I did not realize that I might get what I want simply by asking. Have you guys tried this out before? What a novel concept that I have denied myself for all these years. That is what happens when you grow up in a family with crazy parents that deny their children their needs and wants, so much so that the children do not know what they are entitled to. Yes I know..these are all first world problems. I recently moved into acceptance phase that my boyfriend will not be my fall back activity partner so I was all ready to ask my girlfriends go to the beach with me. I brought this up with my boyfriend and he surprised me by volunteering to go with me instead. I incredulously questioned him over and over again, “Are you sure? But you hate the sun and you hate people. Are you sure you want to go to Coney Island Beach?” I was just imaging how he would glare at the throng of people idling around on the Broadwalk in Coney island. Without knowing it themselves, each and everyone of those individuals were there just to be in his way on that particular day- standing in his way or just walking cluelessly and unpredictably left and right so that it made is impossible to pass them on any side. Then there were would lines! Lines everywhere! Lines for ice cream, lines for amusement rides, lines for the bathroom. “And you hate lines!” “I have never been to Coney Island and it is such a NY thing to do, let’s make a day of it. We can get Nathan’s hotdogs and ride the Cyclone.” I was flabbergasted. Of course I preferred to spend time with him but I wondered if this was the “right” activity. And instead of just going to the beach with me, he again surprised me by even volunteering two other activities!! What did this doppelganger do with my boyfriend I wondered. I love the beach, the sun, the ocean, the heat. Summer was my favorite season but for my updates boyfriend who is of Germanic and Scottish descent, his genes did not make it easy for him to be in the sun without any pain. I happily accepted the invitation of our Coney Island Outing and hoped for the best.
The morning came and I was still wondering if we were going but luckily we were still on our adventure when I double checked. Off we went on the 1 hour long subway ride -riding through all the MTA disruptions of NYC, and through all the different parts of brooklyn, past cemeteries, warehouses, buildings and finally our destination- Surf Ave, Coney Island.
We wondered past all the piles of people on the broadway, on the beach, on the line. Timothy held my clothes and safely guarded my flip flops as I took a dip in the ocean for a quick swim. He patiently waited on shore, standing – reading the news on his phone. For the next 5 minutes, I was happy, free, refreshed from the brutal heat and swimming my heart out feeling like I could swim forever. I love the sensation of my limbs moving through the waves, propelling me forward through resistance, and pushing me farther and farther away from the shore. I love feeling the weight of the ocean on my chest, adding a little more resistance with each breath- making me feel alive and energetic. Sometimes I really feel that I belong in the ocean, swimming and smiling in the sun. After my quick 5 minute swim, I turned back to shore and swam back torwards Tim. He then patiently waited for me to rinse off in the bathroom after we trudged back towards the boardwalk.
Our next checkbox was to ingest a Nathan’s famous hotdog. We decided that were probably weren’t going to eat too much so it was reasonable to stuff our faces before our Cyclone ride so we did not have to backtrack (yes we are all about efficiency). The food line was somewhat bearable- I would like to think that my company had something to do with it, although I did make him wait in a different line and so we can double our chances to find the “shortest/fastest” line. We both got an original hotdog and agreed on an order of crinkly fries. If there is one thing I cannot miss, is a good deal involving food- especially onion rings so when they were offering a limited time offer on an order of onion rings for $1.99, I had to get it. We of course then proceed to top off our gluttonous picnic with tons of ketchup, mustard and relish (don’t forget the free sauteed onions on our dogs). I enjoyed it- I think all the condiments just made hot dog significantly better. Timothy tolerated it. It wasn’t the next day that I found out how much did he not enjoy the hot dog and thought they were disgusting. He said he did not have the heart to tell me at the time since I was so happy stuffing my face. Yes but explained of course the hot dog was disgusting but wasn’t that the point? The whole fast food experience was a little bit of a rude awakening on American dining. It was good for what it was but I wouldn’t say it was amazing. It was good for a regular hot dog slapped between a flimsy air filled bun that immediately is deflated as soon as it touches your moist palate and you wonder if you ate anything after a couple bites of the chewy meaty “dog.” This is really a great experience for any foreign visitor. You can SEE why Americans are overweight. Just looking at the menu filled with images of cheese burgers, drippy orange liquid cheese covering pretzels, fatty chili cheese dogs large sodas, and huge vats of condiments made my cholesterol level rise a little. I’m sure some of this meal made a nice contribution to a nice wall of cholesterol plaque in my cute little arteries who are all working overtime. It did not take long for us to feel sick and then starting to dream about eating nothing but salad for the rest of the week. Oh no, no time for food coma. ONWARD to our next stop!
We discussed how much we were wiling to spend to go the infamous “Cyclone” ride and decided that $25 seem like a fair amount and we would NOT go on it if it was going to cost more than that (although I really did not believe that they can charge THAT for THAT ride- then again we are in NY- anything is possible in crazy prices I suppose). The price for a ride was actually $10 and I suppose that is reasonable since we were anticipating $25 and our first born child, so we were happy to fork our over credit card and have it charged. For some unknown reason, I did not anticipate the ride to be remotely scary. I was the queen of roller coasters in my youth, I have been to Six Flags Great Adventure, Universal Studies and most recently even the Harry Potter ride (ok that was 2 years ago) and I love these rides. The Cyclone was made in 1927 and despite the metal supports, it still rides on wooden tracks – adding to the nostalgia and appeal of this ride. I had it in my small mind that rides made in the 1920s could not possibly be that scary. Does that make any sense to anyone? Maybe I thought that scary rides is a new thing of our generation and that anyone else could not possibly have invented that. Ok, I was completely wrong, the Cyclone was really scary. Maybe it was my misconceptions, maybe it was because I was so ecstatic that Timothy was coming with me that I had forgotten how to anticipate the reality of delusional danger. The ride was a typical roller coaster, chugging up the climax and then dropping fast, repeat 3-4 times until you realize that your stomach cannot take any more of it. Then I also realized that they requested small children and women to sit on the outside so they do not get SMASHED by outside passenger as centripetal force tries to push you outside your seat and into space. How thoughtful and how clever indeed. And just like that, in 1 minutes and 50 seconds we spent $10 each experiencing the illusion of danger on the Cyclone. And just like his usual stable self, Timothy stepped out calmly and led me out of ride as I emphatically expressed my surprise and disbelief of the craziness of the ride over and over and over again. What a fun-filled day I had with Timothy!