Sunday, June 20, 2010

Survival of the Dullest

It’s summer. We’re going on vacation and once again, it’s near my birthday. Every year I suffer from the annual temptation to prove I’m just as big an idiot as I sometimes know that I am.

On my thirty ninth birthday, we went to Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. My husband and I took turns staring at the Top Thrill Dragster, a 420 foot high monster that essentially launched its cars and halpless passengers with air craft carrier type precision. We’d take the kids to the mini coaster and the log flume and come back to stare. We got food and drinks and took in a show but we came back just to look. At some moment, we became desensitized to the fear factor and began to mention the idea of each of us having a go. We’d laugh and demand to know who was going first. The danger point was when we were walking back from the haunted house. My husband noticed, “The line’s not that long.” The ride had suffered a malfunction and so people had cleared out. I’d just worked up the nerve to get in line when we discovered, the car with people in it was stuck suspended 374 feet up and just now getting freed to come back down. Cowardice or sanity, take your pick, it prevailed and I did not proclaim my foolishness or temporarily gain back my youth by defying death as a result.

At 40, my annual danger lust sought again to be sated when the local sporting goods store put up a climbing wall. I so wanted to climb it but I was six months pregnant and even extreme sporting good stores it seems, have limits. My husband breathed a sigh of relief. I told him I’d be back next year but the place closed that part of the store down for some reason.  At 42, I got roller blades.  Nuff said.

My desire for something beyond the ordinary occasionally allows me to sometimes impress my children, like when I dive off the high dive or do stand up. Weirding them out I think is an equally desired reaction. It has also resulted in the occasional trip to the emergency room, like after I tried to do the monkey bars at 32. However my carefree spirit conflicts with my equally natural maternal instincts which scream No! when my sons or daughters propose engaging in reckless activity like wanting to take the metro to downtown DC to catch a movie, biking to the 7-11 for ice cream or proposing a roadtrip with friends to California after graduation.

The “AHhhhhhhhh are you NUTS?” gene activates and their somewhat show-offy daredevil mom becomes the safety first and always and only mommy. Regardless of my own predilections to court danger, I’m not about to oblige my children’s wilder sides. Why not?  Because I'm the Mommy that's why.  Because I like their insides inside of them and their outsides just the way they are. They can risk their necks once they’re middle aged like me and they’re someone else’s worry.

This year, we’re going to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee for a family reunion. Our family has vacationed here before. When last we visited, there was a pending attraction, the Zorb. For the uninitiated, Zorb is the latest import from New Zealand designed to kill off much of the existing population between the ages of 11 and well, I’m turning 44. It has the added bonus of being legal. The Zorbonaut or victim (take your pick), is strapped into a plastic clear globe inside of another plastic clear globe. For variety’s sake, you can opt for a wet or dry Zorb run. The wet one has the added bonus of water in the outside globe and being shot down one of two water flume tracks so the rolling and drowning occur within a controlled setting. In the dry scenario, you add the bonus of random gravity as you are thrown down a cliff/hill and left to bounce until you stop or die whichever comes first. I can readily attest to the absolute idiocy of paying to potentially die, drown, become a broken pile of bones or paralyzed in the name of fun. I must also concede the siren like call of this thrill ride is not without appeal.

In the meantime, my shrewd husband uses my dual nature to his advantage and my long term viability. In planning for this trip, having seen my eyes gleam as I mentioned, “Zorb is up and running,” and in an effort to make sure he isn’t suddenly a widower with nine children, he’s shown the promos from the web for Zorb to my oldest four. They all now desperately want to go. That sly dog just guaranteed I’ll be pool side reading books the whole week even if my life insurance is paid up. It just goes to show, you marry what you need and the species survives.

1 comment:

MightyMom said...

What a nut you are!!! Not me I like the ground and plan to keep my feet firmly onit!! Now, roller blades though...........

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