Monday, December 04, 2006

Not So Happy Feet

Since I love me some sequels, I thought I would continue with the theme of in-laws and freezing temperatures, and tell y'all about one of the most embarrassing moments of my life.

The ski trip.

It was Christmas 1995. We met my husband's family in Colorado for a week of winter wonderland. I was pretty excited about it, even though I had never been skiing in my life. My husband assured me that I would have ski lessons and do just fine. (We hadn't been married for long. He had no idea how unathletic I am. I can cut a rug with the best of them, but don't make me do anything that remotely resembles sports. P.E. brought my GPA down in high school.)

We arrived in Colorado with much anticipation and without our luggage. I borrowed a sleep shirt from my sister-in-law and tucked myself in for a long Winter's nap; visions of snow covered mountains danced in my head.

Morning arrived along with our luggage. The trip was looking a little bit better. Until...

Ski lessons.

One other family member went along with me. He had grown up in the south, too, but he probably made better grades in P.E. He caught on very quickly and was actually promoted from the bunny slopes. I wish I could say the same about my learning curve.

Let me set the scene for you. Knowing that I had never skied and that I probably would not be skiing very often in the future, my mother-in-law offered her old ski clothes to me before our trip. This was very gracious of her, but there was one tiny detail we had not considered. Her old ski clothes were from the 80's. One outfit had white pants and a light blue parka. The other was a light yellow jumpsuit. Both ensembles were quite warm and comfortable, and paired with great powder shredding moves, they would have been fabulous. But, since I was the least athletic person in the middle of a group of sporty ski students all dressed in black, let's just say I kinda stood out.

Nearly everyone else was catching on, fumbling at first, but getting back up, brushing the snow off, and happily gliding from the bunny slopes to the real slopes. There was one other woman as clumsy and clueless as me- a Spanish woman on vacation with a friend. To add to her struggle, she couldn't speak English very well. Her friend was trying to translate for her. There are just so many times that someone can translate, "He said to get back up and try again."

I can remember falling for the last time. I wasn't even coordinated enough to get up! There I was, dressed like a yellow marshmallow chick, rolling in the snow, trying to get up. It was a play by play remake of Randy in A Christmas Story. Finally, in either compassion or frustration, the ski instructor ran up the bunny slope and rescued me.

I stood at the bottom of the slopes with my new friend, the clumsy Spanish woman. She turned to me in the midst of her own angst and, with a Spanish accent, she said, "Skiing is hard. Yes?"

We stood there together. The yellow marshmallow chick and the clumsy Senorita. We stood upright with our poles pressed firmly in the not so wonderful wonderland. Our instructor walked by, a smirk on his frosty face, and said, "I see you two found each other."

Yes, Ralphie. Indeed we had. We had found each other, partners where no language or fashion barriers could keep us apart, bound by that one thing that brought us together-

Skiing is hard. Yes.


Big Mama said...

Oh, you and I could go skiing together for sure. We could sit, drink hot chocolate and enjoy the scenery.

Nancy said...

ha ha ha ha ha!

you painted a wonderful picture in my mind. Thanks for the laughs.

Linda said...

This is hilarious! The line about being in technicolor cracks me up.

Air Force Family said...

Too funny! Almost the same thing happened to me in 1996, the 1st and only time I'd ever been skiing. I wouldn't mind doing it again, just as long as I don't end up face down upside down on a hill of snow again. lol