Last Saturday, I took WCK downtown to see the circus. This was the first time she’d been. When I announced last month that I’d bought tickets to the circus, WCK’s eyes lit up — not at the thought of seeing elephants or clowns or trapeze artists — but because the circus is where you get cotton candy. WCK had never had cotton candy before, but she’d heard The Legend of the Cotton Candy from other children.
She talked about the cotton candy all month long. As we approached the Sprint Center, she could see a cotton candy display through the window from about a block away and nearly passed out. She willingly bypassed a circus-themed bouncy castle in front of the Sprint Center so that we could get inside to the cotton candy as quickly as possible. I knew now that if I did not purchase the cotton candy, my child would either collapse and die from disappointment or — on the ever-so-slight chance she survived — have to enter therapy.
And the therapist would blame me for everything.
We finally made it to the cotton candy display, only to discover that a bag of cotton candy cost $12. I typed that right. Twelve. But I forked over the money without batting an eye, because of the month of longing and the dying and the therapist and everything. On the plus side, each bag of cotton candy came with a funny-looking hat, sort of a Cat-in-the-Hat-type hat that says “GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH” on the top of it. So I justified the $12 cotton candy by telling myself that our family would treasure this hat — surely hand-crafted by skilled circus artisans — for generations. WCK’s going to wear it in her wedding.
And with the hat damaging my brain, I allowed us to step over to the souvenir stand, and I told WCK she could pick out one of those whirly, light-up things. I always wanted one of these whirly-light-up things when I went to the circus as a child, but my parents always said no, because they were sensible people who were saving money for food, shelter, and my college education. But doesn’t this look way more fun than college? And way more practical than an English degree?
But I’m not going to publish the price of the whirly, light-up thing, because this time my husband would collapse and die and/or have to go to therapy. And the therapist would blame me for everything.