The Unbearable Banishment: <strike>Rich Dad</strike>, Poor Dad

Friday, March 16, 2012

Rich Dad, Poor Dad

I'm about to begin the indoctrination program that will make Daughter the Second comfortable with navigating New York City. You have to get inside their tiny heads as soon as possible for it to stick and she's almost six, so it's time. It's a rite of passage. Daughter the First is already hopelessly attached to Gotham, so my work there is pretty much complete.

You start with something safe and simple and then move on to more complex things. And take it from me, you can't get safer than a matinee production of Disney's The Lion King. It's visually stunning but the music is boring and forgettable. It's the bait I used on Daughter the First and it worked like a charm.

I marched down to the Minskoff Theater box office on my lunch hour and whipped out my credit card. Things have changed a bit since the last time I was there. The seating plan has been reconfigured. They now deem over half the house as "Premium Seating." Typically, a premium seat would indicate a seat in the center orchestra and no further than, say, five or six rows from the stage. You can now pay $210 for ONE ticket in the 14th row off to the side. Or, if you'd like to sit in the last row on the floor in the back of the house, you can pay $154 for a seat. There's money to be made and tourists to be gouged and fathers with good intentions to be taken advantage of. What a bunch of greedy, blood sucking leeches.

2 tickets = $310. A considerable expense for someone in my income bracket. And those aren't premium seats. For all that money, we're sitting up in the balcony. The whole thing has left me feeling utterly inadequate. And it's not about having good sight lines at a tacky musical. It's broader than that. It feels like I didn't try hard enough in The Game of Life and can't provide for my daughters the way other, more successful, fathers can.

# # #

Here's an interesting factoid: Eugene O'Neill, arguably one of America's greatest playwrights, was born in a hotel room on 44th Street and Broadway. Right in the heart of the theater district! Isn't that strange?! It's analogous to President Obama being born in the White House or me being born in an office cubicle.

At that time, the neighborhood was called Longacre Square. It was rechristened Times Square in 1904 when The New York Times opened its offices there. They've posted a brass commemorative plaque on the site where the hotel once stood.

Wanna know what's on the site now?

Mourning Becomes Cappuccino. Long Day's Journey into Caffeine. The Ice Coffee Cometh. A Moonpie for the Misbegotten. I've got a million of 'em.

# # #

What's that dot on the horizon? Daisyfae approacheth from the west.


Blogger savannah said...

oh UB!!!!! i had to read this to the MITM and his reaction (remember, he's, as he says an old creole man), "hell, son, you're taking her to a broadway show! she's six and loves the museum! you're doing a great job!!!"

and on top of all that? daisy is coming to NYC!!! you're the best, sugar!!! xoxoxoxo

March 16, 2012 at 6:15 PM  
Anonymous dinahmow said...

I had similar ironic(sarcastic?) thoughts when I saw that plaque!

And I think Sav's man said it right.

March 16, 2012 at 6:27 PM  
Anonymous daisyfae said...

for all of the money you spend, it's the time with you that she'll remember. put a cover on that ol' inadequacy bench, brother.

see you tuesday! ZIPITY-ZIPITY-ZING!

March 16, 2012 at 8:29 PM  
Blogger Pat said...

How dumb am I? I always assumed Eugene was Irish born and bred.

March 17, 2012 at 6:56 AM  
Blogger Ponita in Real Life said...

Yeah, like daisyfae and the others said. It's not the amount of money you spend on your daughters.... it's the time you spend with them. And from the things you post here, you spend lots and lots of good, high quality time with them.

I'll bet there's lots of kids out there whose dads can dump wads of $$$ on them who wish those dads would just take them to a museum or for a bike ride through a park.

You're doing a fantastic job with your daughters, UB. So forget that inadequate stuff. Your time with them = priceless.

Have fun when daisyfae rolls into town!!!

March 17, 2012 at 7:27 AM  
Anonymous looby said...

300 dollars for theatre tickets to a third rate musical? Well if that's not being a good father, then carrying on being crap! How much did that lovely video of them going round that huge tall narrow sculpture cost?

Enjoy your time with DF, you lucky man.

March 17, 2012 at 7:48 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Sav: Thanks to both of you for that. I'm surrounded by conspicuous wealth and have a tendency to get wrapped-up in comparisons. It's a losing game, I know.

dinah: Poor old Eugene. If he only knew. He'd take it hard, I know.

daisy: Can't wait! Once again, you have managed to get tix to the two best shows in town. Uncanny.

Pat: That your revelation should come on St. Patrick's Day seems fitting.

Ponita: I know it's about the time and not about the money but because I am psychologically unsound, I allow these things to get under my skin. Will I ever learn?

looby: That video was FREE! Hard to believe they weren't charging admission for that exhibit. Top notch stuff.

March 17, 2012 at 10:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Starbucks huh? How depressing.

March 17, 2012 at 7:37 PM  

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