Feb 16, 2011

A Day at Disneyland


When you take five kids to Disneyland for your nine-year-old’s birthday and almost pass out when you see what admission costs for six people; when you watch families from all over the U.S. walking around with those thick-ribbon necklaces covered with character pins they purchased one by one, knowing this might be the only vacation they can take all year; when you see the trash bins (ironically labeled “Waste Please”) overflowing with paper goods and plastic bottles by 3 p.m.; and try to talk the nine-year-olds out of every sugar-laden treat on display that of course they all immediately want; and stand on line with 200 people for a ride that will last four minutes; and then walk to the next line and do it all over again--it’s frighteningly easy to start believing that you’re the only one here who notices or cares about all this excess, who realizes that the money being spent here in one day could probably solve a small nation’s hunger for a week, and it’s all too simple to start feeling smugly superior to everyone around you. And then you see a middle-aged mother and father dressed like Hell’s Angels, pushing a wheelchair with a severely disabled child in it who’s dressed in a Cinderella gown, and you realize, very humbly, that you don’t know anything about anything at all.

5 comments:

Hannah Kozak said...

Oh Hope. Disneyland; a place filled with childhood memories.You are so right about all of it; the price, the lines, the endless sugar.
My personal favorites are the Mickey Mouse pretzels with the heinous cheese whatever it is that I will eat only at Disneyland and the Mickey Mouse shaped ice cream sandwich. Yes it’s all a bit much but there is a magic still about walking down Main Street, seeing the lights, remembering being there with my grandmother and siblings and the smiles it brings. The wheelchair hit a little too close for home for me. Disneyland is a source of endless memories and magic for many of us.I feel like a happy child walking around there.
I know you are way too busy with your life but I love your blogs and wish you’d have time for more. Why? Because you always manage to bring forth a tear and a smile. Thank you Hope.

unfinishedportraitofsam said...

Nah, you're not the only one who notices. But I sure am glad you're one who understands that "righteous" frustration about the excess isn't always, um, so right.
This is a beautiful short post, Hope...

-Sarah

Hope Edelman said...

Exactly, Sarah. Thanks for the comment, and Hannah, too. I've had the very strong feeling that "humility" is the big lesson for me in 2011, and this day in Disneyland really drove that home. Especially important for a writer who spends so much time alone, in her own world of ideas. This was a stunning example of why I really need to get out more.

jennifer said...

Lovely writing!

dylan said...

I love this post.