The minute you open the door to the door to the secluded, steamed over windows, barefooted cesspool, you are hit in the face with the smell. THAT SMELL. The smell of dirty feet mixed with dirty diapers and sweat. It's gag inducing, and makes me one of those moms that usually lets my kids play alone while I savor every fresh breath of air on the other side of the glass.
When I was little, the coolest place on earth was ShowBiz Pizza. (Go ahead, Wikipedia it. Fayetteville is all up on that.)
ShowBiz was where the cool kids had their birthday parties. It was where you went when you achieved something really awesome, like all E's on your report card. It was where dreams came true and you stayed clear of the animatronics on stage. ShowBiz was heaven on earth.
There are two types of kids. Those that played games at ShowBiz to get tickets and prizes, and those that played a couple games of skee ball but spent their time in the ballpit.
I was the latter.
I loved the ballpit. I'd make it my personal goal to try to touch each and every plastic balls with some part of my body. I pretended to swim. I'd pretend to float. I'd sink to the bottom like a rock so I could be fully immersed.
Fully immersed in a pit full of germ infested, filthy, oddly sticky plastic balls.
When I have doubts that anyone out there cares about me, I remember ShowBiz. And the fact that my parents actually let me ride back to the house in their car without getting hosed down first.
The stench of love.
I can't escape it.