jetsetgreen

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Fighting City Hall

Dear Provo City,

You know I love you, we go way back. Every year we love going to the Grand Parade on the 4th of July. It's great fun for the kids and for watching the crowds.

This year, however, I'm not happy.

You see, you made it so that you can't stake a claim to a space before 3pm the day before in some areas, and before 5am on the day of in others. OK, OK, fair enough. However, you also made a rule that you have to have a PERSON with your stuff at all times. That means that if I set something out at 3:01pm or 5:14am, someone has to be with it. You've met my husband, he'd rather stick a fork in his eye than leave the house, let alone sleep outside.

Look, I'm a mom with two young kids. How, by the hammer of Thor, am I supposed to get a space on the parade route? I don't know anyone who can stay out all night and I'm not about to haul the kids down to the route by 5 am. Even getting there at 7 am with little people is absurd. Do I have to pay a college student to camp out all night? REALLY?

What, exactly am I left to do? My four year old can't see over the heads of people if the usual 7 person deep crowds are attending--and they most certainly will be that deep if we don't get there by 7am. The premium bleachers don't work for babies; I'm sure I'll get arrested when Proximo plunges to his death between the risers. Also, I have breasts, which make seats without backs TORTURE. Bleacher seating is outlawed by the Geneva Convention. Look it up.

Why, why can't I just get a little spot with a couple chairs that isn't in Payson and is on Center Street? Why can't I just leave it for a couple hours unattended?

I'm annoyed.

Maybe we should break up.


(Please don't leave me this way.)

24 comments:

Sue said...

I hate parades, except at Disneyland.

I like the IDEA of them, but the outdoor reality never quite lives up to the hope. It's always a bunch of non-decorated cars and skeazy looking horses. And sometimes a four wheeler or go-cart. At least, that's what the Oakley July 4th 2007 parade was like. It sucked.

Is that rude to say? Oh well. I can't help it. It really did.

Gritty Pretty said...

you've gotta come to the parade! just gotta!

Jenny said...

I just put my two kids in the stroller and walk up last minute to some nice shade tree where there are people and no one seems to notice. Also, the laurels in your ward (I only know this because mine are doing it and are saving me a spot this year) are probably camping out and they would save you a spot. Or I can have mine do it.

Adam and Kristina said...

Like Sue, I am un-American, and hate parades.

I had to laugh at this topic, because saving spots is a hot topic right now on an etiquette message board I belong too. Posters are appalled that people would camp out for a parade! And frankly, I can't blame them. See my aformentioned hatred of them.

Emily said...

I've been wondering if we should venture out and fight the crowds for this one. You sort of just confirmed a "no" for me, although I must say I like the new rule. I hate camping out for such things, but leaving chairs out the night before seems like cheating. I hope you find a good spot. Doesn't it seem like they should just make the parade route route, thus opening up more viewing space?

Emily said...

parade route longer

Rynell said...

This is why I haven't done parades since my brother (darn him) sold his house that was actually on the parade route. There is no point to me fighting crowds and waiting around with 3.5 kids in tow, 2 of which have pretty non-existent attention spans and are tired of the whole business before the parade even starts. There. You have my run-on sentence/diatribe about parade.

We're going to swim, BBQ and blow up stuff instead.

Bek said...

Sue just took my exact words. That is why I don't go to parades (except at Disneyland, where they are running a thousand times a day and you can always find a seat)...

I am glad that you attend. Bravo. We will be eating Nutella covered anything while still in our jammies. Not even the ward breakfast is enough to get me out the door. No siree...

Ryan and Susie said...

I agree with above. The parade route needs to be longer. I feel like a million people show up for this thing.

Also, with little one's you need to be up front or they can't see anything and they're miserable. In years past, we've been lucky enough to find an ok spot but it's always on the west side which is blazing hot around 10 am in 100 degree heat with the morning sun beating down on my poor babies. So this year I am determined to get a spot on the East side or Center St. If you think I'm staying with my stuff you're crazy. I'm almost 9 months pregnant and have babies at home. I'll just leave threatening messages on my stuff, that should work :)

Annette Lyon said...

I grew up with the parade as a normal part of the 4th. Now that I have kids, we've braved it ONCE. We even got bleacher seats. Do they even remember it? No. Guess they were too young. Darn it. I want them to have a great parade experience, so I may have to brave it again. But not this year.

ClistyB said...

Councilwoman, can you respond to this citizen, please...

'by the hammer of Thor' hee hee, how Norse of you!

La Yen said...

Isn't that why you have sisters? Serio. Sick the chollas on Center Street. No one will mess with them.

Or, just march up and down in your living room and throw some Smarties at Guille. Same diff.

sue-donym said...

This post makes me glad I quit my job. I have no guilt over the City's decision this year.

But I do feel bad for you though.

Don't break up with the City, please?

fijiangirl said...

I love parades and remember camping out with my family as a child for the Rose Parade each year but I agree with you about the two little ones by your self. Maybe you can just take El Guille and have a fun night of camping out with him and leave the baby with your hubby the homebody! Happy 4th

Likely said...

Break up. It's so over.

And move to Baltimore. Ya'll ain't seen a parade until you've seen the Baltimore All-Stars.

God Bless America.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=nGSjzejOs4c&feature=related

Rachel said...

If I had kids, they wouldn't leave the house to do anything fun until they were 18. You're such a trooper.

I quit going to parades once I realized all that standing around in the heat surrounded by sweaty people I don't know wasn't worth a few Tootsie Rolls scrounged off the ground. I hit the pride parade in Berlin, though. It was crazy fun in spite of the obvious lack of Tootsie Rolls.

Geo said...

What's better than watching the beauty queens* in the boiling heat is walking the parade route the night before the big event, to ogle the street campers.

(Nothing beats the novelty of the marching missionaries, though.)

Jill said...

Just wait until you have kids old enough to be in the parade. Then you don't really have a choice and you have to go watch.
Apparently, it's more fun to be in a parade than to watch one.

fijiangirl said...

So what happened? I'm dying to know? check out our blog to see how we celebrated the 4th.

Lindy said...

we just walked down to 9th east and center and got front row seats. yes, technically, the parade route is over but the bands and stuff keep playing, so it's all good.

Adria Sha said...

Yeah, I know exactly what you mean. I think the only people benefiting are the young and unencumbered.

We totally lucked out this year by showing up at 8:30 and finding a great spot on University. I'm so glad we went but I was dreading it for days.

jeff with a J said...

Just as soon as I finish with terrorism, I will return to the home front and fight these dimwits in city hall. How dare they restrict on the day we celebrate freedom.

cari said...

We are crazy and spend the night every year. Tradition. Whatever.
This year, two of my teenage sons we offered money to "babysit" people's spots close to ours. Last year they did it for donuts.
Maybe find yourself a teenager for next year.

Jake said...

Personally I am bothered by people who think that by virtue of depositing a chair or laying out a blanket that they are entitled to that space. If someone shows up to watch the parade and finds a nice spot where no one is sitting, but there does happen to be a blanket or a chair, why shouldn't they be able to move that stuff and claim it as their own?