The above photo is of my nephew Jordan. He’s 17, and he’s skiing today alongside my sister-in-law, my wife and my two kids.
I, meanwhile, am sitting here—in a Starbucks about 500 feet from the mountain. It’s warm and toasty and smells of cocoa. I am listening to a mix of hip-hop songs. I’m wearing shorts and a Houston Oilers T-shirt.
And I am so happy not to be skiing.
Why? Because I hate it. Everything about it. The cost. The equipment. The waiting. The lines. The chatter. The jargon. I hate the freezing cold. I hate when snow sneaks up your sleeve. I hate taking off the boots nearly as much as I hate putting on the boots. I hate hearing about your amazing run and I don’t want to tell you about my shitty run.
I hate skiing.
Now … in the sport’s defense, my parents did me wrong. Back when I was a kid, I never skied. Not once. And that’s sorta weird, because everyone in Mahopac, N.Y. seemed to ski at one time or another. Hell, we lived about 30 minutes from a passable hill.
So I never developed the love of skiing that young people seem to have. Then, when I tried learning in my early 30s, well, it didn’t go swimmingly. I fell a lot. Like, a lot a lot a lot. Pizza and French Fries were lost on me. There was one particularly awful moment, when I stumbled to the ground at the same moment James Luftig, our friends’ lovely 8-year-old son, flew by with a simple-yet-heard-by-everyone, “Hey, Jeff!” [Enter: endless laughter]
But, even without the difficulties, this isn’t my bag.
Sitting in a clubhouse, sipping a java? Terrific.