The Bankruptcy Never Bothered Me Anyway

The girls are not into Frozen, in the way other children are into Frozen, with the wigs and the princess dresses and the Elsa-screenprinted t-shirts. They are into Frozen in that they ask me to play the CD when we’re in the car, and sing all the songs at the very top of their lungs while I’m trying to make dinner and hold on to the day’s last shred of patience. They sort of just…like the music. And maybe Elsa’s hair.

(“Let the storm rage AAAAAAAAAHHHHH!”)

So, Disney on Ice: Frozen came to town, and like a billion other gullible (I mean, loving) parents in the tri-state area, I got tickets. At the last minute, of course, because seriously, do you not know me by now?

10.20.14. Frozen. Bottom of Set

Two hundred dollars later, we were settled into our seats right up at the very tip-top of the arena, with choice views of the Stonyfield Yogurt ads on the top of the set. The bathroom was approximately thirty miles away, because Disney had sealed off half of the place (i.e., where we were sitting) for the show. The cheap folk aren’t allowed to pee.

Thirty-two dollars apiece, and each child got her own Anna or Elsa plush doll.

Another twenty, and they put a little Olaf in a bag to take home to Cian.

Twenty-four dollars later, and the girls were drinking snow cones out of flimsy BPA-laden (right? I’m sure?) souvenir cups with lids and a bonus Olaf straw for five dollars (apiece) more.

I won’t add that all up. I can’t. I just…can’t.

10.20.14. Frozen. Middle of Set

But it was so funny. We were walking through the crush of people outside the show, elbowing past the tiny Elsas and Annas and a couple little Olafs (so cute! so sweet!) to get to the bathroom lines for the third time, past the moms in their skinny jeans and boots and dads in their sneakers and North Face jackets, all of us determined that this was going to be the best. family time. ever. I saw the magnetic strip on my bank card start to smoke, and watched David cry when I showed him the receipts, and looked at all of us, all of the families, all looking the same, in the sea of sparkly blue and white and blinking snowflake light-up wands. How much money was Disney making off this one show, I thought? Are the ice skaters happy, doing this hour after hour, time after time, or after the show do they slump around in some dive bar in town, chain-smoking Camels and tapping ash into their fake braids, driving up gambling debts so they don’t have to do one more jump on a rink filled with big-nosed trolls and a gigantic goofy-faced reindeer?

10.20.14. Frozen. Top of Set

And then the show started. And the kids hugged their dolls to their chests and the crowd oohed when the snow fell and the pyrotechnics fired. And Elsa did her dance and the entire arena filled with thousands of tiny voices singing “Let it Go,” and I will totally and completely admit that I teared up because a) I am a sucker and b) there are few sounds better in this world than that of tiny voices singing.

(“Let the storm rage AAAAAAAAAHHHHH!”)

And then it was over. And we took the girls down to the ice so they could see the set up close and we went to the bathroom for the fifth time, three people in one stall, and Quinlan cried because she didn’t want to wear my sweater into the cold to the car because she got snow cone all over hers and it was soaked with neon blue sugar water. And the girls talked happily about their favorite parts and fell asleep in the car hugging their dolls to their chests again, and we tucked them into bed way too late and wept some more over the bank statement but you know what?

People who don’t usually spoil their kids sure do have a heck of a lot of fun when it does come time to spoil them, just a little. Especially when the kids wake up the next day talking about it. Especially when the children don’t ask ask ask for more beyond what they’re having for breakfast. Especially when they’ll sit down in the family room in the afternoon and build a snow fort for Elsa and Anna and Olaf to play in, all three kids telling the story together, the memory of the fake snow and the fireworks and songs still in their heads.

(“Let the storm rage AAAAAAAAAHHHHH!”)

It was great, and I’m really glad we did it. For them, I mean. Of course, I meant for them. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a sudden urge to braid my hair over one shoulder and twirl around my kitchen.

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Isn’t that odd?




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