Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Skipping Away

Once again, I find myself packing a suitcase.

This time I'm off to California, for a combination of work and pleasure. I'm attending the ALA mid-summer conference in Anaheim, so I thought Why not? I'll bring Scott with me and we'll go to the Magic Kingdom and pretend we're kids again. 
I still haven't decided whether or not to torture him with a dose of the It's a Small World ride....

When I was thirteen I went to Disneyland with my parents and some family friends. I had never been before. And I had waited my entire life for that trip. We stayed with a houseful of family friends in Los Angeles, and planned the trip to the park for the second or third day after we arrived. I patiently kept my composure. The minutes ticked by each day until it was only one sleep away. I may as well have slept in the car that night so we could just start it up at dawn and hit the road. But a house of fifteen sleepy people does not get going at a respectable pace, especially at an uncivilized hour. Had I a whip, I would have done some cracking. 
At approximately 2pm, just when I thought we were on our way, just when I could imagine hurtling through the darkness on Space Mountain as all of my friends had done before me, just as I could see sunlight gleaming off the embossed letters on the plaque that reads "The Happiest Place on Earth", and just as I could smell the Disney churros on the rotisserie.....
Everyone. Took. A nap.

Well, everyone but me. How could I possibly conceive of sleeping at such a time?!? On an unforgivingly hot August afternoon in southern California, while Disneyland tempted me with promises of soaks and splashes! Had the house guests/nappers been my own flesh and blood, I would have unleashed a fury so damning, so sinister, they would have taken me there by rickshaw if it were the only mode of transport, even if they had lost their legs in the battle. But, to be appropriately polite, I concealed my quivering reflexes and retired to the backyard pool. And waited. Waited some more. Waited until I was beginning to seriously wonder if everyone in the household had forgotten to tell me that the Hale-Bopp Comet was on its way and they were all catching a ride (in a lapse of sanity brought on by my wretched nerves, I checked the dozers' feet for black high-tops).

Eventually, the nappers began rising one by one from the most inopportune siesta there ever was. We had lost precious hours. Afternoon had become evening. Morning was a distant memory. But off we went. Finally. 

You may think that as soon as my feet struck that magic pavement I would have bee-lined it for Thunder Mountain or the Matterhorn. Yes, one would think that. And bee-line I did - right after, that is - an unplanned detour into THE TIKI ROOM. Otherwise known as a sweltering tropical hut full of deranged singing parrots. The seats are just wooden chairs. And they're not the type of wooden chairs that are attached to a track that turns into a rollercoaster and flips you upside down or anything. They're just chairs. Kindling, even. I am sure, at that moment in time, I could hide my disgust no longer. 

Luckily, I ended up having the time of my life, and my family and friends got to keep all of their limbs. All was not lost.

But the irony of this sordid tale? The Tiki Room is one of the few attractions at Disneyland that welcomes women who have babies in their bellies. I shall find myself there once again, no doubt.

*The sketch at the beginning of this post was inspired by the words of my friend Dean. She wrote: "...when life runs along, skipping away dragging some tattered blanket..." 
For some reason that phrase got stuck in my head (I think it's beautiful) and transformed into this literal interpretation of its meaning. This one's dedicated to you, Deaner!


1 comment:

dean said...

And that's exactly the image I had in my head when I wrote it. My life is equal to a small girl skipping, with a great (repeat: great) checkered blanket. ;)