Life is full of experiences.
When you have lots of money, those experiences can be full of exotic adventures, travel to faraway lands, tasting culinary masterpieces from all ends of the earth, and so on and so forth and what have you. But even if you do have money, you might not want to travel. And whether you have money or not, life still is what you make of it. Taking a walk in a park can be just as adventurous as being dropped from a helicopter and skiing down a mountain. Okay, maybe not as adventurous, but at least you aren’t sitting on your couch watching reruns of “NYPD Blue” — not that there is anything wrong with that….
So as you may have heard, sons 1, 2, and 3 all have left us, to spread their talents in various camps around the Lakewood, Pennsylvania, area and we are very proud of them. Despite the fact that they are wearing long sleeves and long pants in 100 percent humidity, they are all doing quite well, thank God. This leaves husband #1 and me to be alone. All alone. By ourselves alone. So quiet that you want to scream alone. Boo hoo, we are all alone with no kids in the house, what do we have to complain about. Really? Have you just met me? Honestly, it is very lovely being on a totally selfish schedule that only involves making sure husband #1 gets dinner every night and his clothes are washed, dried, and folded (and sometimes put away, but that is never really part of the schedule.) I get to walk, spin, walk, eat, spin, eat, walk… you get the picture. But there has just got to be more!
And then I saw and ad in the paper for the Meadowlands State Fair, and my mind went all giddy. A state fair!! And one that doesn’t involve my kids singing the 50 State song from their project in Yeshivat Noam.
This fair advertised games and rides and petting zoos (which you could actually smell from the ad). This fair had sea lions and camels and pig races. You heard me — pig races. Not to be confused with car races or horse races. Who knew that pigs could race? I once heard they could fly, but never that they had the ability to race. I was excited. I was pumped. I was ready to get a tattoo, a really short pair of jean shorts, and some sort of tube top. I was ready for the State Fair.
“Honey,” I gently shouted, “Honey, put your walking shoes on, you and me is going to the fair!” “Can I go to Mincha first?” “Of course you can darling — and then we is on our way! Heehaw!”
It was Sunday, the weather was beautiful, and we were actually going somewhere that didn’t involve using our DVR. Husband #1 sprang for parking and everything! I felt like a Disney princess. We waited on line with all sorts of folks. Ones dressed up in stockings with seams and three layers of blouses. Some folks had Hello Kitty tattoos on their backs with their bleached blond hair in pigtails. It was quite the fashion show. And I felt perfectly at home with my Billy Joel T-shirt and yoga pants. And my old lady Sketchers — the most comfortable shoes in all of the universe.
I saw on the schedule that the pig races would began at 4 p.m. There was no way I was missing those! We were the first ones to arrive, and we staked our seats in the shade, so husband #1’s head wouldn’t burn and he wouldn’t wind up looking like a giant tomato. But of course the crowds just came pouring in, and insisted on standing in front of all of us losers who arrived 30 minutes early. But it all worked out — and believe you me, it was totally worth it to see these pigs run. But it was even more worth it to see the last heat of pigs not run and just relieve themselves on the track and walk backwards.
Now that is real entertainment.
The petting zoo had a kangaroo that was suffering heat stroke and there was an elephant giving guests rides. This poor elephant has seen better days and I was tempted to kidnap him and bring him home because he looked so depressed. But, alas, we had no room for him because we didn’t bring our van because we had no kids with us. Which was both relaxing and creepy all at the same time.
In the end, it was a fun day, feeling like a real American at a real state fair and eating soft serve ice cream that was really kosher. God bless America!
Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck hopes you are all enjoying your summers with or without kids, but definitely with some ice cream….