Too Big for a Small World

26 01 2012

Two years ago, Santa Claus brought us tickets to the happiest place on Earth – Disneyland.  Right away the anxiety started in.  I’m going to be too big for the rides I thought.  I fully expected a lot of down time at the parks while the rest of the family had fun.  And of course the trip started with having to get on the plane.  I’ve never been friends with flying.  Something as big as a jumbo jet does not belong leaving the ground.  But before even that, there is the fight to wedge yourself into the seat.  The seats are so small that people of average size are uncomfortable.  But for me, I just spill out all over in every direction.  My shoulders are very broad to begin with, my reach is long and my gut does not allow for the tray in front of me to come down.  Half of me is in the aisle, the other half is on top of the poor bastard next to me.  You’ve been the recipient of this at least once I’m sure (and I’m sorry).  It’s a complete train wreck.  And then there is the wrestling with the seatbelt.  If I’m able to get it buckled, it’s uncomfortable as all hell and I spend the rest of the flight not able to take a full breath.  If I can’t click it, I have to swallow my pride and ask a stewardess for a belt extension.  That’s done in a secretive, shameful, under the breath kind of way and is akin to feeling like you are in the midst of trying to score crack.  After the harrowing flight experience, it was off to the park.

One of the first rides I went on at the park was the tea cups.  These had always been fun.  But literally I had to wedge myself between the cart and the center wheel.  This was not a good confidence builder and I remember thinking that this would be my first and last ride during the vacation.  Luckily and unbeknownst to me, Disney had actually retrofitted many of their rides so that people of all sizes could comfortably ride them and I was able to enjoy virtually everything in the parks with the exception of roller coasters.  I’m not trusting any harness to keep all of me locked in.

After several days I had made peace with Disney and it looked like my fears had largely been misplaced until it was time to board the boat for It’s a Small World.  When we got ready to board, they held us up for several boats and waited for a group of small Asian folks to come to the front of the line.  I knew right away what was going on here.  They were putting tubby on the boat with the little people.  My family was shown to the front row of the boat.  The tactical error here was that I should have sat directly in the middle.  Instead I sat on the left and the entire boat began to rock to that side.  When the boat launched and was no longer on the conveyer belt, then the real lurching to my side began.  Women behind me began screaming as the boat rolled further to my side.  It seemed that the taking on of water would be imminent.  Children were crying, even mine.  I quickly moved to the middle and the boat started to right itself.  But the damage had already been done.  People sat behind me white knuckled.  I hung my head in shame as the animatronics gleefully sang their jolly song.  Indeed it was a small world after all.  Way too small of a world to be this big.

“All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”
-Walt Disney

I look forward to getting down to the size I was when I was 14 -15 years old and a freshman in High School.  I look forward to being able to sit semi-comfortably in an airplane, buckle my seatbelt, put down my tray and relax a bit.  I even look forward to roller coasters.  But I don’t think you’ll ever catch me on It’s a Small World again.



6 responses

26 01 2012

you were always a good writer…very vivid.

i did not know that Disney said that…good quote.

26 01 2012

Thanks Rob. Disney was an interesting figure. I’ve always been fascinated by him. He made his fortune selling people a dream. From a business standpoint though he put together an amazing roadmap of how to achieve goals. Work hard and then work some more. Work all day and night if need be. He once said that he loved Mickey Mouse more than any woman in his life. The guy was completely driven. You get a real appreciation for it when you are there.

26 01 2012
michael molovinsky

i’m glad that for the most part you enjoyed the vocation, i enjoyed the post.

26 01 2012

Thanks so much. I’m hoping to enjoy it much more the next time around!

1 02 2012

I’m stealing your (Walt Disney’s) quote and posting it. So true for where many people are in life today. Very proud of you for starting this journey!!! It’s far too easy to continue down the road we’re on. Am hoping to learn more about healthy options through your experience.

1 02 2012

Thanks for the kind words. It’s easier than you think though. When your health fails you’ll do anything to make it better. It definitely makes it easier.

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