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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Ski Trip

I hate snow. I don’t ski. I don’t understand why anyone would hurl themselves down a hill of ice towards a bunch of rocks and trees at 40 miles an hour. But, once upon a time, I was madly in love with someone who did ski. And because I foolishly wanted him to think I was adventurous and fun loving I not only agreed to, but planned, a ski trip.

I planned a “romantic” ski trip. I’m thinking cold outside, sitting by the fire sipping hot cocoa, taking (brief) walks in the nippy air, having candlelit dinners, and somewhere in there he could go ski and I would pretend to enjoy it. Whatever. So off we went to Tahoe.

At first it was kind of exciting. Our room and hotel were beautiful, I was with the man I loved, the mountains were snow covered, and we had stopped in Reno to buy me a snow suit and thermals.

Our first morning we boarded our little bus to head to the slopes. I was still a go for this. Then we get to the equipment place and rent our skis. Problem number one. The Storm Trooper Boots. We spent an inordinate amount of time trying to find boots to fit me. If the foot fit, the leg didn’t. If the leg fit, my foot was flopping around inside. Finally we found one that my foot only slid around in, which didn’t matter, since when we closed the leg fittings it cut off my circulation to my feet and I couldn’t feel them anymore, anyway. Yay. Off we go to the slopes.

Since I’m new at this, the Ski Freak decides I should try the bunny slope, and off he goes to challenge the mountain. Okay. So I go and meet the Ski Nazi who is going to make my life a living hell for the rest of the day. He begins to give us instructions, which I apparently don’t follow, which causes me to fall down. Mr. Cheerful reluctantly helps me up (honestly, I think he wanted me to stay down) and continues to give me direction. I can now point my toes downhill and inch along, and I’m not even screaming as much as I was when I first started going downhill. And I learned to use the tow rope thingie to get back up the hill. I actually like the tow rope thingie. I’m doing fine for awhile, rather pleased with myself, and when the Nazi comes back to check on me, I think I’m doing great. At which point he tells me that if I want to start skiing as a hobby, I really need to lose some weight. Strike number two.

So I went and sat at a picnic bench and cried because of my hurt feelings. When my boyfriend came back I told him what happened and he was righteously indignant and all fired up in my defense, which made me feel better. So when he asked if I was ready to try the green slope, I said sure. Strike number three.

The green slope looks very gentle and soothing from the bottom. How hard can this be? Next challenge – the Ski Lift. When you get on the ski lift, it scoops you up gently and takes you on a peaceful, swaying ride up the hill. You snuggle with your sweetheart and enjoy the view. But then, you have to get off. I am told when the lift reaches the exit point, I need to put my skis down and slide off – quickly. Oh, and get out of the way because the next skiers are right behind you. Okay. No pressure. So, our stop approaches, he jumps off and so do I. Actually, I choke and I sort off slide halfway off the seat, which means I get a boot in the ass from the seat and end up face down in the snow. Which is bad enough, but keep in mind the skiers getting off the next gondola. Who jump off and can’t avoid my flailing carcass and end up tripping over me. Now there are three of us on the ground and two more coming. It’s going to be a pile up.

The competent skiers get up and go on their way, while Mr. Chivalry is bodily dragging me out of the path. And he seems to be frustrated. I can’t imagine why. I am obviously the injured party here. And he knew I was incompetent to start with. But now, we have to get down the hill.

It looks much steeper from the top. He says, just point your toes together and ski from side to side. Which I do. At the pace of a snail. At some point I begin to pick up speed and can’t slow down. I am crisscrossing other skiers paths, knock down a little kid, got flipped off by another little kid, and I’m sure I’m screaming. When I finally come to a sudden halt due to my boyfriend grabbing me, I’m half hysterical. As I recall, I yelled something at him about trying to kill me and then I pulled my skis off and stomped down the hill the rest of the way.

Once I get to flat land I put my skies back on, and look up the hill where my boyfriend is still trying to get his skis on. Feeling rather smug, and hoping he’s currently as miserable as I am, I glide over to the picnic table to sit down, and I somehow managed to miss the seat, losing my skis out from under me and whacking myself senseless on the way down.

That’s called karma.

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