Friday, November 5, 2010


Like most of you, I am eagerly anticipating the ski season. And by "ski season" I mean "ski day". And by "ski day" I mean "those four hours I manage to ski before losing my appendages to frostbite".

Season becomes day for me because, in a fit of snowversion in my youth, I moved to the great state of Ski Resorts are Three Hundred Miles and Sixteen Hours of Traffic Away.1

But that's okay, because I make an annual pilgrimage to the home state to enjoy those precious things in life like food, sleep uninterrupted by yappy dogs, and nephews who are too young to refer to me as the creepy uncle.

This allows me to take a day to head up the canyon and hang out with the Utahns who stayed in the motherland and now own homes, have wives, are world-class skiers, etc. Since waking up before eight o'clock over the holidays would be heresy, on that blessed day, I normally stumble out of bed right around the time my die-hard skier family is packing their lunch.

For reasons I have yet to understand, the typical skier's lunch consists of a peanut butter and jam sandwich, which normally ends up as squished peanut butter and jam mush. Add to that an orange, which defies peeling when your fingers are at 0 Kelvin, and you have the dynamic midday duo.

After packing lunch, one must gather together one's ski gear. Said gear is typically acquired with the savings one earns from living in a state that does not have one of the highest income and sales taxes in the known universe. If one does not have access to said tax rates, one merely wears one's childhood gear, which brings immediate and assured teasing, as one's snow pants, though fitting when purchased, now approximate spandex in appearance.

Next, my siblings then decide which of their bazillions of skis they'll be taking for today's adventure, with different ski flavors based on temperature, snow depth, and color. I personally get to dig through a few moldy socks and find the same skis I've had for ten years stuck in a drawer somewhere in the toy room, next to my sister's old barbie collection.

After reaching the slopes, there is usually a period of ten minutes reserved wherein I get to huddle on the ground in the fetal position and whine about how my supple skin hasn't felt the sting of negative temperatures since my last Utah safari. Then, God willing, I put on my skis,2 and I get to watch as my siblings approximate the speed of sound down the hill, all while I'm trying to get my pole strap on through my sissy mitten.

I have a long history of skiing. Like most young Utahns, I attended ski lessons with my own mother.3 And by "most", I mean "one". And by "lessons" I mean "one of the more traumatic experiences of my young life wherein I was forced to do the snowplow down a mild slope in Sugarhouse Park with a group of middle-aged women".

Oh, and for the record, the kids at Junior High don't think much of a dude who learns to ski with his mom. Let's just get that out there.

With such a serendipitous start, who could predict naught but success for me in my skiing adventures?

In all honesty though, I'm contemplating retiring to the slopes of Utah in some future ski season, and, between ski runs, living in a van down by the river.

No, really.

1. One thing I have yet to understand is the number of people out here who claim to be hard core skiers. New rule: if you're not on the slopes every week, you are not hard core.
2. I still cannot speak about this experience without blushing, but let me counsel the younger generation, that, when they are returning from long stays outside the country, to ensure that their mother has not purchased identical skis, and, if she has, to not assume that the (short) skis you picked up are yours, and that you magically "grew". And should you make this mistake, young skier, please, please, please at least try on the skis before you make it to the top of the tram. I beg. Please. You will never, to your dying day, live this down among your family. And the fact that your brother and sister are capable of skiing three thousand two hundred and forty vertical feet on one ski to compensate for your stupidity will only add to the emasculation. Also, if you ever speak to me about this I will hurt you.
3. She had been left behind in ski adventures throughout her married life, and since that was coming to an end, she figured she wanted to see what everyone was enjoying all of those years. Very admirable.


Aroura said...

I have never had any desire to learn to ski - I figure if there's a tree within a mile radius, I'll find some way to collide with it in a very painful and embarrassing manner.
When you move into your van, I'll give you a stylin' plaid jacket just like Matt Fowley, so you can feel good about yourself!

Adam Wilson said...

Hiserical, per your usual. Makes me want to ski and reminds me of the time I mocked my little brother to no end for bending his ski poles into uselessness by letting them dangle below the ski lift only to do the same thing with my own on the next ride up.

Adam Wilson said...

The word above spelled Hiserical is supposed to by Hysterical