I have a guilty confession to make.
Tomorrow we are going skiing. And I am sorta, kinda almost looking forward to it.
On our first date, Dave told me was an avid skier. And because it was a date and it was otherwise going well and because I had recently read a piece by Dan Savage on snowboarding and I had romantic notions that I too could fall in love with the mountain, because of all these things, I told Dave that that sounded fun.
This was INCREDIBLY stupid. Because as anyone who knows be can attest, I am the least athletic person ever. I walk so awkwardly that my incredibly sweet and loving grandmother told me I needed to work on my walk because she was worried that otherwise no one would marry me. I have issue with balance. Iam prone to falling. I dance like a muppet (a sexy muppet, but still.)
Clearly, of all sports, one in which you strap slippery things to your feet and then slide down a mountain, was not going to be a great one for me.
But, you know, I liked this guy. I had to be game.
So I went.
The first year I was terrible, but at least it was novel and new and I was falling in love which made the whole thing more tolerable.
The second year we were engaged and planning a wedding and I had just started a new job and was constantly stressed. So I just sat in the cabin in Tahoe and worked most days instead of skiing.
Then we got married and at the whole weekend, the running joke was that now that we were married I could stop skiing. This made both me and Dave laugh — me thinking it’s funny cuz it’s true, Dave thinking it’s funny cuz it’s sad.
So it should come as no surprise that I did not want to go skiing this year.
In fact, I resented skiing as I had never resented it before. I hated that we had to reserve all these weekends to drive up to Tahoe when we could be doing all kinds of other things. I rejoiced during our unseasonably warm winter. I plotted how to get out of skiing the rest of the season, which seemed eminently possible since it just wasn’t snowing. At all. Surely Dave wouldn’t want to go up in these conditions?
And then it snowed.
Dave was like a kid before Christmas all week long. Every day he would gleefully check the weather and exclaim that it was snowing in Tahoe again, and I would grumble and put on my rain coat as I headed to work.
Last Friday, we finally hit the road in the early evening. The first leg of the ride was relatively smooth, with just the usual amount of traffic. We hit our half way spot at a decent time, and had a nice meal. Then we headed up into the mountains, and the traffic … stopped.
We went five miles in one hour. And then another ten in another. When we finally arrived, we had the car for about 8 hours. We pulled into the parking spot and I. Lost. My. Shit.
“I HATE Skiing!” I ranted and raved. “We spend all this time going up there and going back and it always takes forever and then I’m terrible at it and I hate it! I hate it! I never want to do this again! And it takes so long and we haven’t moved in an hour and I just want to be home and we never do what I want to do. And I ski terribly in powder and I’m going to have a hard time all day tomorrow. It’s like if I made you drive 8 hours to and from a Chekhov play all winter long. I HATE it!”
It was not my finest moment.
The next day, I stayed in bed until 9:00 am in angry protest of skiing. I put off getting dressed as long as I could, but eventually we made it to the mountain in time for us to only need a half-day pass. On our first run, I found all the fresh power to be unbearably unpredictable. I didn’t know what I was doing. I hated how I couldn’t seem to make turns correctly and how my skis seemed to stick in the snow drifts. We moved over to a harder run and Dave fell on me as we came off the chair lift and I could have ripped his head off.
Just more evidence that skiing sucks.
We went down the mountain and it was incredibly frustrating and hard and I felt awkward and nervous. And yet, secretly I was just a little bit proud of myself for doing the hardest run I’d ever done and managing to navigate the lumpy conditions.
Officially I still hated skiing. But there was a piece of me that was thinking … this is finally kinda clicking.
Sunday, I felt even more confident. We did a few easier runs and, even in the powder, with that lumpy, thick, snow, I started getting the hang of it. I figured out how to move faster down the mountain. It was even kind of fun. We moved to the harder run, and this time it was MUCH easier. For the first time in three years I actually started to feel like I was getting the hang of it. For the first time, I could visualize a future in which I wasn’t stuck on the bunny hill for the rest of my life. For the first time, I actually thought that maybe I wanted to go skiing again.
When we left later that day Dave told me that we didn’t have to go skiing again if I didn’t want to. That it wasn’t fair of him to push me into skiing all the time when I didn’t like it. That we could stay home next weekend and work on our long ignored wedding album instead.
I told him that I thought we should go skiing. That I wanted to go. For him. That I knew how important it was for him to ski and I wanted him to have another weekend in the mountains. Because I loved him.
He seems to have bought it.
So, if you see him, would you please not tell him that I actually kind of want to go skiing this weekend myself? Because if you do, well, he’ll just hold that over my head for the rest of my life.
And no one wants that.