Ferris Wheel Memories

April 15, 2011 § Leave a comment

When Wayne and I got to Carnegie Melon’s spring festival, Carnival, I was flooded with memories of my summer days at the state fair in Montana (I get this feeling that people have a hard time believing me when I say I used to live in Montana). The state fair was the closest thing I had to a theme park, and I looked forward to the two weeks in August when I could ride all the rides, repeatedly. I was a little obsessed, and my parents were a little exhausted by my obsession so, after a while, they just dropped me off at the state fair with a watch and some cash and told me to meet them back at the entrance in two hours.

Tall and brightly colored, the ferris wheel prominently stood above the other rides and the multitude of student-designed booths, built by the student groups for judging on creativity, structure, and other criteria. I dragged Wayne to the ferris wheel line and giddily waited. Years and years of watching romantic comedy movies and romantic scenes on television after leaving Montana had conditioned me to think that riding a ferris wheel with the person I “like-liked” was the pinnacle of romance, childhood-throwback style. I was determined to have that romantic moment with Wayne, regardless of his lack of shared enthusiasm, because, to him, it was just a ferris wheel. The ride doesn’t move fast, and it doesn’t flip you over. If you don’t come off the ride with your own saliva dripping off your face because the ride moved so fast that the gusts of wind forced your mouth open and drool to creep all over your face, what’s the point? But he agreed to the ride because he loves me, and because he knew if he didn’t I would probably angrily headbutt him in our sleep.

I forgot from my state fair experiences in Montana that I’m actually terrified of ferris wheels because of my fear of heights and the very conscious acknowledgement that the only things preventing my klutzy body from falling out of the passenger car were the small metal gated doors that didn’t look sturdy. After staring at them for a long time, the metal bars started looking as skinny as toothpicks. As I dug my fingers into Wayne’s leg and kept telling myself to not move so as to not fall through the toothpick-skinny gated doors, I heard Wayne talk about high up we were and how fun it was. He had underestimated the fun level of the ferris wheel and was having a blast.

Not funny life, not funny.

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