Mike goes skiing; I come to my senses in the nick of time

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Mike left this morning on a skiing trip with the family of a friend of his. I think it's neat that he skis. I think it's great that he has friends who like him so much, and whose parents like him so much, that they invite him to go on skiing trips.

I'm also jealous. Because he skis. Because he gets invited to go on skiing trips.

Yesterday, at his request, we drove to REI and I bought him some ski pants and gloves. He already has a good jacket for skiing, but in the past he's skied (sp?) in jeans and fleece gloves, which get soaked very quickly. How he has survived these episodes is a mystery. He rents skis and ski boots each time he goes.

While we were at REI I saw all the ski gear for women, and I was feeling jealous, and I thought: why couldn't I learn to ski? Mike and I could go to one of these ski places in January and I could take lessons, I thought. I mentioned the possibility to him and he said "sure, sounds like fun." So I started trying on ski jackets, and I found a nice one that fit me.

Then Mike said something that hit me like cold water in the face: the mother of one of the friends with whom he skis also goes on family ski trips, but "his mom doesn't ski anymore." I asked why not. He wasn't sure, but he thought she'd had a bad accident, maybe broken a leg, and given it up.

I was wearing the nice jacket at the time, admiring it in the mirror. Mike said "even if you don't start skiing, it's a nice winter jacket--better than the one you have now" which is certainly true. I looked at the price tag: $250. I took it off and hung it up and said "We're going to Starbuck's and we're going to talk about this." I bought Mike the pants, gloves, and knit hat he'd chosen, and we left the store.

On the way to Starbuck's we passed Pho Viet, a Vietnamese noodle restaurant, and Mike said "I could eat," so we stopped there for some bowls of noodles instead of going to Starbuck's, and we talked. I have back problems, and I asked Mike how hard skiing is on the back. He said it was hard on the legs, not the back. He described the beginner's method of "snowplowing" to slow down on a steep hill, and I thought about my knees.

I said to Michael: we don't do anything together. And he said: we're going wine-tasting next summer in Napa Valley; that'll be fun. And I said: oh great, we drink together. That's great parenting, huh? We also went pub-crawling in Dublin together in the summer of 2004; drinking together again.

I felt bummed. And then I remembered something: HEY! We bowl together! Yes indeed, we've gone bowling together for years, and it's a blast. We can bowl anywhere, in any weather. We both have balls and shoes, so the capital investment is behind me; now it's just $20 for a night of bowling, plus another $12 or so if we eat at the bowling alley. Alexandria Lanes, the bowling alley near us, serves great chicken fingers with good honey-mustard sauce.

And they have beer on tap. Four months from now, on May 1, Mike will be 21 years old, and he'll be able to drink beer at the bowling alley. So we'll be able to drink together AND bowl together at the same time. If that's not quality time, I don't know what is.

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May 2009

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