As a child I got drug to the various parades in our city and I found them a pain even then. You got wrapped up in coats, scarves, and mittens to stand around in the cold and sometimes wet weather to watch, when you could get a peek through the legs of the large guy In front of you with a kid on his shoulders, a bunch of people dressed up in various over the top outfits and formal wear marching or riding in a straight line down the street. The cacophony of racket coming from the various bands running so close together you had a hard time telling what the crap one band or the other was playing as their attempts at being heard clashed with not only the sometimes out of tune attempts of the bands in front and behind them but the constant roaring of the screaming people standing along the route. Of course I’m one day older than dirt so when I was a child about the only musical choices we were blessed with were an inspirational mix of high school fight songs, a few select carols and the list was limited so often you got the same tune one right behind the other and of course the timing from the two sucked, and the old stand by for every band, the amazing works of John Phillip Souza. I remember looking up at my parents and their smiling faces and them waving at whatever menagerie passing in front of them as I was steadily being crushed, stepped on, or clobbered by that big buffoon in front of me as well as all the other buffoons standing around us every bit as large and thoughtless as the one blocking my view of the festivities The day my parents decided that I was old enough and smart enough to know I really didn’t want to go to that damn parade was probably one of the happiest days of my life.
For years I managed to, for the most part, evade these gatherings until long after I was grown. Then I had a child. Remembering how much I hated these uncomfortable gatherings I had to inflict them on my poor unsuspecting very tiny daughter. I remember the first, and only, only time I did this to her. I remember looking down into that sweet beautiful face of my child and realizing she was as miserable as I had been at her age and knew I had made a mistake. Was this the last time I drug her to one of these things? Yes.
I said it was the last time I drug her to one but it seemed that I was to be exposed to these things for many years to come. Oh not as the person standing on the side watching as the people passed in front of me. I think my daughter was in at least one parade or the other every year from the time she was about four years old until she graduated from high school. No I didn’t drag her again to a parade but I got hooked into participating in one manor or another for years to come. I was either sitting on a float with Gina and other children, marching alongside of one, or driving the convertible that Gina and her classmate’s road on sitting up on the trunk area waving at the people along the way. Ok Gina was involved in a lot. Then graduation from high school arrived and again I thought finally an end to this. NO.
Now I’m not going into the whole background but not too long after she graduated I remarried. Why would this tie into the ranting? Because between Thanksgiving and sometime in the not to near future I will be subjected to every one of these merry little spectacles that is aired. Oh and not just with my wonderful husband but these are all a big family affair among him and his. This is one of the few times I will refer to my husband and his two children as him and his. You see once Gina graduated, she like me, tried to avoid the whole parade thing, well a zombie parade will draw Gina but not me. Gina didn’t participate in the parades because she wanted to but because of the things she was involved in required her to be a part of all that went with it. So now during parade season Gina and I become her and hers. We join in but only to make him and his happy because in the end what’s important is that family is family no matter how it comes together and being together is a blessing no matter what.
If you are wondering when we get split like this at other times, one is during baseball season. Now I’m not a fan of any sport but during baseball season the split comes in a different way. Gina and my youngest stepdaughter are Red Sox fans and my husband was born in St. Louis and he and his oldest daughter are big Cardinals fans. During the big Cold War of 2013 World War III was almost started in my oldest stepdaughter’s home when the Red Sox beat the socks off the Cardinals. That close call is talked about to this day and how close we came to the end of the world as we know it and so few people in this world were ever aware of it. Fortunately I as a neutral party was able to broker peace and avoid a total meltdown among the warring parties. So you can thank me for the reprieved from that one but should it happen again that these two teams make it to the World Series I make no promises.