As the Skating Rink Turns

Circa 2010

When I was in 7th grade, my life revolved around our local skating rink. Every Friday, and sometimes Saturday night, my mom would haul my brother and I down to our local rink to have a few hours of fun times and new relationships. That’s right, I said relationships. At the ripe ‘ol age of 12, the only way for a boy crazy girl to find new meat was to hit the rink. My friends and I would scout out local boys from other schools and come home with a new boyfriend each week. I “dated” boys from all over the Eel Valley area; sometimes even twice if the pickins’ were slim.

I guess I should explain to you the concept of my “dating” so as you do not think my behavior resembles that of a garden tool. Back in the days, dating meant you took the obligatory spin around the skating rink during the couple’s dance. The new lovebirds would skate in endless circles, holding sweaty hands to the beat of “Purple Rain” or “Without You.” The lights would be down and the strobe lighting a strobin’; It was amazing.

Throughout the school week, numerous phone calls would be exchanged, perhaps even a couple of pieces of snail mail with some pictures enclosed, and then by Friday, drama would ensue and the young love would be terminated….all in time for a new relationship to blossom. This was my form of “dating.”

At this particular skating rink, there used to be a couple older boys, actually “men,” who had the skills. They were the king of rink and all the girls would do their best to get their attention. Whether it be to feigning poor skating skills to wearing the tightest Bongo jeans your prepubescent body could fit into; it was all done for their benefit – even if they didn’t really seem to notice. I remember lathering on as much “Tranquil Moments” as physically possible and then making my hair stand at an amazing height with a can of Aqua Net only to attract a pimply 12 year old’s attention rather than the “men” of the skating rink. Rejection seemed to be a bit easier to swallow with the help of a boy who told you how “rad” he thought you were.

It seems like just yesterday, standing awkwardly with my girlfriends and plotting evil against the girls who managed to get a couples skate with these handsome rico suaves. We’d cross our fingers the skanky broads would wipe out or even better, chip a tooth on a railing, because in all fairness these hotties were our property and eye candy, not to be had by these two bit floozies. Clicking our retainers and braced marked teeth in disgust, we’d always go home promising each other to come back the following week and finally get the well deserved attention of our men. *sigh*

Flash forward to current date and time…One of the best things about a small town is that the people you knew as a child will sometimes stick around to remind you of your fun and albeit, embarrassing times. One such example can be found at my daughter’s school where they hired several new teachers at the beginning of last school year. As karma would have it, one of the new teachers happened to be one of the “men” I used to fawn over at the skating rink. In fact, he was the one my little girl group was absolutely in love with and probably made the biggest fuss about. The first time I was in a room with him, I was instantly embarrassed – hoping to GAWD that marriage, three kids, and a hair color change would hide the rosy red cheeks of adolescence.

I recently told Taters about my lost “love” and my skating rink adventures. Her reply?

“Wow Mom. I can’t even imagine Mr. Hottie skating around with a huge afro and those funny looking bell bottom pants. That woulda been hilarious!”

Yikes. After a quick reminder that dear old mom was only 34 she still looked at me in shock.

“Really? I was thinkin’ for sure it was like 1970 or something. It’s still really funny Mom. And weird. You were crushin’ on a teacher!”

It’s kinda funny how fate and past actions can suddenly appear to bitch slap you in the face with a dose of embarrassing reality. We all have these moments so what are yours’? Has history caught up with you yet to provide any uncomfortable, “yes that was me,” moments?

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