Thursday, February 02, 2006

Little Girls Ice Skating

I'll be forty this year, and I'm going to learn to ice skate, by golly. I've always wanted to do it, and loved being on ice skates when I was a kid (the two or three times I ever was on ice skates) but the only way I know how to stop is to basically run into the wall. Might be an okay method for a kid, when your bones are more rubbery, but not so much as an adult. I don't want to be Peggy Fleming, and there's no way in heck I'll ever wear one of those little skirty outfits. I just want to be able to skate. For some reason it appeals to me. Maybe it will be a nice contrast to the falling I'm trying not to do right now on the ice on the sidewalks outside.

So this Monday I went to the rink and stood in line for registration. They had told me ahead of time to get there early because the classes fill up fast, and sure enough, there were at least 50 people in line by the time registration opened. While I waited in line, I looked around and found I was surrounded mostly by parents who were registering their kids, mostly little girls, for ice skating classes. We were basically standing at the top of the ice rink, and down below there were pre-teen girls doing spins and double-axles and whatnot, wearing those glittery costumes that only ice skaters can wear and get away with. A little throng of preschool girls gathered down at the first row of bleachers , watching the big girls. Maybe they dreamt of one day having legs that long, and skating that gracefully, and basically looking like princesses, like Gesley Kirkland in the Nutcracker Suite with Mikhail Baryshnikov. Oh, wait, that was my dream. I remember watching that "special IBM presentation" every year on TV in the Seventies. But truth be told, I wanted to be Baryshnikov, not wussy Gesley. Hey, I was a tomboy! And that man could fly, I swear.

So, anyhow, I feel more like a Midwesterner already, now that I'm taking ice skating lessons. My brother-in-law says every real Minnesotan should play ice hockey, but let's do one thing at a time here. Maybe when I'm fifty I'll take up hockey. Ha!

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