I've been a roller girl since the tender age of 7 when I started going to the local roller rink, United Skates of America, circa 1985. I loved the wooden floors, the light show, the pop music and most of all the wall of records, including my favorite, Van Halen's 1984. Something about that little cherub smoking cigarettes fascinated me.
I got a pair of Rainbow Brite skates for Christmas that year
and I never looked back. I skated all the time. Up and down the broken sidewalks, down to the park where I was even photographed for the newspaper with my neighbor Sarah, and her sister, Mariah. Sarah and I were so devoted to skating that once we got into a fight and didn't even bother to remove our skates before descending onto my front porch in a frenzy of kicking and hair-pulling. When we realized how ridiculous it looks to kick someone while wearing a pair of skates we collapsed in laughter and called a truce. Skates. They are MAGIC.
To this day, skating Â remains the only form of aerobic exercise I actually enjoy. For a while I was attending one dollar skate night with a couple of girlfriends, until I got pregnant. Then I briefly considered Roller Derby. I pictured myself knocking chicks over in pearls and a mini ruffled apron, going by the name of Betty Crack-her. Then I got pregnant again.
Having four kids ages 8 and under and there being no good place to skate on my side of town means my opportunity to get my groove on is few and far between. So when the McKinneys were invited to a Rock-n-Roller Skating Party for our friends Conor and Juliana I got a little excited. And a little nervous. NONE of my kids can skate. One of them just started walking! I decided to take along my non-skating father for crowd control.
So, I've got an extra adult. Now, what to wear? No bare knees, that's a given. I opt for jeans for the boy-os and leggings for Alice and I. At the end of winter I got a couple of kicky little butt-cover skirts on the 90% off rack a Kohls. They scream "SKATE IN ME!" So, I will. Alice has been rejecting all hair accoutrements lately, and wants to go back to "the beginning of the world" when she has no bangs. So while I am resplendent in my flower headband, she just rocks the curls, unadorned.
Notice the nifty effect the black light has on the white trim on my shirt? I planned that. (NOT!) The shirt came from my favorite consignment store for freaks like me, AbyssCo. Hollah! Alice is rocking a Circo dress from Target that I wish came in adult sizes.
So obviously I took dressing myself for this event SERIOUSLY. Which is goofy, because, it was a children's birthday party. But all you have to do is say "SKATE WORLD" and I take leave of my senses.
Skate World has a nifty little area off to the side where kids can practice their skating. I decided to leave two in there while I skated with one. Let me just say that attempting to teach kids to skate is one thankless job.
One cool thing SKATE WORLD offers is these little skate walkers made of PVC pipes and wheels.
They went like hotcakes, but eventually all my elder kiddos got to use one. And it's a good thing, because it was really the only way they could enjoy skating!
Where did Alice learn to make the "duck face?"
Another cool thing about SKATE WORLD is that you can skate with your kids in a stroller!Â This went really well until Jarvis asked to push Felix around the rink and he decided the best thing to do would be to speed up and then LET GO of the stroller. That was the end of that.
One thing I wasn't digging so hard was the music. There was a bunch of stuff I didn't know, including some song about "Boom-Boom?" which I assume is by the Black Eyed Peas because they are the one band I think of when I hear something slightly catchy but banal and popular sounding. (I was right! Here's the video. I know this song. HOW do I know this song???)
I decided it was time to get it started...get it started in here (another Black Eyed Peas song. What is WRONG with me?) And everyone knows that nothing gets a skating party going like JOURNEY. I made my request and then skated up to the birthday kiddos mother, Andrea, Â who, like every other adult at the party, was not wearing skates. I seemed to be the sole skating adult. "I requested a song for us. I won't tell you what it is. You'll know." Then I skated off, and waiting for the opening keyboard strains of the song guaranteed to make everyone Â rock a little harder and skate a little faster.
Don't Stop Believing you can learn to skate, Linus!
Maybe it was because the dj drowned out the opening keyboard part, but I noticed a distinct lack of rocking going on. As I skated faster I felt a sinking feeling in my stomach. I had requested a song about the glories of one night stands at a children's birthday party. I kept skating by Andrea, and she never looked at me. No one was looking at me. Soon I was the only person skating, and I had to assume it's because the other parents didn't want their kids skating to a song about one night stands. And of course my kids were jumping up and down and singing along because I am a bad mother who allows her kids to sing songs about the smell of wine and cheap perfume on Rock Band Night at the Cake Household. I wanted to crawl into a hole and die, but instead I kept skating.
Then I skated by Juliana, the 5 year old birthday girl, who was also singing along. Then I passed Andrea, who said "Did you request this? I was so excited! It's my favorite song!" Whew. She was just, you know, BUSY, because it was her kids birthday party. Â I felt 100% better, while also recognizing that I can be incredibly paranoid.
Soon everyone was invited to the floor to meet a special guest, which turned out to be 2 people in some kind of mascot costumes. My kids are famously freaked out by suchÂ apparitions, especially Linus. They get it from their dad, who loathes all costumed humans, clowns and Mickey Mouses, in equal measure.
Can't you just feel the excitement?
The Birthday Girl had no such qualms, but Linus remains dubious.
Alice refused to participate in the Chicken Dance with me, or the Hokey Pokey.
The DJ played Beat It and We Will Rock Youand we had pizza and cupcakes. I pointed at a pitcher with a straw in it and said "What's in that?" and Andrea said "That's yours." In other words, Dr. Pepper. God Bless Her.
Now I can't wait till my next birthday, or the one after that maybe, so I can have my own Rock n Rollerskate birthday party. With no Black Eyed Peas songs.
Well, maybe just one.