I like to think I’m a decent person. Of course I’m far from perfect and have a laundry list of flaws, but I don’t exactly suck. But if by some chance something goes really south between now and my final days and God decides I’m not Heaven-worthy, I’m pretty sure I know where he’ll send me. To a car show. That will be my very own personal hell. Nothing but thousands of people shoulder to shoulder and rows and rows of cars. That’s it. That alone is enough to keep me on my very best behavior for the rest of my life.
I learned very early on in our courtship that my husband was really into cars. I mean really into them. He reads car magazines, car blogs, participates in car forums, goes to car “meets” (where a bunch of other car-lovers go to a parking lot and check out each other’s cars. That was painful just to write.), and goes to car shows. After we had been dating for a few months, he asked me to go with him to a car show in Boston. His car was in the show-so he had to get it there early and leave it there for the duration of the show. I said “of course!” We were in the throes of new love. Remember that? When you wanted to be with your significant other 24/7, never to leave their sight for a single second? Yeah, me neither. The drive to Boston was lovely; (albeit really, really loud- his car is ridiculous-think Fast and the Furious.) We chatted for hours. Then we got to the show. Holy effing crap. This was no ordinary show. It was the “tuner” cars-the cars that guys spent thousands and thousands of dollars to soup up. Most of them looked like they were out of The Jetsons. But more than that-was the atmosphere of this thing. It was Fast and the Furious meets Showgirls. Half-naked girls were laying all over the cars, while groups of guys sat and drooled at them while taking a gazillion pictures with their cameras. (And you know how they’ll use those pics.) Then there was the music. (I use that term loosely.) Ear blasting, glass-shattering bass-heavy club music was coming from about 250 different speakers. And each one was playing different music. I think I was the only female at this thing not wearing a string bikini. And the only one who can’t work a pole. All in all, a recipe for a nightmare. But I was a pretty good sport, I think. (My husband might say otherwise.) And I swore I would NEVER go to one of those hellish things ever again.
At 2 1/2, my son has shown a real interest in cars. He’s slightly obsessed, actually. He can identify almost all cars he sees in any given parking lot and imitates different ones by the sound they make. I’m either horrified or really proud. My husband is, of course, elated. So this year when the annual car show came to NYC and my husband suggested we go because our son would love it, I said “of course!” Now mind you, there are no half-naked ladies or thumping club music at this particular one-it’s family-friendly. (I use that term loosely.)
The trip started out lovely enough. We decided to take the ferry into the city; the kids have never been on a boat and we thought they would love it. It didn’t get off to a good start, however, as one of the ferry workers yelled “HURRY UP, LADY!!!” as I was holding both of my kids’ hands and was apparently not moving at an acceptable speed to get on the boat. (strike 1.) The ride itself was fine. The kids weren’t jumping up and down in excitement or anything, but it was smooth and everyone was content.
We got to the convention center fine. It was crazy crowded, but I expected that. We walked around a bit, checked out some cars. My husband must have asked me “What do you think of this one?” a thousand times…(4 wheels, some doors and a steering wheel? It’s effing fantastic.) But I know he loves it and my son loves it. My daughter just likes getting inside the different cars. So far, it’s pretty cute. Annoying, but cute.
My daughter checking herself out in the mirror.
Then my kids see someone with popcorn and decide that they MUST have it too. So we start to look for a popcorn stand. And look. And look. And look. Navigating through shoulder to shoulder traffic with 2(now very unhappy and on the verge of a fit) kids is not fun. 20 minutes and 3 floors later, we found the popcorn. Of course, there’s not a seat in the whole damn place so we park it on a nasty floor and eat our $8 popcorn. (strike 2)
After popcorn, there’s more cars. And more cars. And a poopy diaper. (an 8-wiper) And more cars. And then there’s a man who nearly pummels down my son without so much as an apology. Needless to say, that ended poorly for all involved and I didn’t leave that day with any new friends. (strike 3. I’m out.)
Her face says it all.
The day went quite differently in my head. Upon expressing this aloud to my husband (and maybe complaining a bit), a passerby said to my husband “You gotta come here with your buddies, man.” Uh, hell yes he does.