Thursday, January 31, 2008

Skating

Remember roller-skating? For those of you that grew up in the 80’s, that is. Forget that rollerblading crap. I’m talking old school, dirt brown skates with orange wheels and ratty laces that you had to rent at the skating rink (unless you were lucky, as I was when I got older, enough to have your own pair of black speed skates with white racing stripes and red wheels…man, I was so hot back then!).

I’m at work listening to a c.d. called 80’s Club and “Fresh” by Kool & the Gang came on. It brought me back to my own skating years.

I lived in Jackson, MS at the time. I started going to the skating rink when I was about 8 and I ended up moving out of state when I was 11 but for those 3 years, I lived at the skating rink. Once I turned 10, mom would take me and Jennifer Anderson and anyone else in our “group” to Fun Time Skate. She would drop us off (around 6:30 or so) and we would act all “cool” waiting in line to pay to enter the hallowed skating ground (otherwise known at Fun Time). Man, the fashions alone are enough to make you scream. Off the shoulder torn sweatshirts (a la Flashdance) and mini skirts (yes, even while skating) and Thriller t-shirts and parachute pants (I was the proud owner of a red pair and even wore a bandana tied above the knee just like Mike….Michael Jackson that is). Fluorescent socks, high top Converse, ribbed tank tops, big belts, and bigger hair.

I can remember listening to songs like “We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off” by Jermaine Stewart, “Let the Music Play” by Shannon, “Sign Your Name” and “Wishing Well” by Terence Tent D’Arby, “Looking For a New Love” by Jodi Watley, “Oh, Sheila” by Ready for the World, “Every Little Step” by Bobby Brown, “Rhythm of the Night” by DeBarge, anything by Michael Jackson or Madonna.

We would get all excited when “Thriller” was played because the D.J. would turn off all the lights except for the disco ball in the center. We (the girls) would all get “scared” and would gravitate towards wherever the boys were in hopes that they would “protect” us but in reality would be the ones scaring the hell out of us in the dark.

They would have races for the speed skaters and we would do the “Hokey Pokey” and at the end of the song, an employee (usually some pimply faced sullen teenager) would throw out a bunch of pennies on the skating floor (can we spell L-A-W-S-U-I-T?!?!?!?) and we would all scramble grab as many pennies as possible. They had a vending machine that would give out sour balls for a penny.

I can remember being fascinated with ball bearings and wanting to follow the wall around the skating floor looking for ball bearings and any money that would fall out of skaters pockets.

We would get a slice of really crappy pizza and some blue colored ice cream and a soda. I can remember always being fascinated with the older girls that were always hanging out in the bathroom and sneaking cigarettes and putting on make up.

I had a boyfriend one time that went skating with me. His name was David Barlow and he had the biggest brown eyes on the face of the earth. He was beautiful. He looked so cute one night at the skating rink with his sweatband holding back his feathered hair and his torn yellow sweatshirt and torn tight jeans. Really, can we bring those fashions back? Like right now?

I always thought I was so cool because I could skate backwards and do that thing where you crouched down to skate and when you went around the curves, you would slide your right foot all the way out (potentially tripping someone behind you) to coast the curves. I can remember trying to jump up or down off the carpeted floor on to the skating floor.

Man, that was good times.

Later,

Mama Dawg

2 really cool people who give a rat's patootie:

Mary

Oh the skating memories!! I loved spinning in middle of the floor under the disco ball.....

Tracey R.

Good times, good times.

I vividly remember driving in the backseat in NYC with my (at the time) 70-something year old grandmother, and she let my sister and I choose the radio station, and "We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off" came on, and my sister and I started singing along (we had to be about 10 and 12, maybe?) and in a panicked voice she starts going, "What? What are they saying? Taking their clothes off? WHAT ARE YOU GIRLS SINGING TO?!?!"

And we had to patiently explain "No, Grandma, they're saying you DON'T have to take your clothes off. It's a GOOD song"

Good times.

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