This year for my birthday, I decided to nix the annual family Escape Room experience and throw myself a good old-fashioned murder mystery dinner soiree. I may have chosen poorly.
It started out OK. Sure, I was exhausted from taking down the last of the holiday decorations (you’re welcome, neighbors!), vacuuming virtually enough dog hair to make another, hiding nine potential murder weapons in creative yet not-impossible-to-find locations, going to the grocery, setting the table for 10 (even though it only comfortably seats eight), artistically arranging a body, and then, of course, transforming myself into Alex Cited, an overly dramatic 1920s theater owner with a penchant for spontaneous duets.
My guests arrived around 4 p.m. (it’s my party and I’ll start obscenely early if I want to!), looking fabulous as either flappers or Peaky Blinders. But I’d forgotten to preheat the oven, so already the schedule was delayed 20 minutes. And as the hostess, not only was I responsible for feeding everyone, but also facilitating the game. One minute I’m tossing the salad, and the next I’m screaming hysterically about finding a dead guy in the basement. Then I’m back to checking the Stouffer’s. And on it went for three hours, through multiple meal courses and preposterous clue rounds.
Don’t get me wrong, I did have moments of fun. My redheaded daughter played her role with such a thick French accent and a professed disdain for gingers that I laughed every time she spoke. But I think it was simply too much work for me to enjoy.
I’m glad I tried something new, but lesson learned. Next year, I’m booking an Escape Room.