the israeli day parade...then and now
(another "you know you are getting older when.....")
when you march as a kid in elementary school, you are all excited to see who is screaming at you (and you can even hear the people if they weren't screaming...now, i can't hear anything). Ari likes marching with the kids because he feels like the mayor of yeshivaville...(or maybe, it just makes him feel like a kid again....)
when you march as a kid in high school, it becomes a social thing...who can you see from camp(that is, if you go to camp, i was deprived so i lived vicariously through my friends who went to camp....)which boys you liked..etc. etc.
when you attend the parade as a single young woman, the experience becomes an entirely different animal. Parade viewing placement becomes key in the social experience. You needed to stand park side, because that was the "cool" side (and i am not talking about meteorogically cooler...). I tried explaining to son #3 (the one who isn't old enough to march yet) that we need to cross the street...we need to stand with the cool people...he doesn't get it. "mom, why don't you like the builiding side?" "because it's for losers," i replied, with no hesitation. When Ari asks who I saw, i always reply "only people trying to cross over to the park side..."
One year, a friend and I decided to be "parade marshalls." we even went for training to learn how to help people cross fifth avenue, how to get in touch with security (in those days, no cell phones...actually, in those days..no security either...) Anyway, we got to wear this really cool arm band which allowed us access to all parts of the parade-no questions asked. Needless to say, we walked up and down the parade route, didn't really do our jobs, but had a wonderful time. (the parade also went up to 86th street back then....then it was cut to 79th...now it is down to 74th ..before you know, we will be putting our parade shirts on, walking 3 blocks and calling it a day....
back then, you put on makeup and wore your cutest shorts...now, you put on makeup and wear your most slimming caftan..after all, it all becomes a game of who looks better..."she does have more gray than i do, right?" "man, he lost a lot of hair...how does that happen?" (wait a second, i married a man with no hair...and for the record, he lost his hair waaaay before he met me...so it is totally not my fault...the ulcer, on the other hand, is questionable..)
the parade becomes a day of catching up with people that you haven't seen in years, making you feel like you are back in college or even high school, making you forget that you are almost 40....unless of course, you aren't standing on the park side. and then you just feel like a big loser with a cute 9 year old boy.....