Call Me Ripley, Dammit

The swirl of life can be all-consuming. Just the regular ToDos can make one day blur into another. Throw in a few curve balls, and some days it feels like your best option is to duck. Amidst all that hubbub, it’s easy to forget to have a little fun every now and then.

This weekend was my son’s birthday party for his friends, and the main event was laser tag. As things got underway, the host said to my husband and me, “You know, you guys get to play, too.” My eyes immediately lit up, but my husband was concerned we might put a damper on the boys’ game. Of course not, I told him—besides, we’ll mainly shoot at each other! And so we suited up.

I must admit, I had some seriously ridiculous fun. The place used strobe and black lights, plus it pulsed with the intense music of a Hollywood blockbuster. I let my mind only concentrate on the moment, and it reminded me of days where running around and playing Police Woman was a whole lot of fun.

Of course, I was in heeled flip-flops, so the men had a bit of an advantage on me, and my husband definitely took me up on the “we’ll just shoot at each other part,” as he shot me continuously. No matter where I turned, there he was, blasting away. I have to think it was a kind of marital therapy for him.

Look out, boys--Ripley is here!
Look out, boys–Ripley is here!

The completion of the first round gave us our stats, and I took…last place. We had a lot of fun comparing numbers, and as we poured over the info, I saw that we were all given names as players. The boys shared theirs: Tron, Spyder, Blade, Hammer…my husband’s was Alpha…What was mine you ask? Shaggy. Shaggy. That’s right—the dude from Scooby Doo known for uttering “Zoinks!” and always being hungry and afraid. What the hell kind of fighting name was that?! No wonder I was last place. Now if I had been named Ripley, then I would have showed those stealthy 10-year-old boys who was boss! Shaggy. Yeesh.

But the bottom line is that embracing the silly is good for the soul. I was never one for being too serious, but sometimes with all of life’s responsibilities, I forget to let myself just be plain old silly. Letting the troubles of the day wait a bit while I engage in a few minutes of play helps me to better deal with those troubles when I have to let them back in.

I’m sure that those folks looking through the window of the laser tag arena and seeing a 45yo woman (and a strange man with an evil grin stalking her!) amidst a bunch of 10yo boys having their own fun must have thought me pretty wacky. And that’s okay. I’m no stranger to wacky…and I thank God for that.