Now once upon a time, a long time ago, when I was five-years-old, the Winter Olympics were on television. And like every other five to ninety-five year old girl alive, Dorothy Hamill was my idol. Almost immediately, my hair was shaped in to a Hamill cut and my mother enrolled me in ice skating lessons. Thanks to my older sister, Marylou, who splurged and bought me the entire getup, when I stepped out on the ice for my very first skating lesson, with my Dorothy Do, I had on brand new shiny white skates, nude colored tights, and a blue sparkly skating outfit. After all that I'd seen on television, my dream was that I'd swiftly skate to the center of the rink and do a double salchow.
My reality was two steps and a face plant.
But I stuck with those lessons, and soon enough, I could make it around the ENTIRE perimeter of the rink without clinging to the wall for dear life. Although I never learned to spin, I became a total master of the figure eight.
And …. that about sums up my skating career.
Fast forward thirty-five years to the day my children wanted for me to join them ice skating. And my husband, who hadn't skated in 35 years either convinced me that WE SHOULD TOTALLY DO THIS WITH OUR CHILDREN. This is an opportunity to build memories for us and them and by the way, Charlie? He informed me that he is a natural ice skater.
Wayne Gretzky? He's from Canada.
Kurt Browning? CANADA.
Everyone knows, all it takes is two points to form a line. So although he abhors real maple syrup, by virtue of being born in Canada, my athletically-gifted husband is, at a minimum, on the periphery of the same linear continuum as two of the most famous skaters of all time.
So there we are at the rink with our heavy blue plastic rented skates. Unlike our children who stepped out on the ice and immediately fell down, Charlie and I remained upright, albeit flailing around in a very un-Gretzky and/or Browning-like manner. But after a few laps, we found our groove and were able to glide across the ice without our arms flapping like we were preparing for take-off. And because we tend to get competitive with each other when it comes to sporting events, in between plucking our children off the ice, we started racing each other around the rink.
We were making memories and it was good.
But after a half hour of falling down, Carolyn decided she'd had enough. The rented skates had cut in to her legs and she was prepared to sit the rest of the "fun" out. Charlie sat with her for a while, before trading off with me and assuming the responsibility of stewarding William and Elizabeth's falls. When there were only five minutes remaining before the Zamboni came out, I signaled to Charlie that I wanted to skate …. just one more lap.
My husband skated in to the box and I slipped back out feeling completely confident in my ability. I glided around the first and second corner and was stroking my way around the third corner when all of a sudden, I slammed down on the ice. One minute I was up. The next minute I was down. I don't even remember the falling part. But I'd heard a POP coming from my left knee as soon as I crashed and there was an intense burning sensation emanating from directly behind my knee cap. I'm not sure how exactly I was able to stand up because by the time I hobbled off the ice, and in to my husband's outstretched arms, I couldn't bend my leg. And that's about the time I started to curse the inventor of ice skating because really, what total nut came up with the idea of putting BLADES on your feet and slipping across ICE?!
Sunday night was miserable and by Monday morning the pain was so bad, I couldn't walk without holding on to the wall. Charlie dropped me off at the Emergency Room to be checked out and as I sat waiting, I contemplated that age really is the great equalizer. The kids can fall down on the ice face first and backwards and every which way since Saturday, but I fall down once and I need an x-ray, brace, crutches, pain medication and referral to an orthopedist.
A week later, my knee is still extremely tender. Although I can walk without crutches, I'm having a very difficult time bending or turning it. So this morning, when I was getting ready for work and was attempting to put on my nylons, I was confronted with a tremendous challenge. Especially once I got the nylons on and realized that my left toenail, attached to the left leg that I am unable to bend, had snagged the stocking and there was a run that extended all the way to the knee. Because I was wearing a dress today, that wouldn't do. So I had to peel the nylons off and start over with a new pair.
By the time I had peeled the nylons off, and helped pull hair in to pony tails and collect library books and supervise teeth brushing and face washing … I was running late. So I flung open my dresser drawer and grabbed another pair of nylons which I then hastily tried to put on without snagging. When I pulled the nylons up, I could tell that they fit a little snuggly, but I assumed it must have been the Halloween candy that I hid and consumed in an effort to protect my children's teeth.
We hustle out the door and I drop the children off at school before driving to my office. As I'm walking from my car in to the building, I experienced the worst clothing malfunction of my life when the waist of my nylons slipped from above my hips to the middle of my thighs. And because there were no restrooms immediately available, and there are surveillance cameras everywhere, I didn't have the ability to "adjust" my nylons and therefore, had to pass through not one - but two levels of security - and up several floors waddling like a broken legged penguin.
When I finally reached the restroom, I peeled off the nylons and examined the label which clearly read, "Carters. Size 7." My husband, the man who bought me oversized underwear for Christmas last year, stocked my drawer with my daughter's tights.
Oh ... sure ... he pleads innocence.
But I'm starting to think he likes to mess with my mind.