People can describe me in many ways. Such as. ‘That really nice girl’s husband.’ ‘Introvert.’ ‘The guy who occasionally runs the sound board at church.’ ‘The guy who needs a haircut.’ And, this Monday, in a stunning development, ‘the father of the two most well behaved children at the Mexican restaurant.’ I would like to thank our server for that compliment. Also, I would like to apologize to him again for spilling my water all over the place. Two words that have never been used to describe me, ‘City Person.‘
Over the last two days of my kid’s spring break we took the family to New York. We visited two museums, Times Square, Central Park, multiple restaurants, and (according to my phone) walked around 11 miles. At the end of our whirlwind tour, who was left standing and ready for more? This guy. Everyone else had tapped out. They were ready to go home. My eldest son was first. Admittedly he is not a city person either. I think he may have been done immediately after we saw the African mammals exhibit at the Museum of Natural History, which was the highlight of his trip. And the first thing we did. Then came my youngest. He is up for anything most of the time. Anything except for the naked statues in the European sculpture hall at the Met. We explained to him that the nude statues were “no big deal.” To which he responded, “It’s a big deal to my eyes!” By the time we were done viewing the impressionist paintings (which he was actually stoked about) he was done. We made our way back to the hotel and to a restaurant just north of Times Square, where the waiters and waitresses sing. It was at that restaurant when I realized I had won. My endurance had taken the day. I looked across the table at my wife and was astonished to come to the conclusion that she too was ready to call it a day. So, while the waitress sang a tune from Annie, I signed the check and relished the fact that it wasn’t me who was checking the time and train schedules, wondering when we could leave. Not this time. I was ready to take the walk over to the Empire State Building. Or maybe to show the kids Grand Central Terminal. Or perhaps to join the Hare Krishnas for a rousing number in Penn Station.
My wife loves New York. Several times a year she will visit with her best friend, spending the day seeing the sights and visiting hipster food spots. She doesn’t even care if it’s summertime, when New York City smells like a giant urinal in search of an even gianter urinal cake. For me to outlast her on a trip to the city is a big deal. I feel like I have won some sort of championship belt. I should probably be giving an awards acceptance speech. “First and foremost I would like to thank the makers of Google Maps for helping me navigate the subway system. Secondly, a big thanks goes out to the guy who gave up his seat so we could all sit together on the NJ Transit train. Last but not least, I would be remiss not to mention the genuine New York City subway rat that showed up during a lull in conversation, to the delight of all. Until next time, God bless, and goodnight.”