I enjoyed some nostalgia today when we went to the same skating rink where I spent a large part of my middle school social life. I actually had some birthday party action there myself as a youngster. I enjoy going back to the things that never change just to feel like there is still Earth under my feet.
As we go through life and stop every few years to take note, we look up one day and life feels really lonely. I remember the feeling of moving home after college and the town that I left didn’t exist when I came back. My friends didn’t work at the minor league baseball stadium or the mall. I didn’t know the people in the bars or the high school kids driving cars around and hanging in parking lots. Everything seemed different.
The skating rink is the same. They changed the arcade from one side of the room to the other but otherwise it is the same. If only I were the same too. One memory that I really enjoy is a girl skating up to tell me, “You think you’re hot snot but you’re really cold boogers.” That didn’t happen today but I wouldn’t have been surprised. I was a former star returning to his domain and I couldn’t have looked more out of place.
I strapped on some rental skates and tested my skills. It reminded me of the Toby Keith song when he says, “I’m not as good as I once was but I’m as good once as I ever was.” I have three blisters, sore muscles, and I might have pulled a neck muscle during the limbo contest. I didn’t even make it one round and I blame the fat on the base of my neck for sticking up just enough to knock off the pole. Maybe it was the fat around my waist but either way the culprit is the same. I watched a Family Guy episode one time where Peter and his friends went skating; I imagine that is what I looked like.
One thing was different about the skating rink and it concerns me. Someone has devised a skating assistance device made of PVC pipe and wheels. Imagine the old-people walkers but small enough for a toddler.
The problem with these devices is that it prevents kids from learning balance. They can build NASCAR level speeds with the balance of a new-born giraffe. I looked up at one point and there was a three child pile-up and on-coming kids had to watch in horror as they crashed into the pile because they hadn’t learned how to stop or turn. One little girl started to fall backwards and picked up the walker, as she gained balance the walker weight pulled her forward and she flipped over the front in an impressive single vehicle accident. On the bright side, I think there is a place for these PVC contraptions in a roller derby chariot race. One hard headed boy grabbed the walker, put his head down, and took off as fast as he could go in any direction until he crashed into something. It was awesome just to watch his worried mother chase him from crash to crash, apologizing to his victims while he sped off towards another collision.
If you have fond memories of skating or just enjoy watching kids flail around like drunken deer, this post is for you. You’re welcome.
-Underdaddy to the rescue.