Have you ever witnessed an otherwise respectable, totally sober person fall to his or her knees and beg for a kiss? Have you ever watched the object of his or her affection not only deny the kiss, but wildly run from it like the pleading pucker was moisturized in napalm?
If not, you really should start attending more toddler birthday parties. That's where I learned that grown-ups really want little people to kiss them. And, little people really want grown-ups to leave them the hell alone. Especially if there's a bouncy house within 100 feet.
Our friends' twins just turned 1 year old. They threw a party to celebrate the occasion and invited my husband and me to attend.
We love these friends, but see much less of them since they became breeders. I'm not sure what's been keeping them so busy, but if this party was any indication, it involves a lot of rhyming and an endless supply of royal blue frosting.
Of course, the party's theme - Dr. Seuss - could've had something to do with that, too. I guess that means we can stop opening invitations, hoping for an "Eyes Wide Shut" theme.
Speaking of masquerade sex soirees, going to a kid's birthday party when you're an adult with no kids is kind of like wearing a purity ring to a swinger party. You quickly realize the vast interpretations of "a good time."
The truth is, we did have a good time, but if there weren't so many grown-ups we could have had an even gooder time. As the shindig progressed, it became plainly clear the parents forgot how to use the word "party" as a verb, not just a noun. Stuffy folks in Dockers kept interrupting some good ol' fashioned fun to say things like "No!" and "What's our rule about that?" and "Please put your pants back on."
If it weren't for all their bashing, this could've been a real bash. Everyone knows throwing a plastic bike across a room is the best way to get a party started right. I see many keg stands in that kid's future, by the way. And, just like at adult parties, I couldn't help but notice that the fewer teeth each guest had, the more monitoring they required.
Frankly, the whole thing inspired me. I want to go to a party boasting the kind of enthusiasm that has me sprinting through the host's house, shoeless, for no apparent reason. I want people to come to my functions and feel a thrill just knowing there is furniture they haven't yet climbed, helium balloons they haven't yet chased and locks of hair they haven't yet pulled. And, if I'm really being honest, I want to base my RSVPs on the bounce-potential an invitation might have.
According to the photos in my Facebook feed that belong to parents of youngsters, it's strictly forbidden for a child younger than 12 to have a party in the U.S. of A without a bouncy house. Or, a moonwalk as they called it back in my day.
While kids in the '80s knew a bouncy house or two, they certainly didn't become acquainted with them at birthday parties. They strictly enjoyed them at fairs. And not before handing over several paper ride tickets.
To show up to a friend's party and find an inflatable funhouse in the backyard would be no less awesome than discovering a Ferris wheel at the top of your street. Or a face painter in your bathroom. Or a fridge full of funnel cakes.
That's why the number of adults at kids' parties pleading for kisses from guests who just used the bathroom without visiting the actual bathroom absolutely boggles me. Forget the fact these people get left with their knees bended and arms extended in a state of awkwardness. There's a time and place for sweet forms of physical affection with miniature people. An all-out rager, also known as a party with a bouncy house, isn't one of them.
These kids have things to bounce, people to bounce, places to bounce.
It's no wonder they get so offended by the party police daring to interrupt their festivities for a kiss on the cheek. The audacity. They kick and scream in protest because they're instinctively doing exactly what their inner adult tells them to do. They're doing what the Beastie Boys once urged their own parents to do.
They're fighting for their right to party. Or, as the kids these days call it, their right to bounce.
Contact Xazmin Garza at email@example.com or 702-383-0477. Follow her on Twitter @startswithanx.