I love amusement parks. They are one of the few places in the world, along with movie theaters, where I feel exactly as I did as a child. I love pulling into the parking lot and seeing the rides from afar and hearing the muffled screams of the riders. My pulse ticks up a notch every time.
I had long looked forward to taking my own children to amusement parks. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that amusement parks aren’t really my son’s thing. I was in denial about this for a long while. I was just sure as soon as he realized (thanks to my gleeful demonstrations) how much fun he was missing, he would embrace the experience with the same cotton candy glee as me. After an ill-fated ride on Six Flags’ Shock Wave this spring, I’ve finally come to an understanding, an acceptance really, about my first born. My son does not mesh with roller coasters, crowds, lines, and all the sugar his body can ingest in an afternoon.
However, redemption has come to me in the form of an eight-year-old girl who is only limited by the height restrictions on the rides.
JOY. JOY. JOY.
I took my daughter to the Stepford Water Park over the weekend. We were accompanied by three of her soccer teammates and their parents. It was a great afternoon. We floated the lazy river, slid down the tall, medium, and small slides, and completely enjoyed the wave pool.
While there, I learned three valuable lessons. As a community service, I feel I must share these with you. If you need to print this article and tape it to your refrigerator at the beginning of each summer, please do so. Really. For the good of all of us.
1. Under no circumstance should Spanx be worn as swimwear. I do not care how good they make your ass look in jeans―wet, naked Spanx do not have the same affect. (No, I am not kidding. Yes, they were flesh colored.)
2. Be self-aware at all times. I have heard that scary movies can be sexually arousing. I don’t really understand this myself, but I’m willing to accept the scientific research on the subject. What took me by total surprise was the fact that scary water slides can have the same affect. (No, the cold water did not override what you are correctly imagining). If your man has a propensity for fright induced erections, please do not send him to the water park in a white bathing suit and have him stand perpendicular to me while he enjoys the unexpected benefits of the death shoot. I will not be able to stop looking and my eight-year-old daughter does not need to see this.
3. Alternatives to bathing suits are usually not a good idea. I’m not fundamentally opposed to you swimming in a tank top. We all have things about our bodies that we’d rather hundreds of people not see. However, you need to know that if you do choose to swim in a tank top without a bra or bikini top underneath, even if said tank top is hot pink, there is a very real possibility that your rather large aureoles will show through the tank top. (Again, surely you don’t think I could conceive of wet aureoles on my own? I have witnesses and lack the capacity to imagine such an atrocity.) If this applies to you, please stay far, far away from Mr. Death Shoot Erection. He’s already having a hard enough time (pun, most definitely, intended) taking care of his personal problem.