When I last posted, I was preparing for an upcoming vacation with a new man, and a new sport; skiing. I had taken a few lessons at Bill Jackson’s on an indoor ramp and bought a pair of wool socks. No one told me about the other items I would need including: long underwear, a ski jacket, a hat, gloves, layers of fleeces, something called a neck gator, goggles and face protector. Why not just ski in a burka? BTW, this list does not include the skis, poles and horror of horrors- helmet (Thanks a lot Sonny Bono,) that you rent once you arrive at your skiing destination. Basically, from what I could see skiing is one huge pain in the ass.
Let’s forget about the fact that I had to take out a loan to purchase the necessary gear, and that the only ski jacket left in my size was pea green. Let’s not dwell on the fact that once the ski stuff was packed, I barely had room for my new 7 for all mankind jeggings which make my legs look skinny as opposed to the ski pants that make that thighs rubbing together sound when I walk, and possibly cause chafing. This is fun damn it!
Immediately upon arriving in Park City, I signed up for a morning of lessons. I figured a few hours was all I would need to get the feel of real snow and real skiing, after all, had I not spent hours on an indoor ski ramp in Florida? My date and I would meet up in the lodge at lunch time, and then spend the rest of the day skiing together. That night we shared a lovely dinner in a cozy restaurant on Main Street and polished off a bottle of my favorite Pinot Noir. I love ski vacations!
The sun rose at about 6:30 as did my guy. There was a lot of pot clanging going on in the kitchen and as I made my way down the stairs my mouth began to water in anticipation of a big, carb laden breakfast. Imagine my dismay to find a bowl of goopy oatmeal at my chair and my date already half dressed. “This will really stick to your ribs! Let’s get a move on, remember 12,000 vertical feet before lunch!”
Trudging back upstairs I began to second guess the little white lie I had told, that being yes I ski, because it was becoming very clear to me with each passing moment that no I do not. One must remember, aside from being my first experience skiing, it was my first time away with a man since my divorce. Not only was I navigating snow laden mountains, I was navigating my way through bathroom sharing and morning breath with a man who had not seen me give birth four times, and was probably under the impression that I look pretty good most of the time. How I was going to keep up the facade under 40 pounds of ski clothes was beyond me.
We make our way down to the garage where my date hands me my skis, poles and helmet. Seriously? Is there something about skiing that prohibits a man from being a gentleman? Dude. Carry my stuff! I guess when you hit a certain altitude it is every man for himself. We begin to trudge through the snow to a gondola which will take us up to the mountain. I have taken like three steps and already there is frozen snot on my face. I think it is a good look for me.
At the top of the mountain I meet the rest of my “class” which consists of a 12 year old boy named Quinn. My instructor, Doug, is adorable, young, with glowing skin and super cute hair. He takes my arm as we get in line for the chair lift, much like I used to do with my blind grandmother when we took her out to eat. We ride up, up, up into oblivion. Doug and Quinn are really hitting it off, sharing snow boarding stories while I am trying not to look down. Suddenly it dawns on me, I somehow have to get off this thing with skis on my feet, and then Doug is giving some quick instruction on what to do as the bar rises, and I stand up and lean forward and...immediately fall flat on my ass, causing the chair lift to come to a creaky stop with some kind of siren going off. The chair lift guy literally hands me a pole which I grab on to as he proceeds to drag me out of the way, much like a wounded rhino. It then took two men to pull me up to a standing position, while Doug and Quinn looked away pretending not to know me.
WIthout going into too much detail, let’s just say that scene was played out four more times, before Doug deposited me at the lodge in time for me to meet my guy and get some chili. I made my way to the restroom, where I removed my helmet and was too beat up and cold to even care that helmet hair made me look like Moe of the Three Stooges. I knew my date thought we would be whooshing down mountains the rest of the day and I realized then, I was going to have to come clean before I killed myself or possibly an innocent bystander.
We shared a good laugh over chili as I told him that perhaps I had overstated my skiing ability or understated my lack of, and he offered to ski the greens with me. We had a nice day together, helmet hair and all.
So, I survived my first skiing adventure, albeit with a few black and blue marks and some minor thigh chafing. More importantly, I made it through my first weekend away, with a man who came to love me just for my willingness to try but who still refused to carry my skis. Guess you can’t have everything.