Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Incidents from my Childhood that have Scarred Me: Part Deux

I have been chastised by a few different people lately regarding my blogging absence. This makes me so happy. Not happy that I haven't blogged in a long time, but happy that I have expanded my blogging audience to include people who did not give birth to me! (Hi Mom!) So, three cheers for that.

I have been experiencing a raging case of writer's block as of late. The problem is, the door leading to my desk seems to have some sort of blocking mechanism for happy or amusing thoughts. I feel like I'm a cartoon character in a bad mood, with a little thundercloud brewing over my head. And the instant I leave my office, the clouds part and the sun comes out. But by that time, I have things to do with rest of my day and my eye balls would fall out of my head if I had to look at a computer anymore.

So there's that. But enough with the excuses and apologies and onto a random story I feel compelled to share with the world wide web.


Fall is supposed to look like this:
And not like this:

I can not even put into words how desperately I want it fall and winter to be here. I want soup and jeans and sweaters and scarves and cute coats and pumpkins and I want it now! Instead, the high today is 103 and I have to wear the same unflattering outfit 5 days a week for every season. As a member of a group I like to call "normal people" who weigh more than 105 lbs, I prefer seasons that involve wearing more clothing. When it is over 100 degrees, you can only take off so much clothing before things get dicey. But when it's cold, you can wear layers upon layers until no one would know that you ate oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for two of your meals that day. And most tragically, I have no idea when I will be able to have the pleasure of viewing one of my most favorite sights in all of the world: husband in a sweater. It is my kryptonite.

 The past few nights, I've actually been dreaming about my beloved fall and winter times. I've had dreams of drinking caramel apple cider, crunching through leaves, and most recently: skiing. Skiing is the only thing that I feel I am actually marginally good at. It is not an exaggeration when I say that I am probably the least athletic person I know. So, it's kind of a big deal to me that I can actually participate in one physical activity without completely embarassing myself.

Here I am during my brief time on the BYU Ski Team.
When I moved to Colorado, I was so stoked to go skiing and show off my one and only skill. My dreams appeared to be coming true when a friend invited me to go up to the mountains with a big group. And all of the boys going were like, so totally cute. The only catch? Everyone was going to be snowboarding. No sweat! I am good at skiing, and therefore snowboarding can't be that hard, right?

So, off we go, a big herd of snowboards, puffy coats and hormones. The teenage boys who were supposed to be teaching us how to snowboard, ever thoughtful and rational, decided that we should skip the bunny hill and go straight for the regular hills, where we can figure out the whole snowboarding thing. My failure to stand in line without endangering the lives of other innocent line patrons should have tipped me off that the day was not going to be a success. But I was high on the prospect of my ensuing popularity and just knew that I would get the hang of it in no time.

We reached the top of the hill and I fumbled with my snowboard in an attempt to line it up right to unload from the ski lift. I dismounted from the chair with the grace of drunken hippopotamous and experienced my first of many face plants. I also managed to bring down the rest of my chairmates, and the lift attendant scurried out of his little hut to untangle the pile of limbs and skis and snowboards I'd created. I hobbled away from the scene and buried my burning red cheeks in my coat. My snowboarding sensei stood at the top of the hill, waiting for me to get myself together for the brilliant lesson that I was about to participate in.

"Just go down. And if you start going too fast, turn." Armed with what was apparently all of the knowledge neccessary to snowboard, I started down the hill. Approximately 3 feet later, I once again became intimately acquainted with the ground. I picked myself up and started again. And this time, just to change things up, I fell with a resounding "thump" onto my rear end. This would become a theme for the day. After about an hour of falling and standing and trying to get snow out of my pants, my ever-patient and understanding coach stared wistfully at the rest of the mountiain, and the people enjoying moving for longer than 10 seconds before having to scoop someone out of the snow and fetch runaway snowboards. "Well... how about you just keep trying for a while and I'll come back after I do some runs on my own?" Overwhelmed by humiliation and rear-end pain, I reluctantly agreed to this plan. I started to nod my head but before I'd even completed the nod, he was off and I was sitting in the snow by myself, at a ski resort I'd never been to.

No matter! I was convinced that he'd come back in a few minutes and I'd be a pro by then. I made my way down the hill, one wipe out after another, and eventually came to a split in the path. I had no idea which way to go, and just followed a group of people skiing past me and kept pluggin' along in my now familiar routine of go down, start going too fast, try to turn, wipe out. Rinse and repeat. After a particularly nasty wipeout, my click-in bindings on the board I was borrowing un-clicked and my board went flying down the mountain without me. I chased after it as it made its way towards a group standing at the bottom of the hill. The snowboard beat me, and banged into the boots of a little skier standing at the bottom. Tripping all over myself, I finally reached my board, muttering breathless apologies for my runaway snowboard. The big and gruff dad of the tiny (and unharmed) skier, launched into an impassioned tirade about out of control idiots like me ruining the mountain, and how I could have seriously hurt someone. Towards the end of his speech, he grabbed me by the collar of my coat and shoved me into the snow, hollering at me to get control of myself or get off the mountain.

I sat in the snow, shocked from being thrown into the snow by a grown man, and had a nice little pity party for a while. This was really not how I envisioned this day to be going at all. Convinced that I was an absolute menace to the entire mountain, I picked up my board and tried to walk down the the bottom of the mountain. As it turns out, walking down a mountain is actually even harder than attempting to snowboard down a mountain. I was soaking wet, freezing cold, desperately lost, and still trying to control the sobs that were attempting to escape. I came to the bottom of a hill and looked at the next one, which looked to be nothing less than a cliff. I had somehow wandered onto a double black diamond. After stumbling down half of the hill, I decided that I had no other options besides to just sit down in the snow and die. So I plopped down and imagined how sorry all my dumb friends would be when they found my frozen remains.

Salvation suddenly appeared in the name of a man riding a snowmobile towards me. He drove over to me and asked me what I was doing sitting in the middle of the hill, to which I replied, "(insert crying and nonsensical mumbling here.)" The benevolent stranger looked at my ski pass and told me I'd wandered onto an entirely different ski resort! So even if I made it to the bottom, they wouldn't let me on a lift to get back to where I came from. The guy must have thought I looked pretty darn pathetic, and offered to give me a ride back to where I came from. Disregarding all of my mother's cautions about strangers and snowmobiles and especially strangers on snowmobiles, I hopped on the back of the snowmobile (Sorry, Mom). Luckily, the kind stranger turned out not to be a serial killer, and he dropped me off in front of the lodge of the ski resort.

I spent the rest of the day sitting inside the lodge, nursing my bruised ego and even more bruised behind. And vowing to never touch a snowboard again in my life. And to get better friends.

I will conclude what has turned out to be an incredibly long saga with a joke:

Q: What is the difference between a vacuum and a snowboarder?

A: The way you attach the dirtbag.

And here I am trying to get down the mountain with Matt riding on the back of my skiis. Turns out, it is a lot harder than it looks. And a lot more hilarious.


  1. Weird..I was actually going to bring up the fact that you hadn't written in awhile and that I was sad about it. You are really entertaining and you make me laugh. I'm such a blog stalker!

  2. Being a snowboarder (and not a skier, I have never skied a day in my life), his explanation on "how to snowboard" was pathetic. And he should have told you to stay on your heels and do the falling feather until you understood how to stop without falling on your butt. I had three guys teach me how to snowboard (two I dated-- one being Ty, and one was my FHE brother), and all were pretty decent and teaching me how.

    But o man, how you ended up in another ski resort is amazing, and hilarious. I'm glad you're willing to subject yourself to being laughed at. And I'm glad the guy on the snowmobile was not a rapist/serial killer. I prbly would have cried too though, if I ever did that.

    And I resent your joke about dirtbags and snowboarders (although, I must admit that a good chunk of douchebags and douchebaggettes on the slopes is made up of snowboarders).

  3. Good lord...That's awful! D< Grown man tossing you into the snow like that! He should be ashamed! But I am glad you met the nice couldabeenastalker guy on the snowmobile who took you back.