Disclaimer: I admit it. It was not an accidental typo. But “Bawling/Bowling?” Who cares. I’m probably going to do both this weekend. The bottom line is when you’re over age 10, apparently you should never plan your own celebration. Even if you clearly state, “No Gifts.” And EVEN if you’re turning 50 and a previously scheduled surprise party was accidentally ruined. Okay, okay, you ruined it by being too nosy (read HERE) but STILL.
Let me backtrack. Here is the invite. By the way, even though you can’t see the bottom part, it clearly says, “No children, please. But Adults who “feel” like a kid are especially welcome. Let’s just have fun!” Then it elaborates that it will be casual, food, drink, bowling and mentions “catching up with old friends – – walking down Memory Lane at a Bowling Lane.” Clever, right? I thought so. Then I made the RSVP responses with bowling puns, which were rather witty too. (If i don’t say so myself. Boy, when you kill that Inner Critic voice, you do become rather cocky!) The RSVP card went like this:
Yes! (I’m ready to Roll)
Maybe (It’s a Split, I’ll let you know very soon)
No! (Can’t Spare the time, sorry.)
Now, a question for you. Anywhere above, do you see the following response? “I’m a Mystery Guest. You will NEVER know if I’m coming, or if I even got this invitation at all. Have fun. That’s my birthday gift to you. Because I know you need to learn how to give up control.”
Two days before the event and over half the potential guests are going with that.
That’s what you get for making your own party, I guess.
I also asked people to specify if they were bowling or just spectating, since I need to pay in advance for shoes, plus guarantee there will be enough lanes together. Simple question, right? Here’s just a sprinkling of responses I got.
“Hmmm, I haven’t bowled since I was ten. What a novel idea. So whadya think? Should I ??”
“What? You want me to wear shoes that announce to the world that I’m a size 9?”
“Oy, Stephanie, Stephanie! You know your Uncle Charlie can’t stand all that racket. Will you at least be providing earplugs?” (I didn’t even know I HAD an Uncle Charlie. Let alone one with sensitive hearing. When did Aunt Carla remarry?)
“Yes, Yes, Yes! Put us down for 7 bowlers. Susie wears a kids size 2, little Mitchie an infant 8 (wait till you see how curly his hair got!) and the teens will probably only bowl a couple of games; but hopefully you’ll provide video tokens, and they’ll amuse themselves.” (You saw that one coming, I hope. The moment you say “Adults Only, these kind of RSVP’s come out of the woodwork. But if you say, “Bring the kids!” — They hire a babysitter a month in advance.
“My bursitis has been acting up when it rains. I’ll get back to you after the most recent weather report.”
“I was captain of the bowling team in high school. You better believe I’m down for it. I’m very competitive so hope your friends can buck up when they get mowed down.”
“I am really uncoordinated. Will there be single men there? I guess I probably will try to bowl, but not if you invite that bitch, Tiffany. She really gives me a bad vibe.”
“This is so funny. It’s a costume thing, right? All I can think of is Fred Flintstone and bowling. I’m coming as Wilma.
“Hi! Thanks so much for including me. I haven’t ever told anyone this but I have a thing about putting my feet into places that other feet have been. Therefore I will just come the last ten minutes or so. For the cake. I get kinda queasy even thinking about all those people and their feet. But thanks so much for including me. If I don’t show up, it means I got to feeling kinda defeeted.”
That’s what you get for making your own party, I guess.
Okay, ready for some nice phone calls? Yep!
Guest #1 – – Heya. Making your own party, I see? So what are you into these days?
Me – – Huh?
Guest #1 – – I want to get you something useful. Gift card?
Me – – Oh no. Please. I wrote “No gifts.”
Guest #1 – – Yeah, yeah – – C’mon, everyone says that just to be polite. Love that cute thing about, “Your presence is enough of a present for me.”
Me – – I didn’t write that. I just said “No gifts.”
Guest #1 – – So seriously, what do you get a spoiled brat who has absolutely everything SHE could ever want or need for her birthday??
Guest #2 – – Hi Stephanie. It’s Oscar. You know since the divorce, I feel kind of self-conscious going anywhere solo. Which of your single women friends will be there?
Me – – Hey Oscar. Gosh, lots of single people in general. But let’s see. Women? Tanya and . . .
Guest #2 – – She that stacked redhead? The 38 Double D?
Me – – Uhhh…
Guest #2 – – Sorry. How about that woman who was your maid-of-honor at your first wedding?
Me – – Cynthia? She died. That was 25 years ago, Oscar.
Guest#2 – – So send me a picture of Tanya, will ya? And what the hell, Cynthia too. And could you invite that girl who sometimes babysits for you? Whatshername? Lisa? And what about that other set of sisters who do everything together, you know, they go rollerskating, they sing, and then they’re always smiling for the camera?
Me – – The Doublemint Twins?
Ring Ring. . .
Bowling Alley – – Hi there, Stephanie. This is Barb, the manager at “Roll ‘Em, Bowl ‘Em, Console ‘Em!” Just finalizing a few things so your party will be “pitcher” perfect. We don’t want to “strike-out” with you. Get it? Strike out?
Me – – Isn’t that baseball talk?
Bowling Alley – – Whatever. So we have you down for 35 people in three lanes, one with gutters, a tray of spicy, deep-fried Buffalo Bruiser Breasts, Bowling-Ball Sandwiches, Quesadillas Queso Cuties, Knock-Em Down Dumplings plus beer and wine. Sorry, we don’t name our liquor anything cutesy. And it’s up to you to monitor your guests safety for driving home. All on the Visa that we ran your deposit on?
Me — Hold on. Wait. Hold it.
Bowling Alley – – A lot to take in, ain’t it? Oh and Every Saturday night, we like to play music and dim the lights. Most Saturdays it’s Pop or Oldies, which woulda been good for you, seeing as you’re 50, huh? But I wanted to inform you that this Saturday, it’s gonna be a mix of classical music and then some country/western by request. Hee Haw!
Me – – Hold it. First of all, only three lanes for 35 people? And what’s with the gutters in one lane? Also I didn’t order anything called Bowling Ball sandwiches. How do I know if a guest is too drunk to drive? And I completely despise country/western.
Bowling Alley – -Let me answer all that, Little Lady, maybe not necessarily in that order, but just hold yer horses and we’ll get this settled quicker than a tick on a bucking bronco. (Little Lady?! This manager is also a female! And does anyone else detect that this person seems to be lapsing into “Hollywood Cowboy Talk?”) So Bowling Ball sandwiches are really meatball. 35 people in three lanes is nice n’ cozy like, but if you’re worried, we’ll surely keep some of your guests in the parking lot and rotate them in when others poop out. Gutters in one lane was by request. One of your guests called to say that little Suzie has ADD and gets frustrated easy. Them the ones probably get drunk the fastest. And they’re also the ones who requested the music. But doncha worry your pretty little head off, Country Western grows on ya quicker than you can say, “Round ’em up for a 50 year old who’s hotter than a tater-tot on a smoky grill!”
Me – – Okay. Subject change, please. Don’t you have any healthy fare to serve?
Bowling Alley – – I recken we do. We got your Ring-a-Ding Onion Rings. That’s a vegetable. Add some ketchup and you’ll be keepin’ that Doc away for days.
Me – – I am so very tired.
Bowling Alley – – That’s what you get for making your own party, I guess.
And Finally . . . the Text That I Eavesdropped On (as Promised in My Title)
And despite what you think about me, this was a true accidental eavesdropping! There was a three-way text a few weeks ago (you know how that goes, when one person starts up a group text and then everyone can see everything anyone writes from that point on?) I think they both forgot that’s how things were set up.
Friend #1 – – Hey! You going to Stephanie’s thing? Can you believe she’s throwing herself a party? So I want to wear my new pink short skirt, but do you think that’s too much for bowling? Why’d she have to make it bowling – -that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of. I’ve been avoiding sending my RSVP to see if Oscar might ask me out. I’ve actually been avoiding her in general lately, she’s such a drag.
Friend #2 – – Well, in her D-fense, she’s been really D-pressed lately. But u can’t blame her. Have u seen her i’s lately? That’s why she keeps those sunglasses on. Even her wrinkles have wrinkles. Ha! Also, u need 2 use text lingo, k?
Friend #1 – – You’re so bad that you are good. Oh well, we shouldn’t say these things. Someday, we’ll be there ourselves. But not for another twenty years, Right?? LOL. LMAO. ROFLBISF! CU L8ter BFF! Is that better abbreviations?
Friend #2 — Yup! U R 2 cool. Luv ya GF!!! xoxoxoxoxoxox
Friend #1 – – Hey Stephanie. Sorry I’m getting your voice mail yet again. Been trying to track you down forever, Birthday Girl. So excited that you’re doing this party for yourself. You so deserve it. And bowling!! As soon as I saw that invite, I was like, “That is the best idea ever. I am soooo there!” And you look amazing. Nobody would even think you’re 35, like me, let alone 50. I’ll be carpooling with Tiffany, so if you need anything at all, just let either of us know. Can’t wait, Steph! Bye!”
Alright, I’m not gonna say it again, but – – “that’s what I get for….”
This morning a package arrived on my doorstep. With a card. Wow. My first birthday present even though I said “No Gifts!”
Stephanie – – Just a little something to thank you for always playing matchmaker. I told you it wasn’t necessary though. I knew the right woman would find me when she was ready. We’re getting hitched this weekend so I won’t be able to make your party. Tell Cynthia to have fun without me. Bet she got fat anyway, after 25 years.
I opened it up. A new CD. “The Best of Country & Western.” Naturally.
FOOTNOTE: This work has major embellishments, name changes, menu changes, bra-size changes, and complete utter nonsense. But there really is a bowling party. I really am nearly 50. And I really am tired! Now don’t forget – – Friday at midnight (Pacific time) is the deadline to win either one of these prizes with two SUPER easy contests. See this post for more. Click here