“In romantic comedies, this is where the couple is laughing and falling in love!” Angela said.
“YUP! That’s my first line… ‘romantic comedies are LIES,’” I said staring at the sheet of scratched, choppy ice an inch in front of my feet — my feet which were bound and tied with some leather-like fabric and shoelaces and perched precariously atop a dull two inch wide blade.
“Are you already writing a post in your head?” Petitedov asked.
We had gone, maybe, a foot in the five minutes it took to have this conversation. However, everyone was on the ice AND we were talking, so that counts as “having ice skating conversations.”
Hmm. I suppose I should start this story at its true beginning.
Last fall, someone somewhere had the idea of going ice skating and then seeing the Les Miserables movie during the Christmas season, when it came out, I mentioned such plans to Petitedov and, like a less lazy version of me, she not only didn’t forget, she actually made it happen.
In my head, ice skating, while not *exactly* like that movie “The Cutting Edge” (toe-pick!) was supposed to be way different from the film “Misery.”
What on earth was I thinking? I got to the rink about twenty minutes early and I stood there watching people of various skill levels either glide across the rink on one or two legs or slip and fall across the ice on one or two cheeks. THIS WAS NOT APPEALING.
I laughed as I left the rink and walked over to Fifth Avenue to meet Angela and Pdov, because a couple of days before, Pdov and I had texted about how we KNEW whatever we imagined ice skating to be in our heads was going to bear little resemblance to the actual activity in real life.
“Tis our lot to ever be disappointed by real life because we watch too much DAMN TV,” I decreed!
I should note, however, that PDOV was ACTUALLY on time! (Angela took credit for this.) We walked to the rink and PDOV was all “so…should we just skip ice skating and go to straight to the movie?”
Is this woman nuts? WE ARE GOING SKATING! And we’re going to laugh and have conversations and I was going to have my arms clapsed behind my back while I looked up at the New York City skyline and contemplated the fragility of nature. AND THEN, we were going to get hot chocolates and skate and laugh and comment on how great the heated liquid felt as we churned across the wintry terrain.
SKIP ICE SKATING??? WELL, I NEVER!
I did not say any of this, of course, because I am a mature, easy going adult woman. Instead, I looked at Angela, turned to PDov, laughed and said
“What are you? Chicken?” And then did the “bock bock bock” sound while flapping my imaginary chicken wings.
“I’M NOT CHICKEN!”
And so, it was settled.
Pdov was judging Angela and I, silently with her eyes, when we had to get clownish size nine skates and she put on her most dainty voice and said “I’m an eight and a half,” but the rink doesn’t recognize half sizes, so she ended up with Bozo shoes just like the rest of us!
(She did look very pretty ice skating in her sweater dress, though.)
We stuffed our crap in two lockers and headed out. (Here, I shall note, that Pdov, who over the years has earned her own personal “#perv” hashtag on twitter, despite her constant protestations that she is “not a perv” immediately found and chose locker 69 out of the eight rows and three walls of lockers available.)
The three of us stepped onto the ice. Two of us then went ice skating. The remaining one of us, maintained a sturdy, white knuckled grip of the railing. Ironically, it was the only one who doesn’t have white knuckles.
There was a group of African-American teenage girls celebrating one of their birthdays (I know this because one of them had a sash which said “Birthday Girl” and I thought to myself “THEY MAKE SASHES THAT SAY BIRTHDAY GIRL??? WHY HAVE I NEVER HAD A BIRTHDAY GIRL SASH??? And I put everyone I have ever known on my list for failure to provide said sash. *GLARES*).
They all step pass me and one particularly unsteady girl, asks “how do you do this?”
And another girl shrugs and goes “You just move your feet like you’re skating.”
So, I’m standing there, clutching the railing like a Titantic passenger as the great cruiseliner made its final descent into the icy waters, when I see a woman trying to come off the ice. She is inching toward me and then WHAM, she just wipes out and starts crying. Not a kid, mind you, A GROWN ASS WOMAN! And she looked Eastern European too, so she wasn’t even like a girly type woman, a grown ass sturdy Eastern European woman was on the ice crying!
“FUCK THIS! I’m going back!”
The little exit gate is like two steps to my left, so I let go of the wall to get to it. The next thing I know, I’m being pulled away toward the vast unknown wilderness of icy death!
Something has gone TERRIBLY TERRIBLY WRONG!!
ANGELA! (Read that in your Seinfeld “Newman” voice.)
She had my arm.
“NO! I don’t wanna pull you down!” I say, uttering the most altruistic thought I could muster.
“We’re not going to fall!”
Right. We’re going to DIE!
30 minutes later, we were a quarter of the way around the rink (SHUT UP! YOU DON’T KNOW MY LIFE!) and I was all “okay, I can do it!” I immediately made a beeline for the nearest free space on the wall.
“Well THAT WAS FUN!” Bystanders on the normie side of the wall laughed.
Petitedov skated over to us (little tell tale wet circles covered the knees of her stockings) “hey, there are ice cops out there!”
Excellent. As soon as I let go of this wall, I’m skating over to the nearest ice cop and reporting my kidnapping!
Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with ice skates…er…or something.
And then a mom, with a little boy covered in bubble wrap and wearing two helmets, said “excuse me,” because her CHILD was circumnavigating the rink by pulling himself along the wall and she needed my inch of it.
I pushed off and I didn’t fall. I didn’t not fall for ten more minutes until I made it back to the start. And then I took a break. I did go back out and not fall some more until I could finally sorta keep up with Pdov and Angela and have our great meaningful conversations while skating.
There was absolutely no drinking of hot chocolate. Though, in retrospect, I believe the conversation would have gone something like “oh, this ice feels soothing on my hands where that heated liquid splashed after I fell right on my ass trying to take a sip.