Monday, April 07, 2008

The Finer Things... And the Finer Woman

My full-fledged yuppie upbringing has led me down all the road to all sorts of life’s little pleasures. Brie at age four? Bring it on! Chablis at age three? Mais bien sur. Overseas travel at age eight? Be free, little grasshopper, to discover your snooty French side! Skis at age five? Um, technically, yes, but that did not go over so well. Skiing was more of an acquired taste. I have always been a princess. And skiing involves a) muscles, and b) being cold, neither of which has ever been all that appealing to me.

However, my parents were committed yuppies, and with a little swill of whiskey in a flask (for them, not me, though: tangent!: whiskey was not an acquired taste so much as something I loved from the get-go, I think mostly because my grandmother used to feed my delicate toddler self all the maraschino cherries out of her whiskey sours) they would push me off the mountain tra-la! And I would be so horrified that they had dressed me in blue (WHICH IS SO NOT PINK) that I would not realize I was skiing until I was halfway down the mountain, mid-sulk. The indignity.

Thus, my one sport of choice was… nourished? And I became a skier. To the point that I almost get high, now, when I ski. The controlled rush is perfect for my taste for contained adventure. To be moving so fast, in such an organic (and by "organic" I mean "non-motorized", as opposed to "non-fiberglass" and "plastic" and "neon colors") way, yet still to be in control… it fits me. Plus, being surrounded by mountains that take your breath away is a good way to make you all zen and tingly.

Skiing is why I moved to Colorado. College was a means to an end, in some ways.

What I will tell you, though, is that if I had never skied before? And you asked me to ski now? I would laugh at you as I made my way to the bar in my fur-lined boots and waited for your ridiculous ass to get out of the cold and join me for some hot chocolate with peppermint Schnapps. Or Baileys. I’m flexible.

Which is why my sister-in-law rocks. Because she had never skied before. And then she met my brother, and he said “marry me,” which is the only logical explanation I can think of for her being so blindly willing to attempt skiing at the ripe age of 20-something. She has now been skiing a handful of times, even though our impatient family was like, “You’re fine, let’s go!” and took her up the mountain with nary an alcoholic beverage in sight, and the girl came back for more.

I know, I don’t believe it, either. But this weekend she and my brother were visiting, and she bought a t-shirt that said Opening Season of the New Part of the Mountain! (ish) And my brother and I, being cracked out on fresh mountain air were all, “Oh, you have to EARN it, you have to SKI the new part to wear the t-shirt.”

And bless her unsuspecting heart, she said, “O.K.”

My mother, was more like, “Erm, do you really think she’s ready for that?” in a I-don’t-want-to-give-my-daughter-in-law-a-reason-to-hate-me way, and we poo-pooed her and cajoled my dear sister-in-law to point her skis off the cliff, and down the icy face we went!

Sis got down the first 50 yards quickly, though more so by leading with her face than her skis, like we had suggested. Still, once the acrobatics ended and the billowing cloud of snow settled, she got up, giggled (!) and kept on going. I am pretty sure I would have killed me, if I were her. But that is why she’s a better woman than I am.

And then we went home and drank wine, and she says she’s coming back next year.

We’ll see what she says when the buzz wears off.


Anonymous said...

You evil Cat !!!


Lily said...

I never skied in my life! I really should, it might be something I would like....
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Cat!!!(I hope Facebook is right about the date...)

Princess of the Universe said...

Try Hot chocolate with Butter ripple. Your life will never be the same! :P

c3 said...

Okay, I always said that if I decided to try skiing again you would be my teacher, but I'm taking that back. :) Happy birthday, m'dear!!!

Melissa said...

Your sister-in-law is a better woman than me! Remember my first time skiiing?!?!?! And the snowboard I bought from you is really just to make me look cool. I spend most my time in the lodge slamming back the hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps. I'm not fooling anyone, I know.

Pauline said...

Going downhill at a rapid rate on two pieces of bent wood never appealed to me but you had me laughing all the way down the hill with this piece. You missed your calling - you should have been a stand-up comic.

Ramblin' Red said...

That sounds like my first (and only 1 of 3 times gone) time skiing....I started to late, like my jr year in highschool, at the insistance of my stepfather. No thanks.

Happy belated b'day too!

Princess in Galoshes said...

Maud- eh, oui

Lily- Thanks! Facebook was right. :-)

Princess U- OMG, that sounds SO good

C3- I promise I will be nice. Come back to Colorado and ski with me!

Mel- You don't give yourself enough credit. You do great. Remember how the lift op. called us "precocious"? I'm pretty sure he didn't even know what that word meant.

Pauline- Thanks! But you should try skiing, someday. It's really not as scary as it looks.

Red- Try it again with someone who's nice. It's so worth it!

Anonymous said...

In a way, I think rolling down the mountain is fun(as long as I don't hurt myself). Actually SKIING is a lot of work.

You got to see the most spectacular face plant of the week, but I think the ski instructor was the first one to see me giggle about it when he decided it was a good idea to try a little ROUGH TERRAIN on Bobtail at Keystone. Ha! That went over real well. It was a great excuse to do snow angels.

I'm thinking it's a genetic flaw that has something to do with the fact I was born in a blizzard in Syracuse, NY.

As for the alcoholic refreshments, I was not lacking in them while not skiing, though I think I will be trading wine for more of the mixed variety for the next week or so.

audrey said...

Being in vail last week made me wish I was a skier, but I am so, so not. Oh, well!