I was listening to news radio en route to a theme park with the girls and I heard the beginning of a commercial that caught my interest.
It started to describe a product for women thirty-five and older. And just like that, I was old. I knew it was doubtful the rest of the commercial was going to suggest now that I’m thirty-five, I’m awesome and cool. Sure enough, it was promoting a multi-vitamin, offering to do something fabulous for us oldies and I was a little annoyed I was now lumped into a category of people ages thirty-five and older (including ninety-nine year olds) who could all benefit from the same daily dose of some miracle drug.
After paying our admittance fee at the park, I was asked if I wanted to purchase ride tickets now or from the various kiosks around the park. Argh. If you’re going to charge to enter a park, make the rides free. Free entry into the park equals charge me for rides. Please don’t charge for both, I begin to find ways to hate the experience before setting foot inside.
The park was in a battle with itself trying to define exactly what it was supposed to be with no shortage of ways to extract cash from my wallet. There were aspects of Marineland (two seals), a lack lustre petting zoo, a larger than normal pirate ship and climbing area, splash pad, maze encircling a jungle gym which made as little sense as the double billing, because if your child got stuck or injured, you too would have to frantically figure your way to the centre of the maze to get to the play yard through a series of strategically placed chest height driftwood. Almost every area charged to see or do whatever it was they were showcasing and I was wishing my 35 plus magic pill would bring me some peace and tranquility in a moment of frustration.
What irked me most was when Ellie wanted to ride the ferris wheel. Because she was taller than 42 inches but smaller than 72inches, weighed less than a donkey but more than a chipmunk, I was forced to accompany her on the ride. There was a series of “you go first, no you go first, no you watch the baby, no I’ll watch the baby” and general scrambling so Ellie could jolt around for two barely consecutive loops while I watched with great interest to see if the bolts on the older than thirty-five year old clunker could withstand the weight of a four year old and her aging mother.
When the handsome, young, amusement park ride attendant collected Ellie’s ticket and asked for mine I was ready to throw him off the pirate ship.
I explained that I would not be paying to sit on a ride that his park insisted I ride on, a ride I had no intention of ever getting on and not because I fear heights but because I fear poorly assembled amusement park rides and the people who make a career of running them.
He looked at me as if to suggest this conversation would have gone a lot smoother if I had just popped one of my thirty-five plus happy pills and I wouldn’t be the crotchety old bag refusing to hand over yet another $2 ticket.
We agreed to disagree and with his good eye focusing somewhere around my face, he asked me to purchase a ticket when the ride finished and bring it to him later.
I’ll get right on that. First, I have some vitamins to buy.