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The Same Story told 2 different Ways

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Same Story told 2 different Ways

P7270267-1There are lots of small town fairs that pop up every summer.  There is the one that contains 3 rides, a little music, and lots of people – mentioned HERE, and there are more traditional one week carnivals that move from town to town.  Yesterday was the “kiddie” day – where you paid one price to ride all day.  We packed up the kids and headed out at promptly 10am so we could be in line, ready to go, at 10:30. 

Part 1.
We were in for a complete shock when we got there.  There were at least 100 people in the line… at least.  We went to the other line for tickets and that line was equally long.  I stood in line while the kids and Ray tried to keep themselves occupied.. all the while becoming more and more whiney.  Not only that, but I was a little concerned about the heat factor and Alexander.  Finally – 45 minutes later – I got to the front of the line, handed my $26.00 and received… a ticket.  With instructions to go stand in another line to get the “ride all day” bracelets for the kids.  Are You Kidding Me?!?  I turn to look at the other line… at least another 45 minute wait.  You have got to be kidding… I was so irritated.  I actually asked in the booth to whom I could complain.  (Please trust me on this… ALL the parents were upset at this point in the line).  No sign was out to say it would be another wait. I have 3 kids under 3.  Almost 2 hours wasted standing in line… my kids are going to need a nap soon at this rate! 

With whom to express my displeasure????  This woman at the booth sent me to the lady in the Cotton CandyP7270341 Stand.  I promptly gave Ray our tickets with instructions to stand in line and walked over there to explain how this set up was probably the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen.  The Cotton Candy lady was flabbergasted. “Not my fault.” “Go see the Fair officials.”  No problem, Lady.   So Alexander and I walk to the other end of the fair and (ummmm.. explain) to the fair officials that this ticket set up was the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen.  “It’s not my fault… I don’t have anything to do with it. Go see the lady in the first ticket booth.”  No problem sir.  I’m not going away.   You see… obstacles can be a stumbling block… or they can be a motivator.  I was a motivated mommy.  When I arrived at the first ticket booth you will never guess what they said…. Yup, It wasn’t their fault either.  I needed to go speak to a woman (they gave me a description) at the ticket booth I had originally left from.  Do you see a little foreshadowing here?

The original lady.  The lady who sent me away.  She was the one who made the decision to sell the tickets like this.  When she saw me coming, I swear her face turned 2 shades of grey.  I marched right up to her and asked her if she remembered me.  Mother of 3 kids under 3?  We’ve been here for 2 hours without riding a single ride yet?  It is in the 90’s?  Her face got a little redder and she said yes.  I’m not going to lie. I had been sent on a wild goose chase, was hot, and really angry.  I used my “G” rated vocabulary, but I did give her a big piece of my mind.  And… no lie… the crowd of moms around clapped when I was done. No lie.  So – they are going to sell the tickets differently next year.  I offered to come in and give extra help if that is what they need. I left my name and number to call me next year. And we spent almost $30 for an hour of fun before the kids were just too hot to continue anymore.

I could choose to remember yesterday like that.  I could let that be the imprint in my mind. OR…. I could remember this.

Part 2.
Love, Smiles, and Sunshine.
Sweet signs for lollypops and other things candy. Love.
We really didn’t have to pay for any games…. The kids would have been totally ok with riding the tractors for sale all day.  Addison kept saying, “Just one minute! I have to shift the gears.”  Love.
Stores set up in the middle of the walking isles.  You can buy anything your heart desires…. Love.
Need to catch a dream? Make a wish? No problem. Love
Dream big Little Buddy…. Reach for the Stars Big Sister…. Love.
It’s my parental right to snap the picture of my kid screaming on the ride… right?
P7270337Because in the end – there is nothing quite like fair fries.  Loaded with salt and dripping with Ketchup.  The rides that blow the wind through your kids hair on a hot summer morning.  The people you see – that you haven’t seen in forever and they all rush up to greet you like long lost pals.  Because you are long lost pals.  Homemade ice cream. Some guy demonstrating how to climb the rock wall. Cotton Candy (even though I don’t think they will let me near that booth any time soon.)

Next year I’ll go back to the fair.  And these are the memories I want to have from that day.  You can focus on the bad things that happen… and let them hurl you into a ruined moment that lasts a day and ends up being a week.  Or – you can push aside those moments of irritation and capture the moments of smiles.  And choose to remember the smiles.  I will put away part 1 and remember part 2.

What is your favorite summer fair memory?

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At July 28, 2011 at 9:53 PM , Blogger Hilary said...

Getting kissed at the top of the ferris wheel...oh or did you mean a memory from 21st century?

At July 29, 2011 at 6:25 PM , Anonymous diamond dave said...

Surprised you got as far as you did with the fair "officials". Unlike corporate managed entities like Six Flags or Disney, your typical traveling carnival is usually staffed by, lets just say, people who probably couldn't get a legit job anywhere else cleaning toilets. Carnies are sort of a nomadic commune, and their ranks are rife with drug abusers, felons, and various other miscreants of society. I know this for a fact because sadly we have a daughter that is part of one, and we are raising her child. The fact that you got anywhere at all was probably because of the support of others in line, without whose money the carnival would fold and the carnies wouldn't get paid. Like any other business, the moola is what talks.

At July 30, 2011 at 2:15 AM , Blogger Non-Stop Mom said...

I. Love. You.

Seriously. You rock. I love your perspective on everything. I tend to be the same way though, when something isn't right I will complain my way to the top and let the powers that be know that something isn't right. It doesn't always help, but sometimes it does.

I can't wait to see what happens when you go back next year.

And I *love* the pictures!!!!!



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