Monday, February 27, 2012

A Skating Good Time

"So come on, come on, and do the locomotion with me!"  - Kylie Minogue, 1988.  

My boys were invited to a skating party a couple of weekends ago.  I hated to even tell them where it was because the oldest one had tried skating once before.  And it didn’t go well.

And that brings me back to my memories of the Miami Skating Rink.  I spent many an afternoon there at skating parties, or church parties, or just because Nanna was sick of taking us to the swimming pool.  Or maybe we were too sunburned.  I don’t know.  I just know I have a lot of skating rink memories.

Of course the biggest deal of skating is trying to find the perfect skate and then get them on.  In Miami, they were a kind of beige leather with brown laces that you would eventually wrap around the top of the skate and your leg several times so that you wouldn’t trip on your own ties.  They had orange wheels and stoppers if I remember correctly. 

The laces and wheels perfectly matched the brown and orange shag carpeting that made up most of the skating rink and its lovely round benches that were parked in front of the lockers.  There was about a two inch drop to the baby blue painted hardwood floor of the actual rink.  The floor was warped and if you made it about half-way around, there was a dip big enough to give an unseasoned skater the thrill of going dangerously fast.  Just when you thought you had your balance on the wheels of death, they would turn on the disco lights.  There was an actual mirrored ball that hung in the center of the rink and I hated that thing!  When the patterns of light fell and spun on the rink, it would mess with my mind and make me fall down.  Yeah, that’s what it was! 

I mostly stayed on the carpeted areas, trying to make it from round bench to bench.  Every once in a while, I would get brave and try the slick surface of the concession area where there were booths to hang on to.  Inevitably, I would brave the rapids of the rink.  And it always seemed that just as I was getting good at it, they would clear the floor for a couple’s skate, or limbo, or the choo choo train thing.  Kylie Minogue’s Locomotion still plays loudly in my brain when I think of the skating rink.  (I secretly can’t believe I still remember who it was by!)

And then there was that inevitable trip to the restroom where it was nearly impossible to maneuver in the bathroom stall, precariously perched on one leg with the skate stopper down, trying to take care of business without  rolling out the space at the bottom of the door or off the toilet. 

I don’t want you thinking that bad skating skills run in the family.  My dad’s brother, my uncle Bill, was quite a skating phenom.  He was the classic disco skater.  I was at the skating rink a few times when he was there.  He was probably a little old to be there.  Probably all of thirty or so, but he could do twists and turns and spins that nobody else could do.  Not even the weird guys who worked there.  Yes, it has always been a prerequisite that you must be only slightly on the edge of morality and normalcy to work at a skating rink. 

So back to the kids’ birthday party invitation…

I told them where it was.  They said they’d try it only after I told them if they didn’t like it, they didn’t have to skate.  Of course, they never took their skates off until it was time to go.    

We get there and they have these handy dandy walker looking things that make it look like a place for geriatric skaters, but they really work!  Uh, I mean, they look like they would work.  Okay, I’ll admit that after making it around ONCE without falling, I grabbed a walker.  And even though it was about two feet too short for me, it really did help.  After a while with the walker, I actually made it around FOUR times without killing myself or my tailbone. 

My husband had a different technique.  He would carry the walker and only put it down if he thought he needed it.  It was hilarious to watch! 

But what neither of us did was continually fall on our rears like one dad there.  He was nearly my inspiration to stop while I was still ahead.

AND, after putting it off for quite some time, I finally had a less than exciting trip to the restroom still on my wheels! 

A good time was had by all!  Many new skating rink memories were made including the lights of death, countless falls, and some slightly inappropriate music for the 7YO crowd.  And of course, there was the one guy there who was an ice dancer in another life who could turn around backwards and actually HELP little kids who’d fallen get back up. 

My only defense was to crash myself before I crashed into them. 

Keep on rolling!

1 comment:

  1. In my big brother's day, that song was by Little Eva. I am so surprised that you don't skate, as good as you are at so many physical things. Oh well, glad you had fun!


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