Saturday, August 27, 2011

North Idaho Fair

There have been years when we have gone to the fair 3 or 4 days of the 5 day event. Before we had kids, Arrty and I would walk every inch of the fairgrounds and eat every meal there for days. Then for a few years we took the boys to motocross on Wednesday and went to the rodeo with the whole family on Friday. This year, like last, we went only on Wednesday mostly because I won free tickets from Dave at Huckleberries. I don't know if we would have gone if not for those tickets. (Thanks again, Dave.)

It was hot Wednesday, so the kids and I didn't get there until around 3:00. We walked through all the barns and saw the animals. Of course Julianna loved them all, especially if they were "babies." The boys even held some little rubber boa snakes in the Fish and Game building. Around 4:30 we headed over to the grandstand to watch the motocross heats. It was in the shade, so it was bearable. Arrty met us there shortly after. Between 5:30 and 6:00 we decided to eat before the actual motocross races started. Arrty and the boys got ribs, which is a yearly tradition and has been for my dear husband since he was a teenager in 4-H. He's very sweet to share his ribs with the boys these days. I even ate one even though I don't usually like meat with bones. I headed over to the food court to get fish and chips, my yearly fair meal. But there were no fish and chips! That booth has chicken this year. So I got nachos. I know. That makes no sense since I wanted fish, but that's what happened. We also all ate Hawaiian Shaved Ice which is a glorified snow cone but soooo much better. I had blackberry and strawberry. Mmmmm. After we all washed the rib grease off our fingers, we walked back over and found seats for the motocross.

You know, if you've ever gone to a county fair, that it's a great place to people watch. My dad taught me to people watch a long, long time ago and I enjoy that as much as whatever event I'm attending. This year was a little different though. These four teenagers sat down in front of us, two boys and two girls. I noticed one girl right away because when she brushed her hair to the side she had a four leaf clover tattoo on the back of her neck. I have no body art, but find others' body art fascinating. A four leaf clover is a cool tattoo if you ask this Irish girl. Then I noticed that the other girl had tattoos, too. Her right arm was covered from the elbow to the wrist and her left arm had some writing that wrapped around right above her wrist. Now body art (and piercings, which they also had) is not the least bit surprising these days, but what surprised me was how young these girls looked. They were maybe 17. I didn't notice any tattoos on the boys. One looked about the same age as the girls and the other looked younger, like maybe 14 or so. He was sitting next to the girl with arm tattoos and I thought, "Oh, that's nice. She brought her little brother to the fair with her." Soon after I could tell that the girls were going to get snacks or drinks and asked the boys if they wanted anything. They didn't. Then tattoo-arms leaned over and kissed her "brother" right on the lips! Not in a brotherly way! What?!?!? He's a kid! She's way older than him! And pierced and tattooed so young! First of all, he was way too young to be kissing on girls like that. Secondly, he was way to young to be on a date. Thirdly, she looked way to "worldly" for him with his baseball cap and baby face. I was disturbed. Highly disturbed. I was so distracted by this "couple" that I hardly saw any motocross racing. After I got over my shock and the almost irresistible urge to move down to sit between them, I got down to figuring it out. So here's what I determined.

1. He must be older than he looks. Maybe he's 16 and just looks like he should still be with his mama at the fair.
2. She must be younger than she looks. Maybe she just turned 17 and looks older because of her mature haircut and body art.
3. Their tattoos are temporary. I came to this conclusion when I saw the one covering the inner arm of the boy. There are booths at the fair that sell temporary tattoos and these were all black and white and pretty simple. Yes, temporary. Phew.*
4. They are nice kids. Other than that original kiss and a little hand holding, there was no other public displays of affection. And they did seem nice to each other and their other friends who came and went over the few hours I studied them.
5. They go to church. Her tattoo said "Psalms 23."** And his said "familia." (Not that only church goers find family important enough to get a tattoo expressing that. Just my thinking at the time.)
6. I was maybe a little sensitive about the whole thing since the boy involved looked just a little older than Josh. Just a little. And here he was with a girl. By himself. Kissing. Yikes. Just Yikes.

So I left feeling like the situation was maybe okay. I didn't have to rescue that boy and take him to the "lost child" booth. He would make it home safe and sound and not too kissed up on and be able to wash off that tattoo. Here's hoping.

*Just to reiterate. I have no problem with body art...on adults. If you make a mature decision to ink yourself permanently that's completely okay with me. Just wait until you're old enough to make that important decision. I'm 39 and still haven't made such a decision. But my 40th birthday is coming up...
**Shouldn't it be Psalm 23? No "s." Just asking.


Katrina said...

I love people watching, too. When Paul and I have the time, we like to make up stories for the people--they can get very elaborate, with mob connections and secret superhero powers and who knows what all.

Can I come watch you get your 40th birthday tattoo?

kathy said...

"After I got over my shock and the almost irresistible urge to move down to sit between them", love this line! i didn't miss going to the fair this year. too hot. as far as tattoos go, i still haven't figured out what i would want to have permanently on my body. but i do like looking at other people's ink. i'd like to hear the story behind it, but rarely know someone well enough to ask.

Jen said...

Katrina, we definitely need to people watch together. I have got to hear these stories!

Kathy, I have to say, I was as close as I've ever been to asking a perfect stranger to explain their tattoos. Seriously. It was really close.

kathy said...

and it would have been so convenient, you know, wedged between them like you were.

Ada said...

I will go with you in March to get your first tatt and I will get mine finished. Shall we make it a date?

I missed the fair. I missed it bc I thought I would be in the hospital and bc when I wasn't I was so mad about not being in the hospital that I didn't leave the house. I also missed I miss our family Friday night at the fair. Thanks for sharing the stories.