Awkward Party of 7, please

Party of seven.

I haven’t done this before, but today is my oldest girl’s birthday. She just transitioned from the awkward age of 12, to the even more awkward age of 13. So officially, I now have a teen living under my roof and that is bad news. I’ve heard that they can be kind of a pain.

I want to wish her a happy birthday.  She is lucky because she is 50% her mother. She is kind to a fault, very sweet toward anyone who is less fortunate, or who is physically or mentally disabled in any way. It wouldn’t surprise me if she worked in that capacity when she gets older. She is also a talented artist and has a passion for acting on stage. I know she didn’t get that from me, because camera’s turn me into even more of an idiot, but she has an amazing ability to memorize lines that I still haven’t captured. Plus, she has a pretty advanced grasp on the foreign language (to some) of sarcasm.

Unluckily, she is 50% me. This mean that she is socially awkward like me. She relishes her alone time and keeps a very tight ring of friends. She has some, but can very easily do without them too. Around her birthday every year, she decides to be brave and get a little social and invite people to a party (which she avoids most every other chance she gets). Anyways, she decided to have one at a local arcade/amusement facility. Everyone has one. They are like Chucky Cheese, but a little more grown up.

Wow, those are some powerful squirt guns you have there.

So she invited 7 girls, some of which she only kind of knew. Only 3 RSVP’d so we weren’t sure how many would come. I was hoping only a few came, because it would have been more easily manageable. Just kidding. It was hoping I wouldn’t have to pay all this money for a bunch of kids.

The awkwardness started right up front when one of the girls showed up 10 minutes early. I came home and my girl, my wife and the girl were desperately trying to come up with something small talky to say, before the rest showed up.

Then a couple more show up, but they didn’t add anything to the mix. Just a bunch of girls her age that are supposed to be jibber jabbers and they’ve got nothing to say. So we are all waiting on our couch, in the sweltering heat, for one last girl to show up.  It is hot, and sweaty because our house still doesn’t have the air conditioning, and no one has anything to say. Finally, a half hour later, the girl we are waiting for shows up.

The plan was to cram all the girls into my wife’s car, and me and the boy go in mine. But because everyone that was invited came, even though we weren’t sure, they couldn’t all fit in. So all the girls, except mine, rode with my wife, while I took her and the boy.

So, some of the girls she knew from school and some from church. Since they only kind of knew each from each, there was a lot of not talking. When we finally got to the arcade, I thought they would split off, go their separate ways, and find a way not to be awkward, but almost 8th graders don’t know how to do that, so they decided to all stand in a line together, waiting for some bumper boat ride that you were supposed to shoot each other with water.

I almost couldn’t stand the awkwardness, so I went off to stand in the sun watching my son miss pitch after pitch in the batting cage. He decided that he was going to swing at medium speed baseballs, because he can hit my really slow pitches a long way.

My wife and I spent the rest of the party walking back and forth, trying to keep tabs on who was where, buying really expensive pizza, and trying to decide when to leave, so one girl could get to her appointment.

When we did come back, I thought everyone would filter out quickly after the presents were open, and cupcakes were consumed, but no. They lingered. Not figuring out the social cues that they were supposed to leave. And then they decided to tell jokes. Can I just tell you that kids that age should never consider being comedians?

Finally, I couldn’t take the awkwardness anymore and when my son asked if we could go outside and play, I immediately jumped at the chance. Normally, he can’t pry me off the couch, but the couch is so much less fun when the awkwardness is lingering.

Please remind me to never take a deal where I have to go back in time to 7th grade and have to be a girl at a party. I might just die of awkwardness.


Bitter Table of Awkwardness Ben

49 thoughts on “Awkward Party of 7, please

  1. Fun stuff, but Ben, Ben, Ben…other commenters probably suggested this, but if it adds to your bitterness, mission accomplished, right? Shoulda had the girls meet at the ‘bemusement park’. At least it would have prevented the transportation weirdness and the initial awkwardness might have been diffused among the activity at the park rather than centered on the hot, sweaty living room. Don’t worry. The day’s B.Q (bitterness quotient) would still be high enough to rate a good post.


    • Yeah, that would have been a much better idea, but I don’t usually think of things in advance. That would mean I had a plan or something. Nope, I just continue on not figuring out life one day at a time.


  2. Reminds me of a birthday party I had in middle school. I invited girls I knew from different circles. I didn’t think it would be that bad, but yeah, it’s incredibly awkward. At least it seems to be universal.


  3. You get no sympathy here; my sympathy goes straight to the girl who was probably in the seventh circle of hell all day. I remember well being a socially awkward 13 year old, having to have ‘friends’ over for birthday parties because it was the done thing, when I would’ve much preferred laying on my bed reading a good Stephen King book. Poor kid.


  4. One of my teens just turned 13, too. But you’re much braver than me. I dropped off the group of teen boys at laser tag for a couple of hours. Only ten minutes of awkwardness on the drive over.


    • It sounds like you got off scott free. My son won’t have that problem. He is a constant talker and he finds friends that are all crazy talkers too. So for him and his friends it will be more annoying than awkward.


  5. Hilarious post! And a happy birthday to the celebrant! As parents we’ve all been through it, so the feelings we have are a toxic brew of love, irritability, fear, anger, sadness . . . ah it’s easier just being the family dog or cat, on the periphery, but only living 15 years if you’re lucky! My kids are 12 and 18 btw, so like Alice Cooper said, I gotta get out this place!


    • I know how that is. I keep telling my daughter that the moment she turns 18, I’ll give her a job application and an apartment application and wish her luck. I’m pretty sure that she won’t leave, but it can’t hurt to at least get her thinking about it.


  6. I suspect you have only touched the tip of the awkward iceberg. Wait until her prom. Wait until the day you take her to her first day at college and introduce her to her dorm mate. Wait until her wedding day. That iceberg’s gonna take a long time to melt.

    Liked by 1 person

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