I Went To A Water Park And All I Got Was a Nervous Breakdown

by Marinka on August 1, 2011

If you’re like most people in a loving relationship with a life partner, you’re dying to test it.

Sure, the two of you are in love and happy, but how will you fare in a crisis? Will your love survive some dramatic event?

Of course you could have an affair and test the relationship out, but in this day and age who has the time to topiary their pubes?

So absent an affair, how do you test your relationship?

May I be so bold as to suggest a water park?

Because within the first ten minutes of entering Splish Splash, I’d misplaced two of the three kids with us and was looking at my Husbandrinka with panic and concern, he said “alright, so I’m going to find a lounge chair and read for a while.”

The love that I felt for him at that moment is indescribable.

We went to Splish Splash Water park on Long Island yesterday and I have some things to report.

* All three kids — my daughter and son and my daughter’s friend, ages 10 to 13, loved it. Like loved it and want to come back many times, no matter how tight my straight jacket will become.

* They went on rides with terrifying names, they stood in lines, they ate at the Fry Hut and they didn’t seem bothered by the fact that we were in the 90 plus degree heat all day long.

* I was a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown the whole day long.

* I was worried about losing the kids, being run over by crowds, injuries, getting skin cancer and the co-payment on my eventual institutionalization.

* Husbandrinka got some reading done.

Here are some highlights:

As we are driving on the Long Island Expressway, singing happy songs on the way to the water park, we see a monstrously tall structure reaching into the sky.

OH MY GOD! the kids scream. This is the water park! It is SO AWESOME!

I make a sign of the cross (and of a Star of David) and mumble to myself. It can’t possibly be. No. That huge thing can’t be a ride. It’s probably just a nuclear reactor or something. Everything will be ok.

Like a crazy man, Husbandrinka turns into the parking lot next to the giant Tower of Death.

We all get out of the car.

And spend the next 20 minutes applying sun screen.

Then we walk from the parking lot to the park itself. The kids start to whine. I remind them that it took the Jews forty years to get out of Egypt and they should be grateful that this is just a 10 minute walk, without locust.

We arrive at the water park. Hey, remember those rhetorical questions, like what would happen if everyone in NYC came to the same restaurant on the same day at the same time? No need to wonder, because everyone in NY did come to the same water park at the same time.

It means that there’s a shit load of people at one place.

We enter the water park.

I experience chest pain.


We see a Mermaids changing room and my daughter and her friend and I head there.

Husbandrinka and son head to the Pirates changing room.

We meet, all bathing suited a few minutes later and the kids squeeze in a short but meaningful fight about who is better Mermaids or Pirates (“Mermaids aren’t even real!” “Pirates are criminals!”) I am having fun already/praying for a quick death.

Where will we go first? I suggest “home” but no one’s paying attention to me.


Husbandrinka tells me he’s going to get a lounge chair and read.

SERIOUSLY, WHERE ARE THE GIRLS? THEY WERE JUST HERE. OMG. OMG. My friend is never going to forgive me that I lost her daughter. FUCK. This is why I hate dealing with other people’s children.

Oh, there they are. They are looking at waterproof airbrushing tattoos. Ok. They’re alive. Bonus.

Miracle: Kids all agree to go on the same ride. It’s the Hollywood Stunt Rider, where you wait go down a huge water slide in a raft. There’s no way that I’m going. I will wait for the kids at the end of the ride.

They stand in line for an hour. The ride takes thirty seconds. Everyone who comes out of the ride looks so crazy happy. I assume from brain damage.

Because I am a nervous wreck at this point, I quiz everyone getting off about the ride.

Was it scary? Fun? Did they feel like their safety was compromised? If they were a 10 year old boy or a 13 year old girl, would they have enjoyed it?

I am not making any new friends.

Finally, my kids zoom down. They are laughing and saying that they loved it and they are SO HAPPY.

They go on a few more rides and I try to find a place to charge my phone.

I overhear a man say “fuck all this bullshit, I’m going to go to Lazy River and sit my lazy ass in one of those tubes and float on the motherfucking river.”

This man is my soul mate.

The rest of the day, I wander around in a daze as the kids run from one ride to another, excited and energetic and so, so adorable.

At the end of the afternoon the kids are tired.

“The lines are so long!” They say. I use this opportunity to tell them about the bread lines in the USSR. This is educational for the whole family!

As we’re leaving, I ask the kids if they’d want to come back.
They all do, but when it’s less crowded.

I suggest we come in January, when fewer people will be there.

The kids groan and roll their eyes.

Thank you, Splish Splash for the tickets. My kids love you.

One year ago ...

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

August 1, 2011 at 2:47 pm

January is a perfect time to go to a water park! Ha! So glad your husband was able to get some reading done. That must have really stressed him out.


August 1, 2011 at 3:05 pm

Glad you survived! Even as a kid I always hated those big chute-type water slides. Only thing I ever got was water thrust violently where it didn’t belong. ~(


Cindy Thomas August 1, 2011 at 3:11 pm

You were so patient and loving with Husbandrinka. Good for you. You’ve definitely hit the top of Maslow’s hierarchy chart and have achieved full self-actualization. But I would have totally told him that I found my soulmate and I’m leaving for the lazy river.


karyn gallagher August 1, 2011 at 3:28 pm

I was anxious to hear how that was gonna pan out. Saw the posts on Twitter yesterday. My theory? Kids, water, urine and snot don’t mix……but I guess that’s what chlorine is for.


ChiTown Girl August 1, 2011 at 3:42 pm

Congratulations on surviving this harrowing experience. An even BIGGER congratulations on not beating Husbandrinka to death with his damn book!!!


August 1, 2011 at 4:00 pm

The last time I went to a water park I was approximately 13 months’ pregnant with my third child. I never, ever want to do that again. Ever.


Ry Sal August 1, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Hilarious! I live about 1/2 hour from this very water park and have to be very strategic in navigating around the tower of death so that my son doesn’t see it. I have vowed to never set foot in this place…You are a bigger man than I for braving the masses.


August 1, 2011 at 4:57 pm

I think the motherfucker on the lazy river is your destiny.


August 1, 2011 at 5:12 pm

I’m wondering why you didn’t take Papa instead of the oak you married? He’d have had those kids scared to death to get on any rides before you even got there.


August 1, 2011 at 6:20 pm

They don’t call it water torture for nothin’.


August 1, 2011 at 7:40 pm

On the bright side, you’re alive.
On the even brighter side, it was you and not me. So there’s that.


erin@mommyonthespot August 1, 2011 at 9:20 pm

You. Are. Awesome. Seriously, I am a nervous wreck just taking my kids to the kiddie pool at the gym. In my defense, they are only 2 and 5. And the 5 year old is just learning to swim. And the 2 year old can’t get water in his ears because he still has his tubes. Anyway. . . .If I went to a water park like that, there is no doubt that we would bump into each other in the meds line at the mental institute.


dusty earth mother August 1, 2011 at 10:48 pm

3/4 of my family (that would be everyone except guess who) adores the water and water parks. I like to look at water. I like to drink water. I like to pee in water. I do not like to swim, slide, cavort, spray, do backflips or float in a germy tire in water. I’m proud of your self-denial.


Kara August 1, 2011 at 10:55 pm

The only thing that could improve a day that glorious is starting your period thirty minutes after arrival. With no midol or products that could provide protection. And the much-needed relief of toxic shock.


Beth August 1, 2011 at 11:24 pm

One of my problems with water parks (and to be totally honest, I have only been once because I find friends like you who are willing to take my child) is the feeling that I need to disinfect every orifice of my body after coming out of the water. I always make my son scrub down in the hottest shower possible when he gets home.


August 1, 2011 at 11:34 pm

Sounds like fun! Can I get that PR contact 😉


Gretchen August 1, 2011 at 11:39 pm

Oh honey, I feel your pain. I will be forced to go the the very same 9th Level of Hell when I visit the inlaws on Long Island next week! Did you notice the inordinate number of fleshy people with tattoos there? I find it frightening.


From Belgium August 2, 2011 at 7:57 am

Those water park tickets should come with a free post traumatic stress syndrome counseling session.


August 2, 2011 at 7:58 am

“…topiary their pubes…” I couldn’t love you more right now.


August 2, 2011 at 8:19 am

You are always so very, very funny and do the humor I love the best: sarcastic, smart ass, neurotic.

My favorite.

And when you do something like this? That speaks my love language of medication needing anxiety disorder?
I want to fall on one knee and ask you to be mine.

But, since I know you don’t swing that way: I’ll just do what I love to do like after a good movie: tell you my favorite parts:

* I was worried about losing the kids, being run over by crowds, injuries, getting skin cancer and the co-payment on my eventual institutionalization.

* Husbandrinka got some reading done.


August 2, 2011 at 8:20 am

I read it again, this part, too:

I overhear a man say “fuck all this bullshit, I’m going to go to Lazy River and sit my lazy ass in one of those tubes and float on the motherfucking river.”

This man is my soul mate.


Dimity August 2, 2011 at 10:21 am

Oh god, I feel your pain. I was dragged to a water park recently by a group of friends, and all I could think about was how dirty it was and what kind of diseases I would get.

Needless to say, I left them after 2 (fun, but germy) rides and went to lay on the beach!


Megan August 2, 2011 at 10:23 am

Amen to the lazy river. They really should make a water park for adults that is just a really long lazy river that you float around for hours and people bring you frozen drinks without you even asking and there is soft background music playing. And massages.


Fairly Odd Mother
August 2, 2011 at 10:46 am

Just be thankful you didn’t have to spend the day ankle-deep in the cloudy water of the “kiddie pool” where there is always some joker in a regular diaper that is leaking that gel stuff.

My kids want to go to a water park. It is on their summer “bucket list”. My summer bucket list includes “stay out of water parks”. We’ll see how this goes.


the mama bird diaries
August 2, 2011 at 10:53 am

HILARIOUS. I, too, am completely prone to absolute panic and then I’m like, “Oh, the kids are right there.”


magpie August 2, 2011 at 12:20 pm

Give me a hammock any day.


August 2, 2011 at 4:29 pm

You and me and the “fuck this bullshit” dad are all soulmates.

Lazy River all the way. I’ll let my kids’ friends’ parents take them to Hell.


MYSUESTORIES August 13, 2011 at 8:56 pm

Are you kidding? Splish Splash is my fave place to take my 14 yr old and his friends…… I pay for parking…/.I gain admission (read-I pay—AAA card holders discounts apply) and the I tell them to find me when they are hungry……I float in the lazy river -or some times the wave pool..either way they can find me…. it is purely the best eight hours I can spend while they run all over the park! Next time you go, call me, I will save you the parking fee & give you the AAA discount!!!! Plus? I would LOVE to hear you bitch about being upper middle class in Manhattan!!!!!!


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