Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Sort Of Sacred Saturday Night

The birthday boy was a dear friend of my husband who I like quite a lot, but the second I got the invitation to his party I thought of twenty excuses that would save me from actually having to go.

My distaste for the party had nothing to do with him and everything to do with the fact that the party was on a Saturday night. 

Saturday nights are sacred. They are the nights I spend in sweatpants, curled up on the couch with snacks and my DVR, and they are the nights that I most often spend alone, my husband decidedly not sharing my weekend hermit ways.

But this was his closest friend. And while he rarely minds when I skip out on Saturday night plans, this time he just wasn't having any of my carefully constructed excuses.

Which is how I found myself on a Saturday night driving towards Lyndhurst, New Jersey and Medieval Times, where we were all supposed to relive our childhoods while watching knights joust on horses, or some such thing; the problem being, of course, that no portion of my childhood ever included a trip to this auspicious venue, so there really was nothing to relive.

The lobby of the castle was filled with high-backed, comfortable looking velour chairs and I spent a minute wishing I could pass the next couple of hours sitting on one of them, but then the doors opened and we were led into the cavernous room, escorted to our ring-side VIP seats, and then the show began. There were knights and horses, jesters and jousting, and an announcer doing a passable job of nailing the Middle English.

It all started with a faint tickle in my throat. Then my nose started to run, my arms, legs and face started to itch, and the tickle in my throat caused a cough so frequent that the people in the row in front of us started turning around to see what all the commotion was about.

I waved at them that I was fine, but it was about that time that I started wheezing and struggling to take in full breaths. And then I noticed that my itchy arms and legs were actually covered in bright red, angry looking hives.

Something was obviously not right, and as the loudspeaker erupted in an announcement that the "race portion of the evening" was about to begin I realized exactly what it was. The horses. I was allergic to the horses. I knew before that night, of course, that my reaction to horses was frighteningly close to anaphylaxis, but I was sitting far enough away from the actual ring that I figured I wouldn't have to worry.

Clearly, I figured wrong.

I stumbled out of the hall into the deserted lobby. After a few minutes with my eyes closed my breathing seemed better and I felt like I was probably out of the danger zone, but God himself couldn't have forced me back into the show.

So I sank into one of the velour chairs and spent the next ninety minutes alone, grateful for my habit of carrying romance novels in my bag wherever I go.

Not exactly sacred, but not at all bad.


  1. OK, first, the horse allergy thing is terrible. Second, I can't believe you have a horse allergy story after the post I wrote about horse allergies. Third, I thought my husband was the only one I know allergic to horses. Fourth, I grew up 2 towns from Medieval Times and now live 1 town away, and yet I've never been there. Fifth, I can't believe you were that close and I didn't know. Sixth, you're still not that far even when you're home and we haven't met up which also makes me sad. Seventh, we should fix that.

    1. I also thought it was so uncanny that you, Samantha, actually had a horse allergy story to tell after Michelle's post!

  2. I'm glad you recovered so quickly. And that you had an excuse to get out of the party and read.

  3. wow. that is scary!! thankfully you realized.. and then had a good book! i'm never without one as well. and really, medieval times or sweats curled up next to hubby? you knew right from the start. ;)

  4. Wow--I am glad you didn't need an epipen or something. But I guess that you sort of got what you wanted, huh?

  5. I have never heard of someone having an allergy to horses and even so I would never have thought that being in a big arena would have caused a reaction! That's a pretty severe allergy! Thank goodness it wasn't worse for you!

  6. Glad you were ok, and that being curled up with a book worked out well for you. The place itself sounds pretty cool. I don't think there's anything like that near me, but a Renaissance Fair does come through once a year.

  7. wow I have never heard of an allergy to horses! How scary!!
    And every time I heard medieval times I can't help but thing of Jim Carrey!

  8. YIKES that had to have been quite a scary moment!!
    We went to Medieval Times for Easter a couple months back. First time there. It was interesting and fun and pricey. My husband, who is deathly allergic to walnuts and dust and cats and etc, was ever so grateful when the show was over and we could GTFO. I'd never heard of someone being allergic to horses but he is, too. Just not as much as you.

  9. You and me, we're bicoastal twins. I'd hang out in solitude with ice cream & TV or a book any day.

  10. I would have probably actually died as a child if I were allergic to horses. That aside, curling up alone beats going to a crowded place ANY day of the week! (I can't believe you wrote this in the wake of Michelle's post, either. It's so perfect it's freaky.)

  11. Oh my! So scary!!!! II like your hermit habits. I tend toward that way myself, especially if I have a great book (or any). I knew you'd have a book in your purse ;-). Never leave home without it (one of my favorite mottos!)

  12. How scary! I love how much you love your life and were willing to step out to support your beloved. It takes an act of god to get me out of the house on Saturday night.