Sunday, January 23, 2011

skate party usa

I want to see this film.

Yesterday morning while brunching at Cracker Barrel with my mom [Tangent: I confess that I ate there as well today, but made sure to go to a different location, lest management gets wise to my addiction of hashbrown casserole and greasy meats.], I looked over and noticed the little girl at the table next to me was not at all impressed with the magic of Cracker Barrel. Ear buds in, she was intently watching a movie on her parent's Ipad [Tangent: At least, I hope it was her not her own. My best friend's 8 year old niece has an Ipod touch, so I guess anything is possible.] as her dad and mom ate their meal, which was something tragically off the "low carb offerings" portion of the brown paper menu.  It made me extremely sad. When I was young, I would have intently colored my childrens' menu or played the peg game for the entirity of my meal; no outside media necessary. Not to sound like an old woman, but were kids today really that different from kids when we were young?
I didn't take this picture, but found it online and think it fit a bit too perfectly.
Luckily, within 8 hrs, I got a partial answer to my question. For my friend Jessica's birthday, about 15 people who are pushing 30, with a little too much wine fueled enthusiasm, descended upon The Brentwood Skate Center. [Tangent: This was the site of so many happy childhood memories, birthday parties and field trips. I texted my sister from the party, and her nostalgia was immediate in her response: "Once Jonathan from Who's The Boss was going to make an appearance there. I had to miss it because I was at softball practice. I'm still bitter."] To my circa 1991 delight, the place I remembered so fondly was completely unchanged from the last time I had been inside over 15 years ago. [Tangent: When I pulled up,  I momentarily got irritated that the skate center only had one handicapped space, then the realization came that it was indeed "the skate center," and since I wouldn't be paying the $11 skate rental fee- I probably didn't need to bitch about it.]  The awkward roller skate themed carpeting, the sock vending machine, the video games, the smell of popcorn and dust and even the skates themselves- everything was frozen in time. The skate center workers were still creepy and the kids all seemed genuinely happy to be spending their Saturday night skating in the same direction for hours at a time. I loved it.
These are the same skates my sister wore in 1989 at her 9th birthday party.
The only thing was now Snow's The Informer and The Bodyguard Soundtrack had been replaced by Ke$ha dance remixes. I felt old only when some teeniebopper in a trucker hat, who had lost the skate races due to the fact that she had to update her facebook status mid-race, got off the floor yelling, "this is my song!" and I realized I had no idea what the song was. 

Between taking bets on the 9-year-olds in the skate races and wishing that they sold alcohol at the snack bar, [Tangent: At one point, they announced that the prize for one of the games was a free drink. Our ears all perked up until we realized it was a likely a small Coca-Cola.], we found the highlight of the evening was people watching. Question of the night: what was sadder- to be the guy that DJs at the skating rink? OR to be the guy in his early 40's who comes there solo to pick up single moms and work on his skate choreography? [Tangent: Would it make the decision easier to tell you that the latter killed at the skate races and brought his own sweat rag so he could towel off mid roller skate sow cow?] We dubbed him 'Rollin' Rodney' and he became my friend Courtney's skate center boyfriend; mine was a single dad would had brought his own UT skates to match his UT polo shirt. Clearly, at the Brentwood Skate Center, your options are limited for finding love.

I am eternally grateful to Jessica for choosing this as her birthday party destination, thus reminding me how ridiculous my friends are capable of being. Seeing my friends, now married, circle the dance floor holding hands in the ever important "slow skates" alongside a bunch of 12-year-olds reminded me that maybe things haven't changed so much after all, and I am not as much as an old lady as I claim to be.

1 comment:

  1. EVERY time i hear "Fantasy" by Mariah Carey [which was released in 1995, for those of you who want to know how much I may be dating myself], i am reminded of the skating rink. it was a staple there in the mid-late-90s for the super-happy follow-up to the couples' skate. EVERY single time. we may get older, but our childhood never actually leaves us. at least, i don't think you and i are in any danger.

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