Most days I am a responsible adult doing my best to follow a strict regime of diet, exercise and not too much TV.
But for one brief magical moment in time, that all changed. I turned into a kid again.
I went to the fair.
Despite the fact the cute little girl at the ticket booth looked at me long and hard, no doubt trying to decide if I could be her grandma and charge me accordingly, I felt like a kid from the time my sparkly sandals hit the dirt of midway.
The fair, with its potpourri of rides and screams and laughter and rows of games of chance, is a delightful assault to the senses. For one thing there are the people; lots and lots of people spilling out of the midway, filling the stands at the pony chucks, screaming in delirious excitement as they ride on a five-minute crest of terror.
There are the food booths offering food at ridiculous prices that responsible adults such as I with an ounce of self-discipline should avert their eyes from.
I didn’t, of course. I looked. I bought. I ate.
And then there are the booths offering prizes that dangled in front of poor unsuspecting fair-goers such as I like eye candy.
And, of course, there are the fortune tellers who could tell you in 10 minutes and so many dollars where your life was headed and in 20 minutes tell you how to get there. And there was the cheap jewelry, so dazzling and beautiful, it had me digging in my purse to see if I had any change left over from the food booths I had already frequented.
“Stay away from that fair,” my brother warned me every year it came to town. “You’ll just be throwing away your money.”
I loved my brother. Always have. Always will. But, sometimes, I found it best to give him a hug, blow him a kiss and then simply ignore him.
“Want some cotton candy?” my sister asked, holding aloft her puff of pink delight.
I thought about salads and fish for supper. I thought about B vitamins and green tea and pumpkin flax and skim milk and checking labels for fat content.
And then hesitantly, in a lady like delicate way, I carefully detached a tiny bit of the pink fluff with my fingers and let it dissolve in my mouth.
That was it. I was done.
As the candy dissolved, so did my thoughts. Before I knew it, I was cramming handfuls of the sticky, sweet stuff into my mouth and then licking my sticky fingers like there was no tomorrow.
And that was not the end of it.
Before the night was over I had consumed copious quantities of fudge, almost a whole bag of those little melt in your mouth donuts, a good portion of an elephant’s ear and a huge hamburger and an order of greasy fries. Of course, to appease my guilt, I washed it all down with a Diet Coke.
But as I waddled back to the truck, half a packet of those sugar donuts clutched in my sticky fingers, I was absolutely, positively happy.
A little sick, perhaps, but happy.
And now I’m back. Salads. Exercise. Working hard. Working out. It’s all good.
But, I’m glad; so glad, that one summer’s night not so long ago, I regressed very badly and ate cotton candy and a whole bunch of other really bad stuff and allowed myself the absolute delight of laughing hysterically with my sister over nothing very much at all.
Shared laughter, cotton candy, a star-studded night in summer. For me, it’s not a bucket list thing. But maybe it should be.
I don’t think it gets much better!