Over dinner the other night, I brought up the subject of amusement parks. Maybe it was because the mound of mashed potatoes on my husband's plate reminded me of the Matterhorn ride at Disneyland.
“Don’t depress me,” my husband said. “Whenever you talk about amusement parks, it reminds me of the good old days, back when I was brave. What happened anyway? When did I become such a wimp?”
I wasn’t able to pinpoint an exact date, but I did know that his wimpiness had come on suddenly, without warning, and that it had shocked me.
Back when we were first married, my husband loved to go to amusement parks and ride on the most nauseating rides there. If people came rushing off a ride and were holding their stomachs and gagging into the nearest trash bin, he’d bolt over to that ride so he could be the next person in line.
The gravity wheel was one of his favorites. It was a monstrous wheel, similar to a giant, upright merry-go-round. It had little compartments where each rider stood and hung onto handles, and then the wheel would spin so fast, the centrifugal force would pin the riders to the sides of the wheel, making them unable to move.
My husband must have gone on that ride a dozen times, and each time, he emerged looking as unscathed as if he’d just stepped out of a health spa.
I, on the other hand, wouldn’t have allowed even one of my body parts to touch that torture device, even if I were chloroformed.
Another of my husband’s stomach-churning favorites was the pirate ship. It was nothing more than a giant swing, with everyone sitting in the ship as it swung back and forth, back and forth, until it finally went up so high, it began to make complete revolutions.
The first time my husband rode on it, he was as excited afterwards as a kid on Christmas morning. “It was SO cool!” he gushed. “Come on, go on it with me! You will love it! I guarantee it!”
Fool that I was, I allowed him to lead me onto that ship from Hades. After five minutes of sitting in it and going up and down, up and down, my stomach began to feel as if it contained an active volcano.
“How much longer does this thing last?” I groaned to my husband. “I’m not kidding you, I’m seasick.”
“Just relax and enjoy it. We’re not even over the top yet!” His smiling face told me that he actually was enjoying the ride. The man had to be a masochist.
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath in an effort to prevent the volcano in my stomach from erupting. “If this ship has a plank, I’m ready to walk it,” I muttered, groaning again. “Anything to put an end to this agony!”
It seemed as if the rides that made me turn the greenest were the ones that my husband enjoyed the most. Needless to say, he ended up going on the majority of them alone.
And then it happened. We were at the Rochester Fair one night and passed by the gravity wheel. “There’s your favorite ride!” I said to my husband. “I’ll stand here and wait while you go on it your usual three or four times.”
He paused and looked up at the ride, which was in its fastest spinning mode at that moment. Almost immediately, he took a step backward and clasped his stomach.
The shade of green he turned rivaled any of my own previous shades.
“Ohmigod!” he gasped. “I-I can’t even look at it! I feel like I’m going to hurl!”
I thought he was kidding. He wasn’t.
Quickly, he walked over to the pirate ship and watched that for a few seconds. He turned even greener.
“What’s wrong with me?” His expression looked frantic.
“Maybe all of your years of being married to me have turned you into me,” I said. “They say that married couples practically become clones after they’ve been married for a long time.”
Unfortunately, my explanation didn’t make him feel any better. “Great,” he muttered. “Before you know it, I’ll be crocheting afghans and wearing a dress!”
The last time we went to an amusement park, my husband rode on only two of the rides…the lake cruise and the kiddies’ train. He nearly went on the carousel, but changed his mind because looking at the horses going up and down made him too queasy.
I, on the other hand, rode on the loop roller-coaster twice.
So I guess my theory about married couples turning into each other just might be true. After all these years, I’m becoming more like my husband and he’s becoming more like me.
So while he’s crocheting his afghan, I figure I’ll slip into some coveralls and go change the oil in my car.
# # #
Sally Breslin is an award-winning humor columnist and the author of “There’s a Tick in my Underwear!” “Heed the Predictor” and “The Common-Sense Approach to Dream Interpretation." Contact her at: email@example.com.