Thursday, March 3, 2011

Rollerskating to White Snake

At the high school I teach at the Phys Ed classes do a unit on rollerskating.  Not ice skating, or roller blading - we're talking from-the-depths-of-the 80s and 90s roller skating.  It starts with the cabinets of biege-colored roller skates with orange wheels and stoppers on the toes and ends with White Snake blaring from a double cassette boombox teetering on the edge of the stage.  Oh you think I'm kidding?  I'm not.  As I walk through the gymnasium to get...well, just about anywhere in my building, you may think I grow tired of "Here I Go Again on my own..." and kids colliding into one another on their poor excuse for a skating rink.  But I don't. 
You see...I may be clucking through there in my heels, looking like I'm on some great mission to make the ultimate photo-copy, but the truth is that I LOVE this unit.  I'm purely a spectator....a bystander from afar... with a secret.  I. Love. To. Rollerskate.
Am I good?  No.  Do I do it?  Not anymore.  But it doesn't feel like too long ago that my Dad was taking my brothers and I to the rollerskating rink what felt like every Sunday.  When I look back it was a highlight of my childhood - going there with my dad.  I'm sure it was just a generous ploy on my dad's part to get us out of the house and give my mom some alone time, but it felt like it was all about us.  From the smelly skates to the one piece of candy we could buy, to the DJ who would put on some metal mania hit and then show off his mad figure-eight skills for all of us pre-teens to oogle over. 
The other thing I want all of you to dad is a really good roller skater.  My mom said one time that someone exclaimed that my dad "rollerskates like he drives cars - fast and furious".....or something to that effect.
I was pretty lucky.
And the other day when I was walking through the gym and bopping along to "pour some sugar on me," it occurred to me that this is something my sons may never get to do.  Despite the fact that Dustin guffawed the first time I asked him if he liked to rollerskate (there will probably be no Sunday trip to the rink boys), there just aren't any roller skating rinks around anymore.  Which led to another realization.....I am a part of generation whose children will miss out on many of the things that made our childhood so rockin.
So I, in typical blogger fashion, compiled a list of things my boys may regrettably never get to do.
  • Rollerskate in a rollerskating rink.  You know - the limbo, boys choose girls partner skate, girls choose boys, the hokey pokey, disco-ball and Poison skating on hard-wood floors and dimmed down lights.
  • Drive-in movie theaters.  My family/friends and I went many times every summer to the double feature in my town.  What's better than trying to find a comfortable position on a blanket on the grass while freezing your little tushes off?
  • Call a girl on the phone.  Kids text now.  My sons will probably never have to technically call a girl for the first time and spend minutes lost in awkward silence and silly questions.
  • Have to ask to talk to above-mentioned girl when her dad answers the phone.
  • Try to figure out a way to carry on a conversation on the phone with above-mentioned girl while your family is sitting in the room and you are tethered to a phone that is actually attached to the wall.
  • Get up to change the channel on the television.
  • Cover a textbook with a paper sack from the grocery store.  They just don't do that anymore - at least not where I teach.
  • Have a CB handle.  Okay...I had one.  I might have been the only one at my high school without a CB in my car.  Go ahead, let the redneck jokes ensue...
  • Make a mix tape.  When I went to study abroad in Northern Ireland Dustin made me 4.  Four mix tapes I fell asleep to every night and walked to work listening to on my yellow sports Walkman every morning.  To this day when I hear a song that was on one of those tapes I find myself waiting for the song that was next to follow along like I'm listening to it all over again.
  • Wear hammer pants...maybe they'll make a comeback...but I hope not.
  • Cut fire wood.  When I think of this it still makes me shudder.  Being outside in the snow in the middle of the woods with my brothers while a really loud log splitter runs and I'm forced to heave logs into the back of a pick-up only to go home and stack them in the barn until next year when they will be hauled up to the garage where I'll have to stack them again?  No thanks.  You guys got lucky on this one.
  • Live without air conditioning and a dish washer.  I didn't have either of these until I was married.  Now I will never live without.  You guys will never realize how lucky you are.
  • And last-but-not-least...leave a clever multi-family-member answering machine pick-up message.
I'm sure there are others I'm forgetting.  Please add to my list if there are things you can think of.  What great adventures will my sons be missing out on as children of the.......tens?  (That even sounds lame.)


thewonderfulhappens said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Looking things up in an encyclopedia!!! I loved the anatomy section where there were all of the clear sheets with the body systems on them. My husband has admitted a fascination with flags of the world and he would copy them out of his grandma's World Book collection.

We actually do have roller rinks here, so hopefully my boys will get to experience that. When I was young, it was the ULTIMATE to have your birthday party at the skating rink. I got to once, but had to combine my birthday with a friends to save $$. But hey, it was still pretty rad.

Tiffany said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

YES! I still remember our first set - directly from a home salesman! And my favorite part was the clear pages/anatomy as well. You could tell right where it was because the pages looked different from the side. :) Good one.

Elizabeth Frick said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Oh man, Elizabeth totally called it! Encyclopedias?! Crazy talk.
I actually still had records when I was a kid. Olive and Ingrid know what they are b/c they have two record player toys of mine from my own youth. But I'm sure anyone they tell about it will think they're absolutely nuts.

Our roller rink had a giant skate that, if you were the birthday boy or girl, you got to ride around in it to an awesome rendition of "Happy Birthday". I never got to take that joy ride. Sigh...