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The Little Things

Years ago when I first began writing this blog I didn’t have any “adventures” to talk about. I started this out by simply writing about whatever little things happened at the laser tag arena the night before and figuring that my thoughts might be read at most by one or two of the regulars I hung out with on Saturday nights. Since that time, I have been so blessed to be able to cross the country and play in hundreds of laser tag arenas throughout America, meet some of the leaders of the industry and become involved with a wide spectrum of laser tag related events, so the focus of the blog expanded…and then 2020 happened and I wasn’t able to visit any new sites for most of the last year. Well, I’m looking forward to being able to travel again soon, but I realized last night while I was playing just a typical, quiet AYCP night at my local arena that there is still some magic to be found in the little things. You know, those little things that made me love going out to play laser tag in the beginning. So, let me go back to my roots and just tell you a little bit about “what happened at laser tag last night.”

I showed up early in the afternoon because I had a goal (I am still tagging my way to 25 miles and thought there was a good chance I might complete that mission last night…close, but not quite). Well, early in the day the public groups are smaller and I shift gears to accommodate. A mother with two little kids showed up to play their very first game and since I was there I went in with them, not tagging them at all, but just serving as a live moving target for them to cross paths with during the game. The littlest one was SO excited every time she got to tag me. I loved that! I know that family had a great time with their first laser tag experience and even if I’m not really playing I still enjoy being part of the fun that others are having.

Later in the night the groups got a bit larger (as the teens and young adults started to filter in) and two other little girls came into the briefing room looking wide eyed and excited to play. They had been in the previous game during which I had pointed them towards the bases and the beacons so they could get a few extra points. Well, they ran up to me before the next game and asked “are you an adult?” to which I had to laugh at the earnestness of their question! After contemplating for a moment whether I was passing for a teenager in the minds of these little ones I answered, “Yes, I am” and they asked if I would play on their team and help them. I said I would and for the rest of that game I had two pint-size players stuck to me like glue, soaking up every bit of advice I had to give about the game. They celebrated the success of a team win at the end and left the arena proud and smiling about their success! Those are really awesome moments to watch.

As the night went on the real games got underway as the older groups of players showed up for the all-night wristband deal, which is when the more competitive games begin…and this night they were particularly fun! There were a few unassuming looking teens there who were playing very well throughout the night. Then a group of college-aged (or slightly older), somewhat athletic looking guys showed up. They were fun, but very loud and boisterous and completely ignoring the briefing video, so I just knew this was a game where I could go to town and really PLAY. Those guys decided to play all together as one team (certain they would dominate the game) while the teens and I made up the other team…and we absolutely annihilated that game! Those guys never saw it coming. So, the next game they decided it would be better to mix things up a bit more to space out some of the more experienced players. That is how it happened that everyone agreed to team captains picking players for each team.

This was the best part of the night! Two captains (who I didn’t know) were assigned to pick their teams. One by one each of the players in the room was called up. However, there I sat, just like it was gym class in junior high. I know that to most people I probably don’t look very formidable and I also realize that nobody in that room knew anything about me at all (except for the game master, Ethan). I turned to Ethan and had to laugh at the absolute irony of what just happened…did I really just get picked last for LASER TAG?!? LOL, well now I was fired up and it was time to throw down and show them what I can do! Truth be told, I absolutely wrecked everyone in that game, playing hard and dominating that round simply to let them know that Tivia was here to represent! When the game was done and we were all gathered around the scoreboard everyone recognized the name at the top of the scoreboard…but what they still didn’t recognize was who it belonged to. These guys had been seeing me play hard, but nobody was making the connection between matching me with my codename. One player loudly asked “which guy is Tiviachick?” to which I was quite satisfied to let them all know that the high score player was actually me. Come on guys, I was the only woman in the building and the name is Tivia…CHICK! After that I got plenty of fist-bumps and respect for bringing my top game. And we had a blast playing out the rest of the night right until closing. Last night was one of the most fun nights of laser tag I have had in quite a while. Sometimes it really is all about the little things that make a laser tag center a place you want to return to and make more memories. While I miss being able to travel to explore laser tag in other arenas, I do love returning to my home arena. It’s like Cheers, where everybody knows your name…except on this night when apparently nobody knew my name, lol!

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