We Rochesterians have a lot to contend with as warm weather approaches. If we’re not floored by what the deer have done to our poor evergreens, we’re floored by the quotes we got to remove our dying ash trees. If we’re not wondering how we’re going to unveil our pasty skin to the public, we’re wondering how much liquor to bring into the changing room when we bite the bullet and buy a new bathing suit.
It’s not always easy living in our fine city. But there is probably no more perilous situation to navigate than the summer arts festival. Trust me, these fun-filled events are a real test of courage.
Parking can be a nightmare, especially if you roll out of bed at noon and particularly if you’re not keen on expending more steps than absolutely necessary to reach your destination. It’s also a nightmare because we love our festivals the way other cities love their football teams. In other words, the whole town shows up! While the turnout is a good thing, it’s also a bad thing for those of us doing the actual parking.
For the record, it’s never fun to park under pressure. Add a backseat full of antsy shoppers who are chomping at the bit to snag the best of the best, and, well, you’ve just upped the pressure to volcanic levels. Most likely, there’ll be shouting and venomous words, cruel accusations and head swatting. Park here! Park there! Park anywhere! You’ll wonder who these monsters are that you so kindly offered to take to the festival. You’ll also wonder if you can still have a good time with the ingrates.
What many women choose to wear at our festivals is a nightmare of a different sort. Yes, of course, we’re all thrilled winter is over and we can finally peel off our polar fleece. But do we really need to strut our stuff in skimpy tanks and Daisy Duke shorts? When it’s only 60 degrees out? Please, ladies! Don’t you care about the negative impact you’re having on sales? Festivalgoers are so busy gawking at you, they’re missing the whole point of the show: to buy cool crafts! And, geez, what’s with all the penny dropping? Isn’t wearing next-to-nothing enough? Must you bend over, too?
But crowds, parking and provocative clothing are nothing compared to the greatest festival challenge of all: sinfully rich, addictively delicious fair food. From the moment we step out of our cars, luscious grease molecules — dutifully carried by the heavenly breeze — burrow into our beings with the tenacity of a nana pushing seconds. Before we know what hit us, we find ourselves succumbing to one caloric bomb after another — funnel cakes, deep-fried Oreos, Italian sausage, chicken and waffles, corn dogs, and much, much, much, much more. Oh, the diet we just blew. Oh, the bloating that’s soon to set in. Oh, why?
I’ll tell you why: festivals are fun! And they’re even more fun when you Uber your way there, turn a blind eye to all the exposed flesh and forgive yourself for consuming more fatty foods in a day than you’ve had all year long.
Anne Palumbo writes this column for Messenger Post newspapers. Her email is avpalumbo@aol.com.