When Ali and I went to Target on Saturday, I swore I would not succumb to its crack-like beckoning and get sucked into its lair of rock-bottom prices on shit I didn't need. I was on a super-tight budget because of spending more than I intended on booze the last two Friday nights, so I couldn't afford to make any impulse buys. I resolved to ignore the voices coming from the $5 DVD shelf that said, "Come on, only $5 for The Goonies! $5 is nothing! $5 will not send you to the streets! Did I mention that it's The Goonies? It's a frigging classic! AND IT'S ONLY FIVE BUCKS!" I would tell myself that all the clothes on clearance were crap. I knew Target's wily ways, and I wasn't biting.
But then we wound up in the toys section, and found a game that shared a place with such favorites as Dream Phone and Girl Talk.
"Oooh, Mystery Date!" Ali squealed, grabbing a sparkly box.
"WHAT?!" I grabbed the box from her and examined it. "That's so awesome this game is still around!" I started reading the back description. "It's the game of Mystery Date all dressed up in sparkles and glitter!...Spin the knob and open the door...will you meet your matching date? Or will you meet the Nerd--oh no!--and lose your cards--"
"--Hey, what's wrong with the Nerd?" Ali asked.
"Nobody wants to be with him. He'll make you lose your cards."
"But the Nerd is the guy who will grow up and go to MIT and become rich because he's smart. These other guys will be the type who will end up working on my car."
"Ali, this game is for girls who are, like, eight," I said. "They don't have the life experiences we do." I turned the game over and couldn't help but notice the little red clearance sticker in the corner: $7. Only $7!! Really, what was $7 in comparison to a night of cheap thrills and silliness and revisiting childhood? It was practically highway robbery!
"I'm getting this. I have some Jack Daniels at the house, we're gonna get some Coke, and when we get home, we're drinking and having Mystery Date night." Ali was on board, but I didn't have any doubt that she would be. I mean, who wouldn't want to spend a Saturday night consuming alcohol and playing a child's board game? It's a recession-friendly activity.
And you thought I was lying.
Checking out reaffirmed that I was making the right decision by buying the game, for even the check-out guy got excited. Well, actually, I thought he was excited for the same reasons we were, but in retrospect, I think he was just making polite conversation, figuring we were buying it for a younger sibling or a young niece or something. Sometimes, I forget that outsiders "don't get" Ali's and my quirky senses of humor. We can come off as being downright weird, actually, and this is exactly what happened with the check-out guy. I mistook his enthusiasm as coming from the same place as our enthusiasm, so I decided to let him in on our plan: "We're totally drinking Jack and Cokes and playing this tonight!"
"Uh--okay," he said, the light of his excitement becoming noticeably dimmer. At first, I couldn't figure out what the hell his deal was, but then it hit me: it probably looks really strange for two grown-ass women to buy a little girl's board game and use it for their own entertainment instead of buying it for a little girl. Then I remembered that I didn't really care how we looked to him, and just paid for my purchase.
Later on that night, after eating way too much sushi and getting a couple of McFlurries (we decided to forego the booze), we played Mystery Date. We were actually pretty hard-core about it; we didn't talk much during game play because only one thing was on our minds: getting our date outfits together and finding out if we matched our mystery date. For the record, I owned at this game, winning two out of three games. So I feel pretty confident in saying that I can kick pretty much anybody's ass at Mystery Date.
You can't see it here, but all the playing pieces are girls in their PJs. I was concerned, but then I realized they were in their PJs because they were getting ready for their dates, not because they were huge whores.
Mystery Date is so awesome, even Ava wanted to play. And she's a dog.