Monday, December 13, 2010

A Crowd? No Thank You!

Have I told you that I am a crowd hater?   I am.  Hate ‘em.  Will do anything to avoid them.  Shopping?  No interest.  Dinner?  If there’s a wait, I’m out of there.  In fact, the 5:30 dinner hour is perfect for me (barring there are no children).  Huge social aversion to where crowds may occur.  Concerts, stadiums, bars, parties, and especially parades.
When my kids were little, I felt socially pressured in taking them to our local parades.  That’s what “good” moms do.  What kind of mother doesn’t want to share the delight of clowns, tykes on bikes, marching bands, majorettes, prancing horses?
Once and only once, I dressed up my 6 year old son in clown costume, decked out his bike, rolled him down the road with a dozen other kid bikers and John Deere tractors and followed the crazy, weaving Shriners at the annual 4th of July parade in our small Iowa farm town. 

Most other times, we would just be bystanders, staking out our spot on the curb ahead of time.  As the crowds rolled in, space got tight, temps would rise and my kids grew bored and cranky.

I think the only thing they were really interested in was the candy that was thrown to them.  In fact, I think it was the clowns that came up with the idea to throw tooth rotting candy to the restless kids.  In fact, I’m sure of it.  What kid really likes a clown.  They’re scary!  And how do you win them over?   Give ‘em candy.  Creepy.
I’m thankful those days are behind me. Should my grandkids ever want to go to a parade, I’ll just suggest we go to Wal-Mart and buy a big bag of candy and go to a movie.

So when The Professor Hubby wanted to go the local Winter Parade on our small Florida island during our vacation, I whined.  I really whined, balked, stomped, swore, bit.  But let’s be clear though, I didn’t break the skin.  No blood was drawn.

He said hear me out (for the sake of the marriage vows.)  I always try to hear him out when he says “For the sake of the marriage vows.”

“We can bike there ... it’s only a few blocks away.  We’ll leave 5 minutes before it begins and if it’s too much of a crowd, we can just turn around and come home and I’ll make you a Bloody Mary.”

“With the good Vodka?”

“Yes, with the good Vodka.”

So for the “sake of the marriage” and the prospect of a Bloody Mary, I acquiesced.  We hopped on our bikes, lawn chairs in tow and peddled the few blocks to the main drag.   As we arrived, we chose a corner with only a half dozen folks.  Two senior citizens in their lawn chairs and a mom and her two teens.  Now this was turning out to be the kind of parade I could endure.

We had barely got our chairs unfolded and settled into them when we noticed the end was in site.

No marching bands, no Knights of Columbus, no Shriners, no decorated kid bikes, no farm tractors, no clowns or helium filled balloons.  Just a dozen or two of decorated cars, trucks and boats filled with candy and bead throwing hulligans.  

Boats, for God’s sake, who knew they could be in a parade!

There were pirates.

There was a firetruck.

And there was Santa.

And then, it was over.  I looked at The Professor and grinned.

“Now this is my kind of parade!” and I picked up the Snickers bar lying at my feet.

I don’t think I”m going to need that Bloody Mary after all!

Sincerely yours,
Missing the Mom Gene and A Crowd Hating Whiner