Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Red Ice Skates

Channeling my inner Olympian a few years ago...or not (Snow Pants and Jacket, Spyder)
Kind of hate to mess up the pristine blanket of snow off the end of our dock with skate tracks (and butt prints!) but if it warms up this weekend we may have to give it a go. (Skates, Salsa; Scarf, St. John's Bay; Hat, David & Young; Sunglasses, Ralph Lauren) 
As a "tween," I was an Olympic caliber speed skater!  Well, that is if you count the speed with which I could move across my bedroom floor in my ice skate-clad feet to hide them under the comforter when I heard my Mom coming up the stairway toward my room.  Somehow, I thought that if I pretended to read a book while posed casually on my bed under a blanket, she wouldn't notice the beads of sweat on my brow, or the tell-tale track marks in my new apricot-colored carpet.  Nor did I realize that what had brought her upstairs in the first place was the violent shaking of the dining room chandelier that hung directly below my imagined skating rink.  Reading books did not make the chandelier shake.  Double toe loops and triple sow cows did (not that I could actually do a double toe loop or a triple sow cow, but I imagined my sorry little leaps were at least as glorious as those of Rosalyn Sumners and Katarina Witt).  

Despite Mom's admonitions to cut it out, I couldn't help myself, and she made more than one trip up the stairs to catch me in the middle of my free skate program.  She probably wouldn't have minded so much if I'd been practicing the "Hammil camel" in my socks.  Alas, the unprotected blades of my skates were not kind to the floor.  But those skates, oh how I loved those skates.  I simply couldn't leave them alone.  They were deep, satiny red and they made me feel tall and graceful (I was neither of these things).  I don't know where they came from (If I had to bet, I'd say she found them at a garage sale or an auction) but they were the most beautiful ice skates in the world, and in them I won every competition and starred in the Ice Capades.  A handful of times, I even got to wear them on real ice at Soupley's Pond a few miles from our house.

A few years ago, after borrowing some skates from a friend for a winter afternoon on the lake with our neighbors (photo above), I decided I really should have my own pair, since we live on the water and all.  Of course, I wanted red skates, but as it turns out, red skates are pretty much a custom deal.  So, instead, I settled for a pair of white skates with aqua details that matched my snow pants and coat.  It's probably for the best, because if I'd found red skates I'd have wanted new snow pants to match!

Speaking of matching, I've always wondered why Olympic and professional female skaters don't have skates that coordinate with their elaborate costumes.  Have you noticed they only wear white or nude skates?  Why is that?  If I were designing skating ensembles, I'd want the skates to be more dramatic.  Wouldn't it be cool if Christian Louboutin designed skates.  I'd love to see the periodic flash of red soles slicing through the air! 
Why yes, my sunglasses do have aqua trim.  That's just the way I skate!
Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!


  1. Your childhood memories always make me smile. I too have wondered about the matching skates. Every now and then we might see a sparkle boot cover, but that is about it. Let's watch the Olympics and find some fancy ones this year!

    1. Thanks, Jen! I do wonder whether skaters avoid color for fear they'll distract from the technique displayed, or worse, call attention to little missteps...or maybe with beige colored skates they think it makes their legs look longer. On the other hand, could just be tradition - kind of like "tennis whites" at Wimbledon. I want to see something fancy!