I know this will shock some. I may be called a humbug. UnAmerican. A disappointment to bloggy readers everywhere. And yet, I feel compelled to share the ugly truth: I HATE PARADES!!!
Now, don't get me wrong. I have fond memories of Christmas Parades as a child. Standing on the curb, making up dance routines to go along with the bands, picking up the occasional piece of candy. I even enjoy the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Rose Parade...as long as I can watch from the comfort of my warm, crowd free home.
Why do I feel the need to share this? Because tonight we were given the opportunity to participate in our city's annual Christmas Parade. Our Student Leadership Association from the tutorial entered and decorated a float and since Football Boy is a member, he was VERY involved. He helped plan, build, and decorate and then they asked Tigerfan if he would drive. Sounded like fun, right?
Now, maybe I should tell you my recent parade history. We live near a small town that proclaims itself the "Strawberry Capital". Every year they have the annual Strawberry Festival and parade. I have taken my children twice. You must get there early, park blocks and blocks away, sit on a tiny spot on the ground where everyone walks all over you and then watch as beauty queen after beauty queen after beauty queen drives by in convertible after convertible after convertible (we are in the south, you know)! It is hours long...okay, to be honest I don't know how long it is because I have never made it through the whole thing. Once the kids lose interest I willingly jump up and begin the long trek back to the car.
Then there was the parade 7 years ago in Gatlinburg, TN. It was a BIG deal. We could hardly find a Hotel room that weekend because of all the people coming to see the parade. You had to get to the parade HOURS early just to get a spot. It was FREEZING even with long underwear and full winter wear. The parade started late. The hot chocolate was cold and the parade was LONG! I still have nightmares, people!
So, I am not sure why I willingly signed up for tonight. But I knew I had made a mistake when I called the teacher that heads up the SLA to find out that we were entry number 269. Yes, you read that right 269! People told me it couldn't be true. People said that there were only 120 entries. I am telling you...there were probably 300...and yes, we were 269. The parade started at 6:30, we finally started moving at 7:30. It was cold, although, to be honest, once it started, we were in the warm cab of the truck.
And who, you may ask, was in this parade? Well, let's see. One Radio station had one or ten of their mobile units entered. One station, many cars...it isn't right, people! There were three tow trucks, a pick up truck with nothing but a back full of hay and the name of an insurance company on the side. A man in a kilt (at least I didn't have to wear a kilt). There were the obligatory beauty queens, kids dressed as packages and even one vehicle draped in garland and the name of a business written in shoe polish on the windows. Apparently, the one and only requirement to be in this parade was mobility.
To make it worse, as we were stuck in this line, in a most undesirable area of town, with nowhere to go, my MIL called to say that Tigercub had 104 degree fever and was jumping or startling every few minutes. I just about came unglued.
At the end of the parade, L, the teacher over the SLA began discussing next year's float. I am pretty sure I have unalterable plans for the first Monday in December next year.