All throughout my teenage years, I fantasised what it would be like to go to Disneyland with a boy [one who actually liked me enough to hold my hand on rides like Small World and Pirates of the Caribbean]. Being in band and orchestra all my high school career afforded me a total of six trips to Disneyland each spring. The general theme of Cali trips in high school was, “So-and-so hooked up with so-and-so in a log on Splash Mountain,” or in other words, DRAMA.
Drama that I always secretly wished for a piece of, but never actually got.
Enter Poor Kyle. Poor, poor Poor Kyle. He puts up with so much from me. After years of my overly-romanticised notions of the way it should be to visit the Happiest Place on Earth with a boy, is it any wonder that Poor Kyle failed in practically every aspect?
It wasn’t even remotely his fault, either; he was doomed before he met me…
First of all, Poor Kyle is not a Disneyland virgin—he’d already gone with an ex-girlfriend back in high school [who, at the time, tagged along for a family vacation, which for some reason hurt my broken heart even more]. Being that I had never before Disneyed with a significant other, it was kind of awkward for me. I mean…did he cuddle with her on Small World? Did she hold his hand waiting in line for Indiana Jones? Did they sneak a kiss in between bites of gumbo from New Orleans Square? Such were the torturous thoughts I couldn’t seem to remove from my petty mind. Let this be a lesson to all you kids out there: Disneyland abstinence is the only way to go. Save your first romantic trip to Disneyland for someone you really love; your long-term partner will thank you later.
On top of all my foolish insecurities about not being Poor Kyle’s first, our debut trip to Disneyland together was accompanied by two other girls—children—who are adorable and sweet in every way.
Adorable and sweet in every way I am not, that is. They stole my thunder, and I can’t even be grumpy about it because, well, look at them:
I know, I know…you’ve never heard me talk so nicely about children before. That’s because these children are above average on all levels: friendliness, cuteness, personable-ness. Fetching little things, these two.
Anyway, they were so sweet and excited to be at Disneyland, their enthusiasm became contagious and the most fun we had ended up being when we were hanging out with them. The downside to that was Poor Kyle became so enamored with his nieces, he completely forgot he already had a wife [and a clingy one at that], instead becoming the protector, defender, and best best buddy of these two winsome little girls.
They fought over him on rides (fights in which I could barely hold my own. I mean, they have dimples; I have a butt-chin. They call him “Uncle Ky-ole,” I call him “Snookums.” [I don’t really call him “Snookums.] They were a shoe-in to win over me), they showered him with kisses, and they cowered into his shoulder on the Pirates of the Caribbean.
Basically, they got all the sweet action with their uncle, and I got to bond with my in-laws [who are splendid, by the way. Thanks guys, for a great trip!].
But I’m not bitter, because I decided early on in the day that Walt wouldn’t want any grouchy-pants people in his Land; and anyway, it was no big deal—I was at Disneyland, and I enjoyed every minute of it. Even—especially—seeing how fun it was for the kids.
And it helped me learn that Disneyland is still Disneyland, even without a ride on Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Haunted Mansion, Small World, the Matterhorn or Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.
It was certainly different from the other times I’ve walked the streets of the magical place, but every bit as fun.