There’s a fair in the city that a bunch of us town kids go to every year. It’s one of those big ones with cotton candy and a ton of fried food and the ridiculously rigged games and, of course, gobs of hurl-worthy rides.
Every year that we’ve gone, I’ve been in search of my perfect ride partner. The ideal ride partner has to:
-have the same favorite ride as you and want to ride that one over and over and over
-have a similar stomach (ie. you both feel like you’re going to puke after about the same number of rides, so you don’t mind taking a break together)
-willing to hold your hand on the scariest rides (ride hand holding is generally considered platonic if the ride feels especially life-threatening-which most of them do)
-doesn’t mind you screaming their ear, and/or screams just as loud as you do
It’s taken years of searching. Em had the same favorite ride as me-the rollercoaster where you ride in a mouse and it spins you around so that your facing backwards for part of it-but she felt pretty pukey after just a couple of rides, and she was scared of some of the big ones that I wanted to try. Lis screams just as loud as I do-and swears like a sailor-but her favorite ride is the big drop ride, which is the one ride that terrifies me so much that I almost pee my pants every time (it’s really not cool how long they keep you up there waiting for the drop. Every second feels like an hour when you’re waiting to plummet to your death).
Last night, I finally found my perfect ride partner. Tim was someone that I didn’t really know well because although he goes to the Comp, he didn’t go to my junior high school. I had talked to him at parties before and had always admired his sense of humour, but last night we discovered that we are ride soul mates. We rode the mouse rollercoaster over and over, sprinting off the ride when it ended so that we could get right back in line. We road all the crazy puke-worthy rides together-screaming equally obnoxiously the entire time-and both dizzily agreed that we needed a water break after stumbling off of the egg beater. He held my hand on the drop of doom, and even in the campy haunted house. Best of all, when we were forced to share a bumper car, he let me drive. Ride partners really do not get more awesome than that.
If you haven’t hit a fair or amusement park yet this summer, just do it. Regardless of your enthusiasm for rides, with the right partner it can be amazing. I love everything about the fair: the smell of carmelized sugar and grilling corn dogs, the twinkling lights giving everyone’s faces this warm glow, and the feeling when the ferris wheel reaches the top and the view of the shining city makes you catch your breath. Nights like these positively sparkle, even in my memory.