At least no one will think any less of me than they already do.
I mean, I was a dorky 40-ish mom with bad roots before I laced up my rental four wheeler skates to begin with.
It’s not like the rest of the rink might have thought I was seriously cool but then changed their opinion when I started doing the two tricky skating moves I know (going backwards and that crossing-the-feet thing around corners). They knew what they were getting the minute I walked in the door.
Which is fine by me.
But let a guy my age put on, say, a pair of kicky bike shorts, hit the roller skating rink and spend two hours skating fast and singing loud. Everyone would think he was a paedophile. Seriously – the last couple of times I’ve taken my kids skating, I’ve seen that guy (let’s call him Creepy Roller Guy). Ok, so he does have a home-permed mullet to make up for his receding hairline and a 70’s handlebar moustache, but other than that, Creepy Roller Guy might just be a man version of me.
Well, if you can overlook those patterned bike shorts that include a sprinkling of fluorescent pink triangles. And we really sort of have to have a conversation about his Megadeth ‘wife beater’ style singlet top.
But it’s not fair to judge.*
He might be a perfectly nice guy who was a super cool roller hit back in the 80s when he still had a nuclear mushroom cloud of curls sprouting out of the top of his headband to go with his mullet. Maybe he’s had a groin injury and he really needs the extra support those bike shorts give him. Maybe his cousin plays for Megadeth. He’s almost certainly harmless.
(*I made my boys use the ladies room. Just in case.)
Today I have to give another big shout out to the Sunshine Roller Skating Centre. I’ve taken my boys there a few times presumably to entertain the children but really because it’s still the most fun I can have while the kids are watching me.
I especially love the teenage boys who work there. They’ve been given to believe that teaching children how to roller skate is their calling from above. On a mission from God, the teen boys stuck right with my five year old the other day until my son could actually properly skate – which meant I was free to whiz around pretending to be Olivia Newton-John in Xanadu.
I was actually so impressive with my speed and my two wicked moves that I attracted the attention of a group of ladies practicing for their roller derby team. I was SO incredible, in fact, that one of the gals actually approached me and asked if I was interested in joining their club!
Now, roller derby girls tend to have a particular look that involves a lot of visible tattoos and very short hair – which is fine – but they’re not really the sort of crowd I would generally look at from a distance and think, “Those ladies look like my kinda people”.
And then Eye of the Tiger came on and I found myself in the middle of a roller derby fantasy which was sort of like The Pink Ladies from Grease only with a lot more spandex.
There I was, imagining myself in my cute hot pink tennis skort with matching striped pink knee socks and hot pink knee pads. I was flying around the roller rink with two blonde high ponytails on either side of my head, growling at the other derby girls with a flash of my American flag mouth guard.
And because I was wearing mascara and my tattoos are all hidden under my clothes, I was totally the HOTTEST GIRL IN THE ENTIRE PLACE!!!
I was all excited about the derby invitation until I went to tell my girlfriends about it. The minute I tried to sit down, I was harshly reminded of the fall I’d taken in my first five minutes of skating. It was one of those spectacular falls where both skates went straight out in front of me and I was airborne for a couple of seconds before I landed squarely on my butt.
It’s been a week and I still have to type standing up because my bum hurts too much to sit. I’ve had to give up my roller derby dreams, but I think it’s safe to say that when it comes to roller skating, I’m still almost entirely totally amazing.