Mr. Wonderful and I went skiing on Saturday.
Actually, he went skiing and I went falling on my ass.
My beloved is very hunky and athletic. He ran track and played football and was a flippin’ ski instructor. He’s a serious golfer.
I, on the other hand, am … a life-long reader. And sometimes, I manage to walk and chew gum at the same time.
He took me to the local ski area on a really nice day. He had the same idea as approximately 287,465 other people. It was packed.
And it was the very, very first time I’d ever had skis on my feet.
We spent time on the bunny hill. I fell down. He told me to get up. I just stared at him. How are you supposed to get up when you have no earthly idea how?
So, we addressed that challenge. I kept falling down. And getting in the way of the little kids who were trying to take group lessons.
In an effort to get some more space, Mr. Wonderful suggested that we try the next-sized hill. We got on the chair lift.
My first clue that something was horribly, horribly wrong came with the utter relief I felt at sitting down. And then the sheer terror I felt as the lift went up, up, up.
There was no bar across the front of the chairlift seat. I made the mistake of looking down.
I ended up holding on to the side of the chairlift with both hands. I kept my eyes closed.
We got to the top and, miracle of miracles, hopped off without much fanfare. They didn’t have to stop the lift on my account, which is a wonder.
But here’s the problem with chairlifts: they transport skiers to the top of high mountains. And then? And then, the skiers have to get down those mountains.
Upon surveying the “hill” before us, I filled with panic. And Mr. Wonderful admitted that gee, this hill was a bit steeper than the bunny hill. And icier, too.
So, we started our way down the hill, which I lovingly began to think of as The Hill of Death. I kept falling. I wasn’t good at stopping. I tried really, really hard not to cry.
At one point, I turned to Mr. Wonderful and said, “Just leave me here. Just leave me here to DIE!”
He now admits that he considered this a viable option.
But, lovely man that he is, he didn’t leave me to die. He helped me get down that blasted mountain. And it only took us 45 minutes. I almost wept with relief.
And then we sat in the lodge. The end.
Ok, not quite. I sat in the lodge. Mr. Wonderful skied. I then skied some more on the bunny hill. After I successfully slalomed through the five little squishy targets set up for kids, Mr. Wonderful proclaimed that I had mastered skiing. And I proclaimed, “Good! Now I’m done!”
Ha ha, funny. Cha Cha can’t ski. Ha ha.
Except it really bothered me. And it opened up an emotional can of worms that I didn’t realize I had been toting around.
Mr. Wonderful is athletic. His daughter, the Ladybug, is athletic and knows no fear – at 4 years old. And, the former Mrs. Wonderful is athletic. Tall and thin and athletic.
She’s a fucking runner. A runner!
Let me just fondle my asthma inhaler and ruminate on this for a moment.
I find myself feeling dumpy and completely uncoordinated and unattractive. Instead of family vacations where Mr. Wonderful, the Ladybug and I all frolic in some sort of athletic family activity, they will frolic and I will sit and get fat. They will ski and I’ll sit in the lodge and watch my ass grow.
Jumping to conclusions based on a rough first outing on a ski hill? Don’t mind if I do.
At one point on my long journey down The Hill of Death, I turned to Mr. Wonderful and said, “We all have our special gifts.”
And he said, “Yeah, and skiing isn’t one of yours. And that’s ok.”
I’ve toyed with the idea of being a gym teacher, just so I could put the close-handed smack down on any punk that makes fun of anyone. I’d tell the kids that we all have our special gifts. For some kids, it’s math. For others, it’s kickball.
I was a mathlete. And I’m a good singer. And I’m a supposedly confident grown-up with a successful career and life.
I’m just sort of channeling my inner, miserable seventh-grade alter ego right now, even though I wasn’t the last kid picked on the ski hill. I was the only kid picked.