|Bottom Left - The Girls' Friend Josie|
How long has it been since you've roller skated? I'm trying to remember but don't know how long it had been for me. I have photographic evidence that I roller skated around the time of my twenty-first birthday, but surely it hadn't been nineteen years. Or maybe it had.
I found myself in a roller rink today because Clementine's and Charleigh's friend Lexi had invited them to celebrate her birthday there. My girls had never worn roller skates before and were hesitant to get out on the rink. I was going to rent skates, but turns out: my friend Jill wasn't using hers, and she and I wear the same size.
"It isn't like riding a bike," she said, handing me the skates. I put them on and felt tall, then tall and old. I wondered if I were going to fall and break my hip; I'm not even lying to you.
|Left - Birthday Girl Lexi with Her Mom Lori; Right - Clementine|
I went around the rink once by myself, then once with each daughter. Clementine proved a better skater than her little sister but also more trepidatious. Each girl was happy to head to the smaller (practice) rink after her lap with me. I went around twice more with Jill's daughters, then handed over the skates with relief: near falls, no falls.
|Bottom Left - Charleigh; Top Right - Me & Char; Bottom Right - My Friend April (Josie's Mom)|
Tell me: what are your memories of roller skating? Most of mine are from elementary school. I was never an excellent skater--at least in my own mind--because I couldn't spin the "turn yourself around" part of the "Hokey Pokey"; I had to skate a small circle, instead. I couldn't Limbo well or skate backwards, and I never mastered the crossover technique. Still, I remember feeling quite light and fast on my feet so long as I was skating forward.
I remember the pizza, popcorn, and--best of all!--soda pop (which we didn't drink, at home) of the roller rink. I remember the Madonna and Michael Jackson of the roller rink. Our Girl Scout troop visited fairly often, but I almost preferred to attend a birthday party or take a field trip there because, you know: couple skates.
I visited the roller rink just before my family moved to Tennessee and remember crossing my fingers that Darold Starliper would ask me to couple skate, but he didn't. I told myself it was only because he was very shy, and I marched right up to Bruce and asked him, instead. It felt like a very brave and scandalous thing to do because I was an eleven-year-old girl, and (although it was 1985 in south-central Pennsylvania) Bruce was the only African-American in our class.
I haven't seen Bruce for twenty-nine years. I don't remember his last name and know for well that I wouldn't recognize him on the street. But I smiled thinking of him, today (how he said yes), as I skated around the rink with a small, sweaty hand pressed into mine.