Sunday, October 10, 1999

a ruined 14th birthday :-(

So I'm 14 years old now. The ironic thing is that the day didn't end too well, even though my "unlucky" birthday was supposed to be last year.

If you really want to know the details, here's what happened: my friend Moonway and I went to a family entertainment center in San Jose called the Jungle. Moonway's mother Angela had recommended the place because it offered free admission to people on their birthdays.

Angela had picked me up at my house and taken us there, so many thanks to her for the ride. It wasn't just me and Moonway as his sister Sarah and one of her friends also tagged along. I didn't catch the name of Sarah's friend, but I think it was Michelle or something. Angela left after paying for the admission, so it was just us kids.

Our day at the Jungle had a great start. Moonway and I checked out the tube maze and the redemption games while Sarah and her friend explored the place on their own. The Jungle was huge; there was just so much to do. But it wasn't long before the afternoon turned sour: the girls got hungry and ordered a pizza. This wouldn't have been a problem, except they didn't have enough money to pay for it. Uh-oh.

Moonway and I were then called to the front desk, but neither of us had any money at all. Angela was out on some errands, so it would be quite a while before she came to pick us up. The people at the front desk didn't really know what to do either. It was certainly an awkward situation.

The Jungle staff eventually let the girls have the pizza at no charge, but they also canceled our admission to cover the cost of the pizza. In other words, none of us were allowed back in unless the fees were paid again, and my birthday offer was unsurprisingly no longer valid. We weren't too happy about the whole situation, so we just sat in the lobby and waited for Angela to pick us up. I guess there's really no such thing as a free lunch - or pizza in this case.

Angela didn't come back until the late afternoon, so none of us wanted to pay the admission fees again. I did rant to the staff on how stupid their policy was, although I understand they were just doing their jobs.

Back in the car, Moonway kept scolding Sarah and her friend for ruining our day and vowing to never let them participate in our activities again. Neither of the girls would apologize, which made him even more upset. However, I felt all of us were somewhat at fault. For one thing, Sarah and her friend should not have ordered anything without checking their budget. They could have at least shared the pizza with us!

But to be fair, Moonway and I had both made the mistake of not bringing any spare change, which is admittedly a bad habit. Other than that, Angela probably shouldn't have left us alone in the Jungle, considering that children under 13 weren't technically supposed to go inside without adult supervision.

In an attempt to make the best of the situation, I asked Moonway if he wanted to come back to my place after dropping Sarah's friend off, but his mother wasn't interested. Oh well.

Let's hope my 15th birthday will be better!

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