So as my daughter's seventh birthday approached, it was clear we had to do a horse theme, which presented a conundrum: There are riding rings and stables around the area that will host birthday parties, and even a few pony purveyors who will bring one to your house for kids to ride. These options are, of course, rather expensive. I just have a really hard time dropping serious cash on little kid's birthday parties, and by "have a really hard time" I actually mean "don’t have the funds to do so."
Winston is due for more sessions.
She said this with a smile.
Do you want to buy a package?
I was flustered. I didn’t want to buy a package. I didn’t want to be spending thousands of dollars on another round of physical therapy for my five-pound Pomeranian.
Sure, uhh, How many sessions do we usually buy?
Let me take a look here … six.
I asked how much that would be.
One thousand, fifty.
She paused. I nodded.
Great. I’ll run it through.
She said this with a smile, a smile that made me wonder if she thought she’d said “Free.”
We call our little guy, Winston, our Problem Child, our Money Pit. As a puppy he broke his leg roughhousing with my brother. Seven grand later he’d undergone emergency surgery, had metal plates implanted into his leg, and was healing in a hard cast. During this time he also suffered from seizures, and despite the money we spent and the vets we visited, we never figured out why. He grew out of the seizures.
Last summer, I looked out at the audience while performing at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater and saw an entire row of people asleep. That’s what happens at 6:45 a.m. at the Del Close Marathon, an annual weekend-long improv marathon with more than 50 hours of continuous comedy on multiple stages. We were okay with this because we had also crammed a handful of Pittsburgh improvisers into a tiny New York apartment, saw some really great shows, and had a blast.