I’m in New York City for exactly twenty eight hours to meet with Lucky jeans, more on that later.
What matters is… the princess is pregnant.
I don’t know what it is about Kate Middleton. Maybe it’s her pretty teeth, her shiny hair, the fact that we are the same size and could share clothes, or maybe because her wedding was the first historical event I forced my daughter to experience with me at 3am… I just feel a special bond with her, and there I was standing in the middle of Times Square explaining to Gigi why I wouldn’t let her pose with a slightly off-looking Mickey Mouse who smelled like vinegar and staph when it came across the giant Good Morning American ticker, and everyone cheered.
It was a like a giant flash mob but nobody sang or danced, we just all stood there spirit fingery and happy like, this is so exciting and we don’t even have a monarchy, OMG we should totally get one!
After that high, I felt invincible, so I ate some street meat, bought pants without trying them on, and got us tickets to check out the top of Rockefeller Center, you know, to see the tree and stuff. Except, spoiler alert, you can’t even see the tree from the top of Rockefeller Center, because the top of Rockefeller Center is in outer space, a fact I was tragically ignorant of until literally stepping onto the elevator and the guy being all, see ya on the 70th floor, losers, and me being all, whaaaa? And then the elevator doors closed.
It seems like there would have been more precautions set up before getting to this point. Maybe more signs that said, hey stupid, look up, this building’s way taller Jack Donaghy makes it look on television. Or, I don’t know, maybe bold print that says don’t let three year olds on the top of skyscrapers? I can’t bring my life coach everywhere, you guys.
The ride up is 45 seconds, the exact time it takes me to remember I don’t like that new show, The Neighbors, which pains me because while I adore Jami Gertz, alien intercourse makes me uncomfortable. My therapist has a whole file called Brittany/Cocoon/Temple Grandin Hug Machine. They try to distract you from the fact that you’re whizzing up into the atmosphere by playing a fun little laser show in the car, but I was more focused on whether or not you really expel all your body fluids when you die, and how many people were going to put the whole thing on youtube. Also, holy shit, Gigi. She remained upbeat and blissfully unaware that she should be afraid of anything whatsoever, even when I looked at the entire elevator of strangers and was all, hey can you guys help me make sure she doesn’t fall off? Nobody answered. Royal pregnancy jubilee? Over.
So, here’s something interesting, you can say you’re afraid of heights and like, not go off the high dive at the quarry or not sit by the window of a plane, but it’s hard to say you’re afraid of heights and find a place on the top of Rockefeller Center where you don’t feel like you’re about to die. I was shoved off the elevator and my entire body was paralyzed, literally stiff, save for my right hand that was squeezing Gigi’s so tight, it was sopping wet with sweat, allowing her to squeal with delight, slip out and run to the protective glass at the edge of the building.
This is where you find out how much you love your children. I tried, in vain, to like, call her like a cat stuck in a tree, chirping her name all fun, patting my leg, whistling, promising her all the crap in the giftshop if she would just come here, which she wouldn’t, fuck, I had to go get her.
I felt like Frankenstein learning to walk, hobbling over there all fire bad, unable to properly bend my joints or regulate involuntary body functions like blinking or exhaling.
I mean, it was pretty. You can’t be on the top of a building in New York City at night and not have some sort of Nora Ephron-gasm and be all, yeah, I’d still do Tom Hanks, but just because it’s pretty, doesn’t mean it’s natural, and this felt unnatural. This felt like I should have a will.
Finally, after walking (and I use the word walking loosely, because I have no memory of movement, I was like those people who sleep-drive cars on Ambien) around the entire thing with my fearless kid, I convinced her it was time to go, that we could see the tree and get ice cream and rent Hotel Transylvania for $17 and two blood transfusions back in the room.
Down the elevator, through the doors to the giant Christmas tree, lit not six days earlier in the presence of a one, Cee-Lo Green, to complete this whirlwind city holiday adventure.
I pick Gigi up into my arms, cuddle her close, ask a non-snatchy yet tech savvy looking woman to take our picture, and then…
Gigi takes one look at the tree and starts bawling, because it’s single handedly the most terrifying thing she’d seen all day. Of course it is.