Monday, July 21, 2008


Whatever happened to the art of rollerskating? In the late 70's and early 80's I was a roller skating wizard. And I had a season pass to Skate Country to prove it. 

Needless to say, you can imagine my excitement when this weekend daughter Ellie was invited to a Roller Skating birthday party. I didn't even know they still had roller rinks, but apparently a few still remain - and stepping into this particular rink was akin to stepping into a time capsule. A virtual portal into the late 70's, it was as crappy as can be: hideous strobe lights, gunk on the walls, dirty psychedelic carpet and missing ceiling tiles, clearly untouched since its Grand Opening back in '78. 

Better yet, the parents of the birthday girl had rented out the entire rink for a full two hours, so we wouldn't be burdened with bell-bottom wearing 50-year olds trying to relive their Leif Garrett glory days or obnoxious tweens in tank tops twirling on 4 wheels to "Fergalicious." Giddy with excitement I strapped on the rental skates and hit the floor with reckless abandonment. I would have asked the 16-year old DJ to play some Andy Gibb or Sister Sledge, but she would have probably looked at me like I was speaking Russian.

As I skated in circles at record breaking speeds, blasting by the 11-year old party-goers I began to  wonder why Roller Skating is not more popular. It's fun, good exercise and really is there nothing sexier than those clunky brown boots with giant orange wheels as footwear? If it wasn't such a taboo sport, I'd wear roller skates everywhere - I'd be like Tootie from Facts of Life or "Rollergirl" from Boogie Nights (without the career in porn or cocaine addiction). I'd pick up my kids from school, grocery shop and drop off the dry cleaning all atop custom-made skates. I'd single-handedly bring back roller disco to the new millennium. Then again, I'd look like the crazy mom stuck in the 70's as I skated down the frozen pizza aisle doing the "Hokey Pokey and turning myself around." That's What It's All About.

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