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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Moscow STATE? Circus

DO you remember wanting something soooo much as a child? I do. And I still remember the one thing I really wanted but never got-a snoopy snow cone machine. It must have made my list for YEARS running, but never appeared under the tree. And now, just for the sake of all those other adults deprived of the joy of owning a Snoopy snow cone machine, they have reintroduced it. Somehow, I don't see myself getting one now either, but this time it's because I understand the limited enjoyment it would bring, and I'd rather use my ice cream maker, LOL.

This past Saturday, my daughter had one of those moments where she wanted something with all her heart. (And no, I don't believe children should get everything they desire-not even by a long shot, but sometimes, it's just fun to be able to make their dreams come true. Even God in the Bible talks about giving good gifts.)
Anyway, Mimi wanted to go to the circus. See, this past spring, we had tickets to the Shriners circus that my step-dad bought for our family. The week-end it was held was not a convenient one, but I tend to let guilt dictate my life, and so I felt compelled to HAVE to go even though we did not ask him to do this for us. We drove over an hour down there, and because of construction at the facility it was at, it's start was delayed. A LOT. Always good to punish the punctual for the sake of the tardy (yes, that's sarcasm), but that's another blog entirely. When the circus FINALLY started, we were only able to stay for one act as I had a concert I had to be at and we had to leave. My kids were great about it, but apparently that limited exposure left Mimi wanting more. (What almost 8 years old girl can resist someone twirling over 100 hula-hoops or doing tricks with Pomeranian puppies?)
Well, in the mail about 2 weeks ago, we got buy-one get one free coupons for a circus that was coming to our town. Mimi paraded them in to me Saturday morning and said, "Mommy, can we go...PLEASE????" So I looked at the date. Oops! They were for THAT DAY. My first instinct was to say NO!, but since her birthday is this Friday, and she really wanted to go, I told her we'd look at the website. YIKES! Tickets were $22 for adults and $8 for kids. No wonder they were buy one get one. We asked Daddy, who said for that kind of money he'd rather we go see Ringling when they come to town, so it looked like all was lost.
Mimi has been planning this elaborate birthday party that I just could NOT get my head around trying to make happen. I was desperate for an "out" that did not involve squashing her creativity, so I spoke to daddy privately and asked if he would go for me taking a SMALL group of girls from church to the circus IF Mimi would agree that that would take the place of this elaborate party, and we would just have a smaller party at a local park for all her friends. Boy, did she have to think HARD about that. But in the end the draw of the circus won out. So I set about trying to round up this small gaggle of girls for an event taking place 5 hours from then. It must have been a God thing, because they could all come. AND, my friend Aunt Fanny came to keep me company and help me laugh at...I mean enjoy...the acts, LOL.
I felt bad at first about posting this, since I know so may of our friends read this blog, and if money grew on trees (and I had had a little more notice) I would have loved to take ALL the girls, but your daughters are no less loved by us if we didn't take them, we just used the church girls (and our neighbor R who will be in school on Friday) as a place to draw the line so we could still make the mortgage payments.
Going up the bleachers, Mimi commented that this was her BEST BIRTHDAY EVER...and that was before the show ever started. She was REALLY psyched!

Here are the girls just before the show began.

I have to share some funny pictures and some funny observations too:
First, the entire cast is only about 10 people...and that includes the tech guys. The Ring Master was also a trampoline jumping clown who also set up and broke down his trampoline WHILE MC-ing. He was great, but the lack of personnel and thus the double duties of the cast and crew kept Aunt Fanny and I laughing.
Ring Master/Clown/Trampoline Artist/Salesman

The hula hoop lady had them hoist her up in the air in her thong (thank goodness the hula hoops cover a lot) and she twirled while elevated. Did I mention that she was "hoisted" literally by 3 guys on the other end of the rope. It was funny to watch them lower her down as their speed accelerated with every forward step they took...Oh, and she doubled as the face painter before the show and at intermission.

This picture is of "Princess" Anastasia who balanced a sword on her forehead and then climbed up and down the ladder. Then she did it with a bowl of flowers on top of the sword. Then...FIRE in a bowl on top of the sword. WOW. At least that was the girls's genuine response. As for me, I was most impressed that she could climb the ladder in HEELS and without looking. AND, my neck hurt just watching her hold hers back for so long. Oh, and did I mention she also was the trapeze artist...except with only one person, it really makes her more of a "big swing high up in the air" artist, LOL.

The FUNNIEST part was how they, after charging such ridiculous prices at the door, still felt the need to push every conceivable thing to buy inside. First, when you entered, there were jumpy houses. They were $3 per jump per person, or $10 per person for an unlimited use armband. THEN, they were selling popcorn, nachos, drinks, and cotton candy. And TOYS...inflatable ones, light up ones, you name it, they were trying to sell it. The ring master even pushed the light up toys during the show. Did you know they had a "Pirates of the Caribbean" light up sword with real sword fighting sounds??? Well they do, and of course the circus is the perfect place to sell it. And the light up spinning globe that plays the American Idol music. And he demonstrated all this through his lavaliere microphone. TOO funny. They also had the face painting I mentioned above. Being frugal, I did buy one cotton candy for the girls to share, but when they asked about face painting, I told them I love them all just as much as I love my own kids so my answer to them was the same as I would tell my kids...NO! But Aunt Fanny, ever creative, whipped out her pressed powder and lipstick, and the girls squealed in delight.

Cost of using makeup from AF's purse to do our own "face painting"? NOTHING

Memories from the girls getting their faces' painted? PRICELESS

Just a few more comments as this is getting LONG. The funniest thing they were selling by far was pictures with Sponge Bob and DORA. but this was not just regular Dora, this was elephantitis Dora. Not intentionally, but because they obviously used the child of one of those 10 cast/crew members to wear a costume that was meant for a short adult. And it showed. I HAD to take a picture. It still makes me giggle.

Elephantitis/no neck Dora:

And something was wrong with the nose on the costume. It's hard to see, but it was a small bead of hard shiny plastic, and from a distance, I thought at first that Dora had a nose ring. I still can't figure out why it looks that way, but it was much weirder in person than these pictures show:

Two more things. First the name of the circus was the Moscow State Circus. When did Moscow become a state, either here or THERE? Just a question...

Lastly, I really do love these girls, and all of our friends' kids. They are like extended family, and some of them have literally grown up in front of my eyes. This one here, Aunt Fanny's oldest, has just so become a pretty young lady with her own sense of style and (and idea of what is funny/embarrassing behavior, LOL). I wanted this picture without the food in it, but by the time the camera compensated for the low light, there was the food time and time again, LOL. Gorgeous, isn't she? She has a supermodel type look going for her.

Oh, and the food leads me to one last thought. I told Mimi that we would not have a cake at the circus as there just wasn't enough time to pull that off. She was fine with that, but of course as we were leaving, and after sitting through them hawking every imaginable food through the whole show, the girls were hungry. SO what does Aunt Fanny produce, but peanut butter bars in her car from the night before, LOL. They were no worse for wear after their over-nighter in the car, and so that became the birthday cake.

And the circus really wasn't bad at all. The girls loved it, and so did Aunt Fanny and I, just for different reasons, LOL. For something that came to our little town, it really was pretty good. But the best thing was it was my little girl's dream come true.
Oh, and Mimi STILL thinks it was her best birthday ever.


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Tiffany said...

Hurry and finish this! I am so tempted to jump in and finish for you!

Lisa said...

I LOVE that you gave Mimi a memory for her Birthday! Too sweet...

Clunn Family said...

I love giving good gifts to the kids too...they bless me and I like to bless them! Jeff took me to a movie on Tues. and as we were walking out the door I said, "There might be a little treat up in my closet". All squeals and running upstairs ensued whilst we off to the theatre. I had put a new wanted movie with three packets of Twizzlers in a basket so they could have movie night too!