Last week I shared some adventures that my younger son, Quinn, and I had while we were in New York following his older brother on a band tour. Before I lay that chapter to rest, I just have to share one more NYC incident, because it’s so ridiculous it seems like it came straight from an old I Love Lucy episode.
Due to the fact I don’t want to coddle my kids (and because I’m notoriously cheap) I told Quinn that we’d take the Long Island Railroad (AKA the LIRR for New Yorkers in the know) to JFK instead of a cab or car service. This meant in order to catch a 10:55 a.m. flight we had to get up at 6:30 a.m., walk a couple of blocks to the 50th Street 1, 2, 3 red line subway stop, take that downtown to Penn Station, where we’d catch the 7:39 LIRR train to Jamaica station, and then connect with the Airtrain to get to the Delta ticket counter in Terminal 3 at JFK. All while carrying luggage.
Yes. That’s how smart I am.
Not the NYC Train Ride I Expected
To be fair, we did travel light; one rolling bag each and one carry-on. It wasn’t that bad…except when we had to negotiate the stairs in all these stations. Although the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 dictates that all public places must provide ramps and/or elevators as alternative ways to get to different levels in places like NYC train stations, it didn’t say those alternatives had to be anywhere near where people actually want to go. So instead of taking the time to find the elevators and safely navigate these NYC stations, Quinn and I schlepped our bags down narrow staircases that were built 100 years ago when people had little feet (hence, the steps are shallow).
In spite of my large suitcase, I hung onto the handrail on every staircase, EXCEPT for one. We had a platform change at Penn station and therefore had to run up one staircase and down another to catch our train. On the way down the stairs to the new platform I did not hang onto the handrail. So of course, I tripped and dramatically fell with my legs shooting up in the air like the fountains at the Bellagio in Vegas. For my finale I violently bumped down every concrete step ON MY ASS, while my bag propelled down the stairs ahead of me like it was shot out of a cannon.
Can I command an audience or what?
Clean-up on Track 19
I landed at the bottom of the staircase dazed, out of breath, and grateful that I had not peed my pants. (Thank god no one was in front of me.)
But the worst, and most mortifying fact, was that since it was rush hour the staircase was full of men in business suits, all of whom came rushing over to help me. This was NOT how I wanted to meet guys. Suddenly I was the center of attention, when all I wanted to do was disappear.
As they helped me up, I quickly realized that my whole body was in pain. I’ll just save you the gory details and cut to the chase. I broke my tailbone, which was unfortunate timing since I was about to get on a four-hour non-stop NYC to SLC transcontinental flight. And to add insult to injury (literally), this particular flight turned out to be the screaming baby express (for which I had little patience, because I’ll have you know my children were PERFECT when they were little). And recall last week was when that category 5 tornado devastated Oklahoma, which meant the cross-country weather on the way back was dicey. As a result the flight was so turbulent my ass just assumed I had decided to ride the Six Flags Magic Mountain Apocalypse all the way home.
So as I write this I’m sitting on an episiotomy donut that I dug out of the basement. Why I kept this thing, I don’t know—but I’m glad I did. Because as it turns out, I now have months to perfect the art of learning how to gracefully sit sidesaddle while driving a stick shift.
Thanks NYC. That’s a souvenir I’ll never forget.
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Stacy Dymalski is the host of the hilarious TV talk show “Mother Bloggers” on FirstRun.tv. She’s also an award winning keynote speaker and stand-up comic who gave up the glamorous life of coach travel, smokey comedy clubs, and heckling drunks for the glamourous life of raising kids (who happen to be bigger hecklers than the drunks). This blog is her new stage.
For more of Stacy’s comedy check out her book Confessions of a Band Geek Mom available in bookstores and on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.