So, a few weeks ago I went rollerskating at the birthday party of the son of a friend of mine. While thats not such a big deal, I should tell you I havent laced up a pair of skates since the first Reagan administration.
Naturally, I was a bit concerned that I might look foolish, by which I mean I would be about as graceful as a giraffe navigating a sheet of ice, thereby appearing to be a complete dork in the eyes of my girlfriend.
Then again, maybe that was the whole point, as the actual participating in the rollerskating was her idea. I would have been content just attending the party, sans rollerskating, as I have done in years past. However, because she used to be a really active rollerskater about 10 years back and theres no winning an argument with a woman, her plan prevailed.
Also, I think it was her revenge for my creaming her when we play along with the contestants on the television gameshow Jeopardy!
Be that as it may, my fears about my ineptitude on a pair of rollerskates were borne out, but not as much as I would have guessed. My initial attempts at locomotion with wheeled shoes strapped to my feet were – and Im searching for just the right word here – pathetic. I must have looked like a toddler first learning to walk, as I made a few tentative steps, swaying to and fro like a tree caught in a windstorm.
After a while, I managed to attain a modicum of grace. Okay, grace is too strong a word. What I really mean is I resembled to a lesser extent a spastic orangutan. (By the way, Spastic Orangutans would make an excellent name for a rock band.)
Now it was time to venture onto the actual rollerskating rink, which much to my dismay, did not feature the carpeting the rest of the facility featured, and so maneuvering was that much more difficult. Anyway, my ego was immediately shattered when I realized I was being lapped by little kids who were literally skating circles around me. However, I was pleasantly surprised that I didnt fall down at all – not even one time. NASA calculated the odds of that happening at 3 million to 1. In all honesty, I did almost fall down 327 times.
In the end, however, I got the hang of rollerskating and had a pretty good time.
Now my girlfriend wants us to go iceskating, which Ive never tried. I dont like my odds.
My Two Cents is a weekly column where the author – whose preferred method of stopping on rollerskates is running into a wall – gets in his two cents worth in spite of the old saying that you only get a penny for your thoughts.