Mona: giving men hope, kids none

Mike wanted to see Return of the Dinosaurs Live! which was in Tacoma this weekend. I was hesitant about going because I automatically knew it was expensive. It sounds expensive. Any show for kids that has an exclamation point or any punctuation will cost more money. I’m still paying off the loan I took out to bring my kids to “Mo’ Money Mo’ Problem$: A Boy’s Journey.”

There was a huge line to buy tickets. We stood in the cold with the wind whipping against our faces. I didn’t believe Mike when he said he had trouble buying tickets online. Whatever Father Time! I had to grab TJ who had run off and when I returned with him in tow, Mike turned to the guy behind him and said, “Could you tell my wife what you told me? That you couldn’t buy tickets online?” The man nodded and another woman in front chimed in and said, “Yeah, we couldn’t buy tickets online.” So I had to run up Shut Up Mountain because Mike was right and I couldn’t yell at everyone, “YOU ARE ALL TERRIBLE AT THE INTERNET!”

TJ had run off again as his is mission to give me a heart attack. The kids were getting restless, so I kept them running around in a far off corner while Mike made his way through the line. He finally emerged, having shelled out money for VIP kids tickets. VIP only meant free face painting and unlimited turns in the bouncy houses, not the VIP I wanted which was champagne room access or free mechanical bull rides or just one person from my past to appear only long enough to say very incredulously, “Mona! Are you losing weight?!”

Mike stopped me and said that the man who had stood behind him, who agreed that online ticket ordering was impossible, pulled him aside and said, “Did you say that was your wife?” Mike nodded and the guy smiled, adding, “That gives me hope!”

I made Mike walk through this entire scene a couple of times. Whenever this has happened, it goes a few ways. Usually people are amazed that I’m so young, he’s so old ancient mature and then sometimes it veers into creepyland where Mike’s friend will ask, “Do you have any friends?” Yes, I have friends. None who will date you.

I thought about how this man must have seen me when I returned with TJ, I was red-faced with a furrowed brow, having chased after our kid who doesn’t return to the sound of my voice. Maybe that’s what gave him hope? That no matter how hard the internet fails us and keeps waiting in the cold, as long as we have someone to keep our place in line, it’ll be okay? Or, if you marry someone younger, you can parade around your child bride at your high school reunion.

Inside, we spent our time pointing to moving jaws and jumping in bouncy houses, the roars of the dinosaurs echoing not like a warning but an invitation to come closer to the sharp teeth that in another far off time would have taken us all.

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