I love to read, and my daughter suggested a book called The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Now I am not a fan of the circus so I am not sure that I would like it but its certainly worth a try. Just the title of the book conjured up my circus memories that were not all that great.
My first encounter with the circus was when I was about 7, my mother and dad were taking my sister and I to The Ringling Brothers circus for the first time. It was at the old Madison Square Gardens in NYC (I am giving away my age on this one). We were extremely excited. As an extra treat before the circus, we were going to eat out which we rarely did, since money was so tight. Both my mother and dad ordered pork. I have no memory of what my sister and I had. So we finished our meal and off to the circus we went. Our seats were so high up and I remember how scared I was looking down onto the circus arena from where we sat. We had all just gotten comfortable when my mother became violently ill, she got up and went racing down the steep stairs in search of the nearest bathroom. Not long after my father also became ill. Because of the circumstances my sister and I were left alone for most of the afternoon as my mother and father ran to the bathroom. Thankfully no one walked away with us. Needless to say there was no good memories about that day.
Years later my husband and I took my daughter to the circus at new Madison Square Garden and for four hours (I had forgotten how long it was) she complained. Well you guessed it she hated it and so did we. Then along came my son. When he was five he begged to go to the circus. By this time we had moved to upstate NY and it was playing at the Glens Falls Civic Center. YIKES the last thing I wanted to do go to another horrible four hours of circus hell but I knew he deserved to have the experience at least once. I decided it would be fun for just the two of us to go, so I picked him up after school and we went to a circus matinee. Remembering my childhood nose bleed seats, I was able to get us tickets in the second row right in the middle of all the circus action.
My son unlike my daughter loved every aspect of the event. I was seeing the circus in a whole new light and was thinking, wow, not as bad as I thought. The first two hours flew by. At the intermission we decided to get a snack. I had come directly from work to pick him up and had not eaten much all day and was starving. My son got some cotton candy and I got a big tub of popcorn. As we returned to our seats the circus parade was just starting. As each act walks around the arena they stop along the way and wave at the crowd. I was not paying any attention to what was going on because I was woofing down my popcorn like I had not eaten in a week. All of a sudden I hear everyone around me laughing, I look up, over, my giant tub of popcorn and see a clown directly in front of me mimicking me eating popcorn but in an extremely exaggerated way. My son could not stop laughing and I was totally embarrassed and tried to shrink down in my seat as far as I could for the next two hours. That really was the end to my circus not so fun. I will be fine with never, ever, going to the circus again.
So today I have an elephant ornament to celebrate my not so great circus experiences.