My parents were of the opinion that if their children wanted to do something that cost money they had two options: give up something else, or pay for it themselves. This is the reason I never skied until my thirtieth year on earth. Which, for those of you who know anything about the Vancouver area, is a bit shocking – and weird. In fact, I remember being one of three kids in Grade 6 who wasn’t going on the annual ski trip with the class because it was going to cost $70 and my parents refused to pay. Actually, refused is a bit of a strong word. Ever hopeful like kids are, I told them about it and got the expected response: “Well, how much money have you saved?”. With a newspaper route and five bucks a month allowance? Ya, I didn’t get to go.
I understand why they didn’t indulge us in things like that, even though I still wish they had. For instance, if I had learned to ski when I was a child (when one is much more easily taught) I might have avoided the nasty situation that unfolded recently at the mountain.
My husband and I had already become separated from the rest of our group and we were in the process of going down another run to see if we could catch up with them again. I told my husband to stay in front of me so I could follow him and not risk going the wrong way. So away we go, me taking my time to perfect my french fries.
About half way down, the terrain got treacherous on that green run. Moguls are not a novice’s best friend and it took all my concentration to navigate those bumps. I looked up to see a fork in the course. Which way to go? Where was my husband? FUDGE those mounds were freakin’ HARD and I MAY BE OUT OF MY ELEMENT. OH YES I AM FOR SURE. WHERE IS HE? I CAN’T LOOK WHERE I’M GOING AND GET THROUGH THIS SNOW AT THE SAME TIME FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WHY COULDN’T HE HAVE GONE A LITTLE SLOWER I THINK IT’S TO MY LEFT WHY DID THEY SAY THIS WAS A GREEN RUN I’M GOING WAY TOO FAST THAT GUY BETTER GET A MOVE ON YES YOU IN THE RED GOD NO I CAN’T STOP NOW.
SMACK! And roll! And skis flying! And everyone on the lift above gasps in a collective “Oh!”. I finally stopped and looked behind me where the man was slowly lifting himself up.
He was part of a group of very friendly Americans. Another man, seeing my distress, whispered, “He’s a little fragile, don’t worry about it.” I stayed for a few minutes, them thinking I was just being concerned, me knowing it was more that I was too garbled to get my skis back on. I finally continued on the run. Because I was shaking so bad I fell again for no apparent reason about twenty feet later and hit my head a bit on the snow. Good thing I wore my trusty helmet.
Then I started blubbering. Furious at my husband for leaving me and feeling sorry for myself, I inched the rest of the way down the considerable length of the hill. When I finally met up with my husband much later I was calmed and rational enough not to cuss him out. It’s not his fault I can barely make a pass at one step up from a bunny hill.
I’m just saying that the collision didn’t happen because I didn’t see the guy. It happened because both he and I were terrible skiers who probably should have learned how to ski in our childhood and maybe that would have helped to avoid such an experience that was both painful and totally embarrassing. Maybe parents should think of THAT next time they deny their children luxury.