the way home, I remembered another story that might have jarred loose the cobwebs of time. I should have told them about the time their oldest puked on his brand new cowboy boots during my 10th birthday. That was classic.
See, I always had memorable birthday parties. Not because of something I got, but because of the chaos that ensued. My birthday is very near to Christmas. If your one of those people, you know what I mean. It usually sucks. All your holiday eggs are in one basket time of year. What with the cold weather, the combination presents............"Here! This is for your birthday AND Christmas!" OH GREAT! SCREWED AGAIN THIS YEAR!.......and not to mention this all happens during Flu season....Wait....I am going to mention that, cause it's the main point of this story.
Let me start by giving props to my mom. I know she's reading this because that's what mom's do.....plus I send it to her. My mom was always trying to make my birthdays special so it wouldn't just be another part of Christmas, and because I'm her "baby". Anyway, on this particular year, mom was an EXTRA trouper!
It was my big 10th year (I think). She had it all planned out. We would head to McDonald's with a bunch of my friends, before hitting the Arcade and the Movies. Everything started according to plan. We went around and started picking up the guys. It wasn't until we were headed to Marion that it became apparent something wasn't right..... Now, I'm sure mom will disagree with some of the details, but she isn't writing this, I am and this is how I remember it....... Several times along the way, mom had to exit the road so someone in my entourage could exit the vehicle to revisit their lunch. Most parents would have realized the time they were headed for, and immediately turned around. Not mom, God bless her. We trudged on. Eventually we mad it to McDonald's, and everything seems okay. We got our food, and began eating. That's when the toilet Olympics started. Or, the bathroom sprints, if you will. Somebody was always coming or going. A couple people christened the floor. I have one fond memory of a 3 man dash to the restroom. It was neck and neck for awhile, but upon entering the narrow hallway that led back to the restroom, the leader decided to reach his finish line early. The hallway became a giant vomit slip and slide. I was trailing and quickly went into a hard brake. The poor sap in the middle had no chance. Down he went, sliding through the yuck, all the way to the bathroom door. I don't have to mention how much the employees of said McDonald's loved us. If Ronald himself had been there, he probably would have cussed my mom out.
Feeling that the worst was surely over, mom loaded us up and headed for the arcade. I don't remember anyone getting sick there, but kids were starting to drop like flies, as mom had began contacting parents per specific kids' requests. Finally, the few that were still left made it to the movies. An let's just say, the theatre staff were cleaning up more than popcorn that night. It was during the show that said cowboy boots were ruined.
Remember to get your Flu shot.........and stay away from December birthday parties.