We live near a large amusement park. I happen to love roller coasters. Sadly, this love is not shared by my family. Neither my son or my husband are into this particular kind of thrill seeking (which shocks me about my son, actually, as we are talking about a kid who went to the ER when he was 2 for a concussion because he was trying to do a flip off the diving board).
My husband is so opposed to amusement parks, in fact, that I haven’t even bothered to include him in our family yearly pass, knowing that it would be a waste of money. He would rather almost do anything else than suffer through a day at the park, and so I go with my children and my friends.
“Why do you hate that place so much?” I asked, expecting the typical answers: it’s too hot to walk around all day in the heat, roller coasters aren’t fun, it’s too expensive, it’s too dirty, there is too much exposed, tattooed flesh on people who really have no business exposing so much tattooed flesh. (Seriously, after day at the park, I want to scream, “Put some freakin’ clothes on, people!!!”)
“It’s about the false happiness of the world.”
“You know, the false happiness of the world.”
Um, actually, I don’t know what the heck you are referring to, my dearest love.
“The seminary videos. Didn’t you see the seminary videos, where all the bad things happen at amusement parks, like the bad guys are offering false joy in the roller coasters and cotton candy?”
Ok, again I say, WHAT? I never saw such a seminary video. The only seminary video I really remember was the one about twins who sort of hated one another, but one of the twins did the dishes for her sister, even though she was late for ballet class, and I remember thinking, Yeah, like THAT would ever happen.
“I dunno, I guess I always just associate amusement parks with false happiness, like it’s offering thrills that are transient. Like overpriced, fake, sticky joy,” my eternal companion says.
Seriously, have you ever HEARD of somebody so overthinking a roller coaster?
I told him that such a preposterous idea surely came not from seminary, but from his father, an art historian who abhors all things kitsch. He admitted that growing up, his family probably could not have afforded to take the entire family to a theme park, so to compensate, his father probably assigned some moral failing to such activities. Somehow, my husband has harbored the notion from childhood that only people of an inferior mind could find pleasure in something as trivial as a 205 foot vertical 90 degree drop going 70 mph.
Well, call me a dunderhead, because I think that ride ROCKS.
And when DH described his particular moral stance to my sister, she practically fell off her chair, she was laughing so hard, and although she didn’t say it in so many words, it was clear she thinks my husband might be slightly touched in the head.
My sister and I, incidentally, recently had a fantastic day at the theme park with our children, her husband, and our parents. My husband stayed at the office and worked. Serves his silly childhood falsehoods right.
What childhood notions have you carried into adulthood? Are there associations that you have with certain things that can be ascribed to your childhood or adolescent perceptions? And perhaps the most important question of all—did YOU see that video about the bad guys offering false joy at the theme park? ‘Cause I’ve been to the park a few times already this season, and the only thing I’ve seen offered there is overpriced trinkets, bad pizza, and one heck of an awesome time.