Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Reluctant Skiier

Skiing, like golf, was not one of those activities that strengthened the marital bond. Nothing like being tricked onto a descent that is beyond one’s ability, concentrating desperately on making it to the next turn, while spouse cheerfully schusses down slope offering annoying advice, or worse still abandoning you to catapult down and land face forward, backside and legs up…like a sprawling cockroach. Might have screamed from top of slope with vocabulary that would shame a fishwife.

Advice from random man in the gondola: “It’s better to look good than be good.”

Children: the three that are old enough to ski or snowboard are all better than me now. They’re not even teenagers and already patronizing. Every dollar spent on ski or snowboard school is well worth it. Can I keep them in those programs until they are 18?

This feeling was compounded by experience riding in lifts with Other People’s Children, especially their surly teenagers. One sixteen year old girl whined: “Mo’om, I can’t believe you got me this grody sunscreen,” before flicking it off in disgust towards her father. My sister and I had couldn’t resist having fun with this one.

“It’s so hard to be your age, isn’t it?”
“Believe me, you don’t want to get to our age with fair skin like that and no sunscreen. Sun damage! All those unsightly wrinkles.”
“Not to mention the cost of laser treatment to get rid of those liver spots.”

Might be a bad mother: on another gondola ride, proudly explained to a woman that my advanced snowboarder daughter is still in classes so she can do things like the terrain park, where she needs more professional instruction. She replies: “Oh, in the local ER where I work, we call that the trauma park.”

Vocabulary: Seriously cannot imagine myself picking up the jargon. Am I the only one who thinks “Got a face shot in Pow!” sounds like manga porn? On the other hand, did find myself learning useful words like “white out”, for skiing in extreme low visibility and “graupel”, for the precipitation that’s somewhere between freezing rain and snow, and generally flays your face.

Skiing powder: Um…vastly overrated for people of my ability. More like sliding over ice patches and into snow drifts. Hubby’s advice: “Just go faster and you’ll glide over it” not particularly easy to apply when you’re already scared out of your mind.

Must be lacking in adrenaline response because don’t feel need for speed. Can’t get image of people who ski better than me and come home from vacation in various casts out of my mind. It’s hard keeping up with four children as it is; can’t imagine what that would be like if I were in need of massive physical rehabilitation.

Ski boots are: an instrument of torture.

Ski equipment is: a pain to keep up with when you have four children--all those face masks, goggles, mittens, helmets, boots, poles, skis. Not to mention complications when child utters most dreaded word in skiing vocabulary: “I need to pee.”

Ski food: $60 to feed family of five on junk food at the top of the mountain, anybody?

Best part of skiing: kids are fully occupied, ditching afternoon skiing (am tired by then anyway) to sip hot chocolate by the fire and read a book or bake Nestle Toll House cookies and watch the classic movie channel!

1 comment:

dskok said...

As usual, your writing transports me right into the middle of the trauma. Outstanding! Bravo Nathalie.