RE: Well, We Won’t Be Doing THAT Next Year! Part I
DATE: January 10, 2011
This memo is to myself because I know next year when the holidays roll back ‘round, I’m going to think the following ideas would be great. Fun, family activities and events that will bring us all together feeling warm, fuzzy and oh so jolly. However, with this in writing, I can refer back to this memo to myself and remember, that in fact, NO, I cannot keep these traditions. Because they didn’t make for a "fun, old-fashioned family Christmas" (thank you Chevy Chase!).
So now I give you Part I of this series – it's just one tradition of a few that are coming to an abrupt end this year. The rest are coming, but you’ll see this first one is just so chock full of holiday cheer that it has enough for it’s own spotlight!
Conversation with Monkey Man about one week before Christmas:
“Hey, Monkey Man, I have a great idea for Christmas Break!” I said so enthusiastically, so full of, “This is going to totally rock and I’m winning Mom of the Year Award for this idea!”
“What? What’s your idea?” Monkey Man inquired.
“Mommy and Daddy are going to take you into New York City to see the big tree.” Please note: Monkey Man LOVES New York City.
“Why are we going to look at a tree? I don’t want to see a tree.” Okay, people, get your foreshadowing thinking caps on…
And now I will list all of the things that went wrong on our holiday foray into the greatest city in the world:
#1 - This is #1 because it should have been my first clue to ditch this whole idea – Monkey Man clearly stated he did want to go to New York City to look at a tree. Point not taken.
#2 – We took a Park & Ride bus from a mall that is about 15 minutes outside of Manhattan. And it took us 90 minutes to get into Manhattan. And when we got out of the Lincoln Tunnel, the bus driver started letting people off on a corner (our destination was Port Authority) because he kindly let us know that it could take another 30 minutes just to get into Port Authority which was a mere block away from our random corner drop off. Fortunately we know the city well enough that we could confidently get off the bus and walk.
#3 – Times Square on December 29 is the equivalent of Disney World on any day in July or August. Translation: Hell. I have been to Times Square many, many times, and yes, it’s busy. But 2 days before the ball drops? Holy Tourists Batman. I wanted to yell, “Walk people! There’s nothing to see here!” But I guess there was something to see. It is Times Square afterall, and the street was closed so we could walk on it and not meet our untimely death by a taxi so it was pretty cool. However, to add insult to injury, I would find out a few days later that Rick Springfield was in Times Square on December 30 doing interviews. So I missed bumping into him by a day and just that one incident could have turned this whole day around!
He looks happy, right?
#4 – We were prepared for the sloppy slush and snow left from the Great Blizzard of ’10 just days before. We all wore our boots. Not 10 minutes into walking did 3 of us ignore the pedestrians walking to the other side of the street when BAM! We walked into a puddle that went up to Monkey Man’s knees. I am not even kidding, the water was that high. I was wearing very nice boots that I have been very protective of – a little snow is okay, submergence in NYC glop is NOT. The water went into Monkey Man’s boots and made his socks wet. Hubby got his feet soaked. My feet stayed warm and dry, but I was none too happy about the potential ruining of the pretty fabric. Long story short – cranky boot family.
#5 – We went into the Toys R Us in Times Square just to get Monkey Man to stop moaning about seeing a tree. TRU was 300 degrees and the entire population of Manhattan was in the store. Monkey Man had no cares that Santa just stopped by our house a few days before and was hell bent on getting a toy. We said he could buy something, but from his own piggybank. He had a $10 budget, picked a stuffed animal, and we bolted. I could have went to my local TRU just one mile from my house and avoided this whole debacle.
#6 – Next stop, and our reason for this family outing, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. This is the spectacle that people from all over the world “ooh” and “ahh” over. Monkey Man, living just 30 miles out of New York City and bearing the stubbornness of a mule, REFUSED to look at it. Afterall, he told us, he did not want to look at a tree. Remember, he clearly stated this one week earlier. I tried my best to get him to look without holding his defiant little face in my hands and pointing his eyes to it (he would have closed his eyes. Yes, the teen years are going to rock with this child). No can do. “Look, Monkey Man, it’s the ice rink from the movie Elf, the one where he and Jovie go on their date!” I exclaimed with all the excitement of a beaten down mom, a mom just trying to give my child a fun Christmas memory. Yes, you guessed it. He would not look.
Definition of fake smile - mine right here. Trust me, I was not happy. Teeth gritted into smiling, I'm telling him, "Please just SMILE. PLEASE."
#7 – After visiting the tree for 8.5 seconds, we headed back to Port Authority to catch our bus. I have taken the bus to and from Port Authority countless times and NEVER experienced the line that OF COURSE was there waiting for us. Why wouldn’t there be a line waiting for us at the end of this day? So what did we do while we waited on line to appease our Grinchy child? Yep, we fed him. Thank God for the soft pretzel stand and Monkey Man’s love for carbohydrates.
After the Big Guy stopped laughing at us all day, leading us through physical and mental obstacles, he did grant us a few gifts. No traffic on the way home, dropped off Monkey Man at my parents, Hubby and I made it to our dinner reservation, and I knocked back a nice glass of wine. Cheers to not visiting New York City next Christmas!
Thanks, Tree. We had a blast. Note sarcasm.