Start Spreadin’ the News
I’ve wanted to live in New York since I saw Working Girl with Melanie Griffith. I was 17 and it looked like so much fun. All the activity, the people, just the life I thought I could have if I lived there. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to move away from Oklahoma. Not away from my family, but I thought moving away meant that I’d “made it”. It didn’t, it just meant that I moved away.
My sister and I went to New York in October of 1997. I was 26 and found out shortly after we’d paid for the trip that I was pregnant with my second daughter. I had always talked about how I wanted to visit New York and the monkey would tell me that he would never go there. Even though he said that, he seemed surprised when I didn’t invite him, hurt even. But I reminded him that he said he’d never go so why would I ask. Oh, there were signs it was never going to work, but I digress.
It was the first time I’d been to New York, but more importantly, the first time I’d ever left my daughter, Shelby. She was two, and if you know me now, you know that I ship my kids to Oklahoma for the entire summer. I justify that by saying that my mom doesn’t get to see them very often, and it’s nice for her to get to spend so much time with them. But in addition to that, it’s really that by summer, this mom needs a little break. If you’re one of my three faithful readers, then you also know that it only takes two weeks for me to miss them terribly and want them back. However, this was my very first trip without my little Shelby, and also before cell phones. I flew with Shelby to Oklahoma to meet my sister and my mom kept her while Sherri and I flew to New York. I taught Shelby how to say, “I miss you.” Every night I would go down to the pay phone in the lobby and “talk” to her. She had just turned two so it was really one-sided, but I would say, “say I miss you”, and she would say, “I miss you”, and I would say, “I miss you too”, and cry a little. I missed her so much, but she had no idea what she was saying.
I was also tired, and don’t make me remind you about the SHOES. OH MY GOSH, THE SHOES! My feet were bleeding, and I felt awful for my sister who had to drag me all over Manhattan. She got us standing room only tickets to a musical with Betty Buckley, I didn’t think I was going to make it. At intermission people were leaving so she scammed us some pretty good seats. I was so thankful. She laughed when we ended up on Wall Street around lunch time and I was walking so slowly (and in a zig zag pattern) that a businessman almost ran over me. I was also thankful when she said she wanted to go back to the hotel and take a nap. I knew it was only because I looked like I was going to die, but who doesn’t like a nap? We were interviewed outside of Madison Square Garden and I sounded like a tool. So much so that when it came time to leave the hotel to get a copy of the New York Times for me to save forever, I passed. It was my first time to have Starbucks and even though I didn’t drink coffee, I thought it was cool to go down there to have hot chocolate. I was obsessed with getting cheesecake, until my sister told me that New York didn’t invent it, they just served it like everyone else. Mmmmmm, cheesecake.
So when I announced the YOF trips to my kids, I knew there was a pretty good chance that Shelby would want to go to New York. She LOVES musicals, we’re a very musical family; and she dances. But I was thrilled when she said she actually did want to go there for her trip. It’s this Friday. I think everything’s figured out; and thanks to my very good friend, Amber, we don’t have to kennel our dog. We have tickets to Chicago!, The Miracle Worker, and a surprise musical that she doesn’t know about yet; and also tickets to the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. We want to skate in Rockefeller Center, if it’s still open. I bought discount City Passes through my work and there are museums and the Empire State Building, etc. I can’t wait!
Although, side note, my sister got sick and tired of me telling her that the Empire State Building was NOTHING like it was in Sleepless in Seattle. It probably wouldn’t have been as romantic if Meg Ryan would have had to wait in three lines just to get to the first observation deck, right?
Expect some pictures, and if you’re a FB friend, plenty of updates. I’ll try not to be too obnoxious. I know, too late!