Sunday, November 27, 2005

Hell is for Parents

I am living proof that the avian flu has not arrived in NYC.

Yesterday Benjamin and I set out of the house for a little holiday fun in midtown with one of his schoolmates.

What a blind, naive East Villager I am. It never occurred to me that I was walking directly into the twelve rings of NYC Holiday Hell.

- Waded through a packed crowd at Grand Central

- Stood protectively hovering over my son at the New York Transit Museum Annex (in Grand Central) while he and scores of other train finatics of all ages pressed their faces against the multi-tiered Lionel Train christmas set up.

- Stupidly agreed to wade through hundreds of tourists, shoppers and teenagers at the Bryant Park Christmas Fair Booths. Stared dreamily at the new ice skating rink there and thought about hockey for ten seconds.

-Broke down and agreed to eat a late lunch at Mars 2112. Wanted to commit suicide in the space ship. Certainly Satan had a hand in the design of this tourist trap/parent hell.

-Achieved double dumb ass status when I blindly agreed to walk into Times Square and visit Toys R Us. The street crowds were insane. There was no escape once you got sucked into the current of foot traffic. I held on tightly to my son's hand and prayed for our safety and sanity.

-The Times Square Toys R Us rivaled the population density of Bombay. You don't believe me?...Benjamin and I wandered around in various packs of crowds for fifteen minutes when he looked up at me and said "I give up. Let's leave." You read that correctly. My child suggested that we leave the motherload of all toy stores empty handed.

- Store doors swung open to a packed crowd that was almost standing still because it was impossible to walk. It was a spectator crowd...with nothing to watch.

- I started flipping out. Jaywalked across Broadway and 7th Avenue and nearly kissed the ground of the subway entrance at 42nd Street.

- We got back to Astor Place. I wanted to see if Ben could show me how to get to Avenue A from the subway station. And he did walking us down St. Marks Place through thousands of NYU students, punks, tourists, merchants, residents, etc. I asked for it...

- When we got home, we both washed our hands. I nearly burst into tears.

There is just so much fucking humanity you can take in one day.


JT said...

I have done the same dumb-ass thing before; actually two years in a row I was a dumb ass. The first year, I took Zoe to the American Girl Store the day AFTER Christmas and then refused to buy her anything. Talk about being in hell with the spawn of Satan.

The next year I thought it would be a lovely and quaint idea to take the two girls and visit the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree during Christmas week. Wrong again. We walked about five steps in two hours, and finally got out of 5th Avenue and tried to take refuge in the Museum of Modern Art, which wasn't a refuge at all.

Why do I never learn?

Julie Marsh said...

Insane, isn't it? When we lived in the city, I worked entirely too near Times Square and Rockefeller Center, and Kyle worked in the Met Life building - directly over GCT. One year, a former colleague of mine came to visit in mid-December. She was eight months pregnant. Needless to say, it was only because I loved her so much that I squired her around all the tourist traps for two days.

Glad you made it home in one piece!

Kranki said...

A little holiday fun, MY ASS! Sounds like an epic nightmare. Get yourself a drink to recover.

Floridora said...

Reminds me of the year we went back to NYC for some shows and Christmas shopping . Just as businesses were closing for the evening and throngs of people hit the street, then-President Clinton decided to stop in for his Christmas shopping. Battalions of police absolutely shut down mid town Mahattan. "Not a creature was stirring..." We were trying to get cross town, but it was fruitless. We just stood and listened to the complaining citizenry.

Dr. Deb said...

Wow. I'd be totally numbed out by all the sensory experiences that went on.

I didn't like Mars 2112 also. It couldn't catch my breath and felt like I was in the belly of some beast. And with the dark lighting, who knows what we REALLY ate.