I know. I’m sorry. I have no excuses. Thanks for making me feel guilty about not sticking to my original commitment! The problem is, I thought I was running out of things to post up here because I am still far to frightened to write something fictional and put it up here. So, I took a little break (like you care).
It is weird that I thought of this story given the time of the year but I think it’s a good one, hopefully you do too (not really, but that seems like a nice thing to say).
Winter 1994 (I think). My parents brought me on a skiing trip to Big Mountain in Whitefish, MT. It was my first time really being able to ski anything that would be considered a mountain. I loved to ski and still do even though I rarely have a chance to do it lately. Anyway, I don’t think I need to go over all of my, um, attributes as a 10-year-old but I will any way (as my dad would say… “just for grins”). Chubby/fat, freckles, buck teeth, awkward yet surprisingly agile and accident prone… I think that about covers it.
We took a train to Montana with 4 other families that we were friends with, however, I didn’t know the kids especially well as we had only been living in Minnesota for a few years at that point so, of course, I was constantly self-conscious and worried that they didn’t like me (you know, like I do now). I am not very good at proactively making friends, but it turned out ok and I got along great with everyone.
The train left Staples, MN at 2 AM… which, as luck would have it meant that we were rolling through North Dakota in the afternoon and hit Glacier National Park in the middle of the night. If you haven’t seen Glacier National Park at 2AM, I really suggest you add that to your bucket list… the views are AMAZING!
I don’t remember a lot from this trip, actually. I can’t really remember where we stayed or what it looked like. My only memories are from the actual skiing which are quite vivid due to what happened to me…
It was unseasonably warm while we were there. One day we actually all wore garbage bags because of the mist/rain. Now, while I did enjoy skiing, I did not enjoy putting/wearing all of the ski apparel. From the snow pants to the jacket that fit to tight and made me feel bigger than I already was to sweating and fighting with my mom trying to help me put on my ski boots (I am getting frustrated just remembering the process of getting ready to ski). Think the little kid from A Christmas Story that can’t put his arms down but huge… that was me on skis.
It was extremely foggy each day we were skiing, this day in particular you could only see about 100 yards ahead of you. We were in a big group for a while and then eventually the kids split off on their own, which is always fun. It was the most fun I had ever had skiing and could not get over how long the runs were and how big the chairlifts were.
Now, if you’ve ever been skiing you have most likely participated in the strange tradition of getting half way down, stopping, briefly discussing the last 45 seconds of left, right, left, right turning that you had just done and the continuing down the rest of the run to the chairlift (never understood this, never will… why not just meet at the chairlift and talk about the whole run on the nice long ride back up the mountain?). The conversations were littered with “this is a good run” or “that top section was really fun.” Glad we stopped for these gems, I am usually thinking (I’m a dick, I know).
On this particular run I realized that I had to pee, but I could make it down to the chalet with plenty of time to spare. I got half way down and stopped to wait for the rest of the group as I was the first to arrive on the account of having to pee. I waited. And waited. And waited. Then they hit…
Now, when I say “they” I don’t mean people. I mean the phenomenon I have since dubbed the “hide and go seek pees.” See when I was little and would play hide & seek with friends I was always assured to have to go to the bathroom with in seconds of finding my hiding spot… I am talking emergency, out of no where, dancing or bouncing your legs, I am going to piss my pants if I don’t go now kind of deal. This would lead to me leaving my spot just as the seeker would come walking by, stupid hide and go seek pees screw me every time.
Back to the story..
So, there I am on the side of a mountain dancing in my ski’s trying to fight off the hide and go seek pees until the rest of the group caught up to me… it was no use, I had to go immediately. The only question was,where?There were people skiing by all over the place (more than likely laughing at the fat kid shoved into his snow pants dancing around like an idiot, aahh, the great outdoors).
I finally decided I would head down and meet them at the chair lift after I made a stop in the woods… I flew up to the woods and hopped out of my bindings as quickly as I could running awkwardly in my boots to privacy. Then, I started to work my way out of the straight jacket that were my ski clothes. Mittens were easy, coat was fine, but the snow pants… I stood in the woods cursing my mother because she always made me wear the snow pants that had shoulder straps and made emergencies such as this one even more dangerous. I am sweating now fighting with the zipper and shoulder straps talking out loud to my, err, anatomy, “Please! Just one second, I’ve almost got them off!” as I am quickly shifting weight from one side to another.
I got them off in time, crisis averted. I was so happy as I walked out of the woods proud that I had avoided wetting my pants and having to figure out what to do with my wet self for the remainder of the afternoon. I hopped on my ski’s and made my way down to the lift. But when I got there I knew immediately that I had taken a wrong turn someplace as I was blinded by the hide and go seek pees.
This was not the chair lift we were headed to and, apparently, neither was the rest of the mountain. There was one chair lift attendant and myself. I waited for a while but realised that it was useless and that I should head up to where ever this led to make my way back to the other lift. Another couple came into line behind me as I was waiting for the go ahead from the attendant to ski to the line and get on the chair.
He told me to wait… one chair went by, two, three and finally he said, “alright, you can get on.”
I pushed my self up to the line, put my poles in my left hand and looked over my shoulder at the on coming chair when the attendant said, “aaah, sorry dude…”
That is when I saw that he was putting me on a chair that had 6 inches of snow on it from the night before and it had been given a nice glaze from the morning mist. When I sat down, the snow gave way enough to put me on a miniature ice slide as I quickly ascended up the mountain. I was able to get the safety bar down and wrapped my arms around that as I tried not to slide underneath and plummet to either a broken leg or early death (I was convinced it would be death). Then I heard the couple in the chair behind me through laughs ask, “are you ok up there?”
“Yeah” I said through fake nervous laughter as the lump crept into my throat. As I assessed my current situation, I began to cry. I was lost now, on a chairlift of which I had no clue how long it took to get to the top and now, worst of all, I was embarrassed. Just then, the chairlift stopped abruptly causing my enormous ten-year old ass to slip even closer to the edge of the seat… now I was officially scared. I didn’t want to lose my poles but I was having a hard time gripping with my mittens… more crying.
Finally, the lift started back up and over the next ridge was the end and I was able to get off safely. I continued to cry as I made my way over to the correct lift that the hide and go seek pees had forced me to miss. As I got off at the top everyone was waiting for me and worried about me as I had been missing for a while at this point. Luckily, I had dried my eyes by that point and probably made up a story that I thought would make me sound cool.
I wouldn’t recognize the chairlift attendant if I saw him and have no clue where he might be today, but I hope that the next time he is waiting for someone or something that he gets a serious case of the hide and go seek pees and doesn’t get to a bathroom in time.
I have to go to the bathroom now…