Gabriella’s company gives back so that a few times out of the year we can say, “Hey, it’s not so bad that we never see you and that you work non-stop and that you bring work home and that when you’re not working, you’re stressing about work." I mean, how many people get to go to the Big Apple Circus with 2996 other employees and walk away with a goody bag and the satisfaction of having attended a free event without having to brush shoulders with the Great Unwashed - free being a labyrinthine concept that twists back to the fact that we’re paying for it in some way?
I wasn’t so excited about the excursion, to be honest. Being my son’s mother, my attitude is to dig my heels in and protest all family outings so that I can stay home only to have great time in spite of myself. In my defense, last week had been a challenging week. My emotional tank was hovering at EMPTY, and curling up in a ball under my electric blanket seemed more attractive than any other activity I could imagine - especially going to the circus.
On our drive into the city, we listened to Car Talk and Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me, and I assumed that these broadcasts would be the highlight of the day, supreme pleasures in their own right. Those boys of ours were not happy about it. They wanted to watch a movie after years of conditioning them that driving on the highway was the on-ramp to Mini-Van Movie Time. They asked, and we said no. They whined. We stuck to our guns. They whined some more. We refused to surrender. No Disney bullshit would trump Tom and Ray Magliozzi. They whined some more, and I and I spewed some WHEN I WAS A KID crap that felt good to say but had absolutely no impact.
WHEN I WAS A KID…we didn’t have movies in the car. There were NO MOVIES IN THE CAR!! We had to have conversations or listen to whatever was on the radio or stare out the window and wonder if there was more to life than THIS. Mom and Mommy want to listen to NPR. So be quiet or there will be no popcorn at the circus.
We parked the car, and I sighed deeply, drawing in Manhattan’s thick air, polluted with car exhaust fumes, rodent remains and human kind’s soured frustrations. The rest of the day was sure to be a wash.
But I had judged hastily and harshly, as I do. But I am just as quick to reverse opinions, as I am to form them. It’s a Gemini thing. I did not realize that this event was a company-organized freebee. It makes a difference. It just does. I also didn’t realize that there would be free eats, good eats, even a selection of healthy eats. Furthermore, I was not aware of all of the good that is the not-for-profit Big Apple Circus. That makes a difference, too. But most of all, I forgot to kick myself in the ass before choosing the electric blanket to a family outing-even in my mind.
And the pièce de résistance? An unobstructed view of the backside of Duo Guerrero, particularly Una of the Duo. Talented as they may be, I’m thinking that after the age of 55 (or 65?), back floss may be not be the most flattering look for a tight rope walker straddling a chair. Just me?