Last weekend I traveled back in time. I went roller discoing with my daughter’s Girl Scout troop.
The last time I did this was 1980 when Donna Summer belted out Last Dance. I was an athletic, 14-year-old freshman who used too much pink blush to disguise her adolescent insecurities. A group of friends had gone to an indoor rink in Orange, CT and somehow I found myself cozying up to a very cute, not-so-innocent sophomore named Jimmy. I was boy crazy but had never dated. “Do you want to go out?” Jimmy asked me while taking my hand. “Sure,” I said, beginning to exit the rink and walk toward the door. “No,” he smiled, a flash of surprise flickering across his silky blue eyes. “DO YOU WANT TO GO OUT?” I was standing right beside him and couldn’t understand why he was speaking so loud. “YES, I DO!” I answered, matching his volume as I tried to lead him once again toward the door.
I had no clue the guy was asking me to be his girlfriend until we were back in school the following Monday and suddenly he sought me out. This was before the age of cell phones, texting and e-mail. Duh!
I can’t tell you what music played the other evening but I can tell you three things:
1) Your center of gravity is wholly different at 43 than 14. Let’s just say that every time my daughter and her 8-year-old friends yanked my arm for support I felt an immediate snap in my back.
2)I’m not as light on my feet as I think I am. I wanted to defy gravity, allowing the innocence of the past to carry me. But my legs felt like tree trunks.
3 Being the oldest person on the rink by at least two decades gave me a shot of youthful energy but it also made me feel, well…old and out of place.
I was so relieved to send the Girl Scouts home to be tucked into their cozy beds, and happier still to sip my chamomile tea and drift off to sleep aside my husband. It’s good to be 43, smarter and weighted by life experience. I think I’ll leave the roller discoing for the younger set: I like where I am.