Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Carnival Season

Carnivals are strange bi-polar events. Dirty and beautiful. Fun and stressful. Frightening and familiar. How I love them.

It is carnival season right now. Soon we move into fair season which is a different beast all together. There are farm animals and jams at those. You don't see farm animals or jams at carnivals. Rides, games of chance, and the barest of fair food stands. The absolute "must-haves." No fried pickles, but plenty of cotton candy, candy apples, fried dough and popcorn. Yum. I have a fondness for red candy apples that won't be denied. I really. REALLY. Enjoy the red candy coated apple. Right down to its sticky, drool covered inner core.

Around the one year anniversary of boyfriend/girlfriend status, Bill and I attended a wedding together. It was a first for us... getting all dressed up. Weddings can be awkward for people who are teetering on that kind of conversation. But we managed to have a bang up time. I bought a fancy dress. Light pink and floor length, halter, lace, glamorous and it moved when I moved. It was one of those things. I woke up good looking that day with cooperative hair. He wore a black suit and shiny shoes, like a movie star from the 1940's. When he picked me up and we drove to the church we felt grown, and in charge, and in love.

The wedding was nice. We discovered we did well together at formal events. A graceful and gracious couple who (happily) wanted to leave at the same time. At some point that evening we turned to each other and nodded. We said our goodbyes and made up delicious lies about seeing people again soon and escaped into the night.

The plan was to go straight home.... but on the way there was a carnival. We saw the Ferris wheel from the highway.

"Want to go?" he asked.
"Are you kidding?" I replied.

And in a moment we were there, in all our finery, fancy like the lights that glimmered all around us. And the way people stared! Like we walked out of a fairy tale. I ate a candy apple, and Bill played game after game winning me all kinds of useless, rag tag prizes. We were king and queen of the night.

We went to a carnival again last week. It's different now, of course, there are three children to tend to... children who want to go on rides and who spill ice cream and who cry and get filthy. We don't go at night (too late!) and we certainly don't go black tie. SO, when all seemed lost and the bugs were biting and the girls were crying and the sweaty moneywasting seemed to have beaten us, my husband took my hand (so small) in his (so big) and asked "Do you want a candy apple?" The look that passed between us told the story of a hundred dancing years ago when we were young and beautiful and the future lit up like the tilt o whirl.

"Are you kidding?" I said, and we walked home inside a memory, while our daughters formed ones of their own streaming out behind them like tails.


  1. Dang, girl, aint it grand? :)

  2. Oooh, your post is like a lovely dream!

  3. glnroz: indeed ;)
    Loretta: A dream I can hold onto. For sure!
    Corey: Thanks! It was soooooo romantic. I don't think I could beleive it when it was happening!

  4. I'm seeing gypsies at your carnival! And you in the pink flowing gown. Who knew a carnival could be so romantic!

  5. You write so beautifully! I'm blown away.

  6. *sigh* Such a beautiful story. Our county fair is going on this week, and we were wandering through the exhibits, down through the midway looking at all the rides the other night. Amazing what memories nights at a carnival bring back...thanks so much for sharing yours.

  7. Way better than a prom memory. Your hubby is the MAN for remembering and for taking you from wedding to carnival in the first place!

    You need to submit this somewhere. :)

  8. Magic from your memories and fingertips--again. I can taste the apple and glassy sugar, see the kaleidoscope lights, feel the love between you and your man. My day is a better place after visiting you.

  9. I got goose bumps reading this! What a great memory. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Mandy: Heart you
    Lori! Thanks. Really Appreciated
    Ariana: BLOG
    Jaime: That was the intent! SO glad!
    Angie: Where? Help a girl out. I don't know how to submit anything other than query letters.
    Tricia: You made me cry a little. Thanks!
    LW: Ummm... crazy. We were commenting on each others blogs at the same time. Funny funny blogging world.

  11. Beautiful memory and beautiful writing! I have a big stuffed Scooby Doo that my guy won for me all those many years ago. lol

    I agree with Angie, definitely a piece to be shared. I've never submitted anything anywhere--maybe try some of those wedding magazines? or woman's mags...

  12. I'm all misty eyed. Such a lovely romantic story and memory. Sigh...

  13. Oh my gosh, I love the imagery in this. Ok, I know you write scary horror books, but you have to work this scene into one of them. It's perfect.

  14. What a beautiful story! And so romantic! I'm swooning.

  15. You guys are WAY too nice to me! Thanks!
    Strange Fiction: Thanks for the tips! AND I love scooby.
    Nicole: Misty eyed is good for a newlywed!
    L&L: YES! And she could get on the Ferris wheel with her flowing hair and just as they are about to kiss her hair gets caught in the mechanics and her head comes off. (making her haunt the carnival grounds forever.)
    BJ: And I thought I couldn't write romance...;) thanks so much!

  16. Awww! I love how the romance just continues! Sweet.

  17. What great memories! And told so beautifully. :D

    I have to ask about the fried pickles. Now, I know I've led a rather sheltered life, but is that seriously something people eat? Sounds interesting.

  18. This post is simply divine. I love it. Utterly love it! It is delicious and sparkling all in one. Brava!

  19. This is a fantastic memory. Thanks for sharing!

  20. T. Anne: It does. Thanks! I am a lucky gal.
    Abby: No fried Pickles? ever? Okay, battered and deep fried, like twinkies or corn dogs. SO YUMMY!
    L.T: Your comments mean so much, you've no idea.
    Elana: thanks! And Ummmmm, aren't you supposed to be cleaning your house? JK ;)

  21. Aw, what a romantic couple you are. A great memory, for certain.

    And, how in the world did that monkey pic help you? I can't wait to find out someday. I actually have a character in my WIP who tells crazy lies and one of them is a whopper about a family who runs an adoption agency and passes off shaved monkeys as babies.

    Well, it make sense in the book.

  22. Suzanne, were you serious about teaming up? Because THIS is exactly what I meant when I said I wanted to be able to write descriptions. If you're willing to abandon adult and horror (and who says I don't compromise?), you know where to find me!

    Also, I never knew the word "fair" was not synonymous with "carnival". Clearly, I need to get out more.

  23. Are you sure you are a horror writer?! This piece is beautiful! How I wish I could bang out that sort of post. I was right there are that carnival and, like Sarah, I learnt that fair and carnival are not synonymous. :)
    You do realize you can make money submitting pieces like this to the right kind of mag? Heck, if they'll publish me, they WILL publish you girl.