So as we all know I am very interested in attempting to become meat for one of these derby teams. My new BRF (best roller friend) “slick” on the DC Roller Girls has been quite a source of encouragement and helpful information thus far. It’s exciting to be encouraged by someone who will ultimately kick the shit out of you if you succeed. I’m beginning to see this as something akin to military recruitment. Except WAY more enticing. They mention the hard work and the bruises and injuries – but they couch it alongside of your immersion into an awesome community of cool women, beer drinking, team spirit and alternative fashions. I swear the US military should model their recruitment efforts on these women. It’s damn effective.
So yesterday I attended my spawn’s soccer game in the morning and then decided to go over to the local rink to see if my temporary skates were telling me the truth about my skating ability. My son is with my ex-husband for the weekend so I was free to investigate the rink and their rental skates alone.
I was impressed that they had some derby skates for rental as well as the boot skates of my youth. Because yes, the last time I roller skated I was in junior high.
Side note – the reason I stopped skating was because of a creepy guy that used to sit out front of the Reston Roller Rink and I remember coming out one night waiting for my mom to pick me up. He would sit on the steps with cheap looking women. Okay girls – I think he was maybe 3 years older than me. But he had that Matt Dillon quality about him. He wore a leather jacket and was considered very cool by people deemed “undesirables” (by my mother). I was scared of him and yet somewhat entranced. But he was sitting out front one dark night with his trashy roller bitches on either side and he said to me “I wonder if she has red hair everywhere?”
Well I just about peed in my pants I was so nervous. I think it was possibly the first time in my life anyone had ever said something sexually offensive to me. And he did it with the dramatic delivery of any screen bad guy. It’s all about the intonation. So after that I was off of roller skating at the ripe old age of 11. And I hated it because I played soccer every waking moment of the day and left carnage EVERYWHERE I went. I was like Sherman marching to Savannah – bodies strewn behind me. Weeping parents. I even scared my own coach half the time. And I did it without even thinking. I was just playing the ball. ( J) kinda. But the creepy guy got in my head and I never went back.
What a sad 80’s story, no?
So yesterday I was the mom with no child on a Saturday afternoon. Surrounded by kids birthday parties and trying to get her roll back. The first pair of rentals I got just about broke my heart. They were once decent Reidell skates…but there was something SERIOUSLY fucked up about them. They were like two cars that had just been through demolition. Each one intent on going in a specific direction that was not straight. Even on the bloody carpet I was walking like a retard. I tried to get out onto the floor and go around. But I was going no where. I realized that the first instinct of a loser was to blame the equipment - but these were just wrong. Even if I only used one foot to go around, I found myself in a hard right turn. So I brought those back and looked at the rental dude like – yeah – you suck.. Let’s try another pair before I decide to come back there and help you out. So he gave me another pair. I put them on while sitting next to a little boy who would rather eat vegetables for life than strap wheels to his feet. His father kept looking at me. I could feel him thinking “where is her kid?” what is she doing here skating alone on the rinks uber-kid-birthday extravaganza day. Fuck off. That’s my message to you.
These skates were a bit better. They could achieve a direction we would agree on. But there was this coating of dirty gunk on all the wheels. I kept thinking there must be a machine that could lathe them down to the actual wheel part. Like in gold where they have a gold ball cleaner – but I reminded my self again that this was the equipment. Deal with it. Skate. So I got out there…and for the first 20 minutes it was a lot like roller skating over those highway rumble strips that are supposed to warn you that you’re obviously drunk and running off the road. But I noticed that if I went really fast around the rink edges and dragged one foot to slow myself, that it kinda took some of the imbedded grime off the wheels.
Another thing that occurred to me was that the timing of coming on birthday-palooza day was not such a bad thing. I got ample opportunity to practice dodging things and stopping short. Kids were falling everywhere. And it was fun to watch. So I skated for about an hour and a half. Helped out some girls that were wall clingers break the emergency door gaps and exchanged dozens of bizarre looks with pinched suburban moms whom I instinctively hated. I felt that was a good sign. Happily rolling and wishing some of their attitudes could be brought a little closer to me for physical adjustment.
Oh well, that was yesterday. Today we are going over to Muddy Paws dog wash to have the canines bathed. They need it. Hambone sparred with a skunk this morning and I want nothing to do with him until he’s cleaner. I may bring the camera and document his transition from gross to acceptable.