May 142012

I spent my entire Saturday moping around, looking at old pictures, and generally stewing in my own brand of self-inflicted malaise. But, I needed that: one full day of letting it all sink in and crying about it to the point of choking. Everyone needs a good cry, and my good cries kept getting getting truncated last week by work and things like, oh I don’t know, having to be a “mom.” So Saturday was devoted to remembering my cat Don, crying over his death, and also mourning other things that happened to come up in the wake of Don’s death, like the summer of 2002, which was apparently a better summer than I gave it credit for originally. (I was openly in love with Henry, according to my old LiveJournal entries!) I guess there were also a little bit of growing pains thrown in there too.

Moving on can feel like torture sometimes.

Meanwhile, Henry cleaned the house and brought me fro-yo with all my favorite weird Asian toppings. And cheesecake bits. He always insists on thinking I like cheesecake bits on my froyo. (For the record, I don’t, but I’ll eat it anyway.)

When I woke up on Mother’s Day, I thought to myself, “No. I’ll be damned if I’m sitting in this house for two days straight and pouting.” So I started looking for things to do, and somehow I ended up on the Delgrosso’s Amusement Park website where I saw that not only were they open for the season, but MOMS RIDE FREE ON MOTHER’S DAY. I couldn’t really think of anywhere else I’d rather be that day than on the Wacky Worm, miles away from heartache and Real Life. Goddammit, if happiness wasn’t going to come to me, then I’d just have to go to it. And it just so happened it was only 2 hours away.


Henry was in the kitchen, washing dishes, when I ran in and collided into him, waving my phone in his face.

He smirked at me and said no. “Delgrosso’s is two hours from here! And the weather is shitty. I’m not driving all that way to get rained on.”

So I checked the weather in Altoona and it said it was going to be 70 degrees and mostly sunny with scattered showers. I waved this in his face, too.

He started to say no again, so I forced my eyes to rain salty droplets of despair and disappointment.

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“After everything I’ve been through! I just want to be HAPPPPPPY!” I can only imagine how ugly and snot-bubbly that scene was.

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Then I sent Chooch in to remind him that it was Mother’s Day and now mommy is crying and wants to kill herself, good job. This all started around 9:30AM. By 10:30, everyone was showered, dressed and in the Delgrosso-bound car.

Henry even let me listen to Emarosa and talk about Jonny Craig for the entire car ride. Like that’s anything new. (And like he even had a choice, Mother’s day or not.)

Right outside of Tipton, the small rural-esque town of Delgrosso’s, I checked the weather again. It had changed from sunny to 60 degrees with clouds of doom and gloom. I quickly hid my phone from Henry so he wouldn’t see and change his mind.


No, the clouds didn’t part and shit on us rays of golden sunlight, but the rain pretty much stayed away for our visit. And it was the best Mother’s Day of all time.



Henry wouldn’t ride the Wacky Worm at first, pretending that he had to pee and urging me and Chooch to go on without him while he killed time in the restroom. (Read: Cried about his SERVICE days of yore.) You might remember that he has a pretty staunch No Fun policy, especially when it comes to amusement parks and making girlfriends smile, but I think the last few weeks have made him feel bad for me, so he actually rode it one whole time without me having to cause a scene!


“This ain’t gon’ muss up my luscious McNichol locks, is it?”

I kept turning around in my seat to better cajole Henry into putting his arms up and holler like a madperson (you know, like me), but all he would do was smirk and give me that, “Don’t be a fool” look that I know so well. But that smirk kept twisting upward into a smile and I KNEW he was enjoying his spin inside that caterpillar’s caboose.

The best part was that Chooch insisted on sitting on by himself, and I didn’t want to sit with Henry, so we all sat separately. Henry was so angry about this; I guess he had banked on Chooch sitting with him to make him look less of a child roller coaster predator.


“For some reason, they put on the brakes right before it goes down the hill,” I pointed out to Henry. “They don’t do that at the Butler County Fair.”

“Yeah, because they don’t care about SAFETY about the fair,” Henry explained in his Dad Voice.

Or! The Mexican carnies just want us to have more fun.


One go-around was enough for the old man and his brittle bones, so he stood by the fence with all the other proud parents for all of our other wormy journeys.



And we finally got the front seat! Oh my god, Chooch and I were so obnoxious about it too. I kept shouting, “I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS OUR FIRST TIME IN THE FRONT SEAT AFTER TWO YEARS OF RIDING THE WACKY WORM!” and then Chooch would be all, “It’s not really that big of a deal.” But I was practically crying with joy as I peered at the sky through the caterpillar’s antennae when it began its ascent up the first hill. There is a metaphor in here somewhere.

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Something about a metamorphosis.

It’s the little things.


View from the top.

So much more to come.

  3 Responses to “Delgrosso’s, Part 1: Riding the Wacky Worm to Happiness”

  1. My favorite most Tolhurst part: “Henry was so angry about this; I guess he had banked on Chooch sitting with him to make him look less of a child roller coaster predator.”

    I really admire the way you’re dealing with Don’s death. You allow yourself to grieve and you actively seek out the happy. This is so healthy and awesome and I cheer you.

  2. When we had to put my dog to sleep, I cried the ugly cry from the day we decided to do it all the way through the day it was done, plus one more week. At work, at home, driving on the freeway; it was unsafe. Then there were, like, three more weeks where the tears randomly just started streaming. I wish I had a Wacky Worm to ride and make me feel better. All we get around here at the fairs (because we have no amusement parks) is a Puff the Magic Dragon ride and it’s for 3-year-olds. Henry might like it.

  3. Wow–great idea and I’m glad you had a wonderful Mother’s day. Your pictures are great and I hope it took your mind off of Don for a while. Laughter is great for healing.

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