I was hovering around 12 when I got my first pair of rink style roller skates. They were wrapped under the Christmas tree. It was hard to mistake them, mostly because of the weight. When I lifted the brightly wrapped package to give it a good shake, I dropped it on my foot. Nearly ending my career as a professional roller skater before it ever began.
The shape of the package was also a giveaway, because I had asked for a trunk style case to transport them with me to the roller skating rink on Friday night. The trunk served a dual purpose, as I could hide my Maybelline Baby Blue eye shadow in a secret compartment, so that I could apply it to my entire eyelid in the small dimly lit bathroom of the roller skating rink.
Only once did I forget to wipe the blue eye shadow off before the designated time that I was to be picked up by a parent.
The year was 1972. Good times.
I was a pretty decent roller skater. How can you go wrong, really, considering that you have 8 whole wheels keeping you adrift.
Emme began campaigning for a pair of Heelies when they were first popular a few years ago. She saved up her money and we finally relented and let her get them. I wasn’t too worried, since she was still low to the floor, with a wheel under each heel.
This year she set her sights on a Ripstik. For those of you who live with their head buried in the sand, like me, a Ripstik is a contraption not unlike a skate board. Except that there is a wiggly bar in the middle and the entire board consists of only 2 very unstable wheels. To view a commercial of this product, click here.
When I first laid eyes on a Ripstik at the park, I told her absolutely no way would I let her break a femur as she negotiated that unstable contraption. Because as far as I was concerned, rip was the crucial element in the name, since I was certain that she was going to rip every tendon in her legs and arms should she attempt it.
At a cousin’s house one day, my fears were confirmed when I witnessed two adults try to take a spin on a niece’s Ripstik. Both ended up on the ground, legs still high in the air.
But my daring and dangerous Emme climbed aboard. And after a timid launch, I watched her wiggle her way down the sidewalk. More trips to the park, wherein she borrowed a fellow homeschooler’s Ripstik, proved that she had the gift of the Ripstik.
We relented, and Emme became the proud owner of a hot pink and black Ripstik on Christmas morning. I’m rather astonished, and very proud of the her sense of coordination.
I think maybe I was born during the wrong time period. How awesome would it have been to have something like a Ripstik when I was 12. I would not have had to wait to go to the Roller Rink on a Friday night. I would just hit the sidewalk, wind in my hair.
Oh sure, I would have missed my Maybelline Baby Blue eyeshadow. An integral accessory to the skating experience. But on the bright side, I would never have known the shame of the couples skate.
And don’t worry, I have no intention of taking her Ripstik out for a spin once I’ve got my sea legs back. But at dinner I did hear the gauntlet get thrown to the ground with a thud when Fiddledaddy, a former surfer dude, made mention that he was certain he could ride the Ripstik.
Note to self: update insurance policy.
I’m perfectly comfortable relying on the MommyVan for my wheels of choice.