Things To Do With A Thousand Dollars

An oldie from a trip to the Smithsonian. 

As someone who regularly watches Project Runway with her children, and someone who brought those same children to the bar area at Houlihan's a few weekends ago just so she could watch a Chiefs game, I probably shouldn't judge other parents about their family's recreational choices.

And yet.

Not that long ago, I got into a conversation with someone who also lives in our pricey area on a not very big budget. (For my local readers, this person does not live in town and we're not friends on Facebook, so you don't know her. Promise.) I was lamenting that we don't get to do half as much as I'd like, family-activity-wise, because of the sheer cost of museum memberships, getting into the city and whatnot.

I mean, should our budget ever get bigger, it will probably all go toward seeing more Broadway shows, going to more museums, spending more time at the Bronx Zoo and visiting Books of Wonder on a regular basis. This may be why our budget never seems to get bigger.

Anyway. The person I was talking to, after mentioning how they'd probably spent over $1000 at Six Flags over the summer (!!), had never taken her kids to the city for anything other than a few dinners. So I said, "Oh? Do you prefer to stay in Jersey and go to Liberty Science Center and stuff out here?"

The truth is, while very few places can beat New York City for historical, cultural and artistic attractions, we do have some cool stuff right here in Jersey. Just as I was chiding myself for being all snotty about my home state, though, my conversation partner confessed that she'd never felt like she could afford anything out here either.

Which I would totally get, except that she'd just confessed to dropping over $1000 on three trips to Six Flags over the summer.

And I also get that not every family's idea of a fun time is traipsing through a natural history museum - my kids will probably not see an opera until they can pay for their own tickets, for example - there is a magazine entirely devoted to things to do in New York City, for God's sake.

They could have skipped just one of their Six Flags trips and gone to the Bronx Zoo AND Liberty Science Center, you know. Like, if you only want to visit Six Flags for your recreation, why live so close to NYC and pay our exorbitant tax rate and deal with the damn crowds all the time? Of course, I think you can find great museums and sites in most parts of the country, but somehow it seems worse willfully ignoring all the things to do here.

I know I'm being horrible and judge-y, but I can't help it.


Tracie Nall said...

I would have been equally as judgey in that moment...especially as I would LOVE to live near New York and have access to all the amazing culture and educational opportunities.

StephLove said...

We live in the suburbs of DC and don't get into the city as often as I'd like, but I'd probably wonder about anyone who lived here and never did, too.