In the late 70’s alls I wanted to do was rollerskate. But I was a renter. I had to skate twice as well to make up for it. I remember week after week, as I paid my admission to Rollerland West or Silver Wheel or wherever, I would see those gleaming white skates with the pom poms available for purchase behind the counter. How I longed for them!
Oh, my dad offered to buy me some skates for my birthday. We even went to Sears and everything. But the wheels all had writing on them, and I’d have none of that. (What I did not realize was that when the wheels were in motion, you couldn’t see the words, you just saw the color. The brilliant color! Red or blue or sometimes green.) So, when it mattered most, I never had my gleaming white roller skates.
I continued to rent until my step-grandmother, Grandma Doc, got me and my step-brother Eric ones that kind of looked like the tennis shoe skates but not really. His were blue and gold. Mine were rust and mustard. I can see her thought process — blue is a boy’s color and rust was the color of Mrs. Garrett’s hair.
All my memories of skating are good ones, except this one time, when I was 8 or 9, Dad took Eric and I to an unfamiliar rink near his side of town. Eric and I skated our separate ways, as this was before we bonded over lip-sync-ing to Billy Joel and forcing our hamsters to perform gymnastics.
At one point the DJ was like, “Clear the floor for the skate-dancing competition!” and I was all “Where do I sign up?” But alas, it was for pairs. The winning pair had this girl in it who was little and sassy and won the crowd over without having to skate particularly well. She was everything I wanted to be! (Back then I was really impressed by girls who were small for their age.)
I approached the girl after her victory lap and said congratulations. It wasn’t weird or anything.
Well, not long after that, her two guy friends started harassing me and hurting my feelings. I can’t remember what they said, but if it upset me back then, chances are it was either “That girl has dandruff” or “That girl just farted.”
Eric saw that I wasn’t enjoying myself. I told him what had happened. He immediately went to the manager, and when the manager dragged the kids over to me and asked if they were harassing me, I said no, it was fine. I guess I thought they’d like me if I defended them — they’d see how cool I was and change their tune about me. They did not.
Dad picked us up and asked us if we had a good time. Eric launched into the story, and I said it was no biggie and acted like it was no biggie. At the time I remember thinking what a jerk Eric was for involving the adults in my ordeal. But now I think that’s just the kind of kid I hope my Johnny turns out to be.
To this day, I do not approach celebrities, even if they did something praiseworthy. It kills me, but I consider the consequences. I mean, I doubt Mark Knopfler or somebody would say I farted, but you never know.
So as an adult with a computer, I was happy to be able to buy the 3 pairs of skates pictured above. The tennis shoe ones are a size and a half too small. One of the boot ones has white wheels. I know, right?! Still, I have been unable to even lift these out of this crate, except for ironic skating parties and ironic photos about my hoarding.
You are voting to get rid of at least 1 pair.