11 April 2006

self portrait tuesday #25 (april fool)

I have been up in the attic, going through boxes, getting ready for The Biggest Yard Sale Ever. a sale I've been talking about having for two years now, that I totally flaked out on having last spring, a sale that desperately needs to happen for many many reasons. the land of junk that resides above our heads is quietly taking over.

and so I came across these skates that I bought four years ago at the thrift store for $3.03 a pair ($3.03 because that's how it goes down at the thrift store-- items randomly priced at $1.59 or $2.29 or $.69, always with the nines and does anyone really know why?) and the skates? tragically, they do not fit. I'm guessing I knew this when I handed them to the cashier. I'm thinking I had big plans for ava and the skates. ava (and a lucky cousin or friend with the right sized feet), who would be the envy of all the neighborhood kids. perhaps I thought they would be able to start a junior roller derby event (the unparalleled coolness of these 'tri-star' skates being the obvious impetus for such a debacle). maybe I envisioned her (and spunky skating partner) taking on the mean girls of the neighborhood. obviously, I was dreaming up reasons to take the skates home with me. they're classic, people. the definition of the word classic. and I'm thinking my eyes probably started to glaze over when I thought back to my elementary and junior high school years-- when roller skating was The Shizz.

but there's no time to sit down and think back, I said this before, I have no time. however, the first thing I do in this situation is stop my flow of work to reminisce. something about having no time and so much to do compels me to procrastinate wildly. and by procrastinate wildly, I mean stop everything and try to squeeze my feet into found skates. and then spend thirty minutes taking photographs of them. and then spend many many more minutes thinking about how roller skating ruled my world. sitting in the middle of enormous junk piles, it all came back: the birthday parties at the local keele roller rink where they always served cookies with pink icing and played 'YMCA'. how sweaty and nervous I got when the stodgy woman in thick glasses used the DJ's microphone to announce 'couples skate' (to this day, I cannot listen to peaches and herb's 'reunited' without feeling some mixture of dread and hopefulness). and you know I was so cool skating backwards to blondie's 'heart of glass' and queen's 'another one bites the dust'. YOU KNOW I WAS.

I had my own special pair of fake leather skates with royal blue stripes, wheels and laces. but they were from walmart and I couldn't shake that. my friend/enemy camille had white leather skates with translucent red wheels that sparkled and giant-sized pink pompoms that had been purchased at the roller rink. AND she had a short red satin skating skirt. AND everyone circled around her in the middle of the rink to watch her do special skating tricks that often involved superfast twirling. AND her parents let her see 'saturday night fever' at the drive-in. AND she had breathtakingly beautiful long blonde hair. AND her name was camille. I hated her. I loved her. nothing I did could ever come close to matching her superstar status (even though I was featured in the local newspaper where my grandparents lived for skating downtown to my grandma's office supply store everyday for a week). feh.

and in the midst of all this thinking back, I suddenly remember I am sitting in a pile of junk that needs my attention. of course, this brings on even more daydreaming and remembering and I spend many more minutes thinking about how foolish it is that I have all this junk in the first place. really, it's not that simple (it never is) but it's all I can think of while swimming in a sea of dollhouses and baby clothes and lampshades and forgotten party supplies and nursing bras. well, that and my brother von-- who, ever since he decided to travel across europe and move to new york in 2001, has had to pare down his belongings to the absolute bare minimum: his laptop, a small amount of clothing and the finest microfiber towel money could buy. oh, there's probably more. I know he owns just a little bit more (in the way of a pillow, a down comforter, some books and a really great old iron light-up arrow he swiped from a sign somewhere) but most of that is in storage or lost or gone, I think. while I'm surveying the mountains of unecessary items we've accumulated in such a short amount of time, I hear his words:

"you're a slave to the stuff, man. YOU'RE A SLAVE."

am I? is it foolish that I can't let go of skates that don't fit me (and won't fit ava for a couple more years) because of the possibilities they hold? because they were an awesome thrift store find? probably.

and speaking of things that are unquestionably foolish, a word of advice: do not try on skates that don't fit and then try to stand up in them on the slick wooden floors of a small attic space. even if you did 'turn it out' at the roller rink back in the day. even if you are known for your serious balancing skills.

ah, so much for making the best use of time. and so much for not having the time to write (funny how you always make time to do the things you really love).

more april fools documenting the silliness here and here.


  1. I love this post!! What great stories you have wrapped up in this one little entry. I love starting off in one place, and then taking the reader to a totally different place and time, like when and what Camille's parents let her watch at the drive in, good stuff!! Plus, I don't think you're silly for buying or keeping the skates, it's like two great purchases in one...you buy them once, love them, forget about them, and then find them again all over again.

  2. I'm glad you made time cause that was just awesome...I get lost in your world, even for just a couple minutes. I'm sure there's plenty you can part with at the mega yard sale you're concocting, but if you're anything like me, you only buy things that you simply connect with in one way or another...even if it is a hip shaker from the 1950s that should probably have never been invented and will never actually work again...not that I've actually acquired this contraption...but you get my drift! Cheers to junk you love...and to having an attic to store it in!

  3. these skates are fantastic. i love them and i can so relate......SO relate. i am sitting here reading this while i (to use your words) "wildy procrastinate". i know exactly what you mean. i do it too. i work best under pressure.......but even then it takes twice as long because of all the daydream or blogging or who knows what breaks. i have to go finish my taxes now. (boo) but thanks for the daydream break :)

  4. You're just lovely. This post brought me back; I was a rollerskating fool! Growing up in Southern Cali, I skated my teen years away. I used to skate in just my bikini (can you even imagine?) up and down the strand (aka boardwalk) and I thought I was the bomb.
    I would be very nostalgic for those skates and would have bought them the same.
    And I wish I lived in your neighborhood because I know your yard sale, will be the yard sale to end all ~ sigh.
    Great post!!

  5. oh lovely lady - stories that take us back.
    I so do the same thing. I think I did it as a child. Cleaning up took soo long - I would make up little tales, play a couple games, put some things away and then find something else.
    And the angst of the couples song - so dreamed to find my dream guy at the roller rink!

  6. i got roller skates for easter
    and my best friend and i shared them
    as in she wore one
    and i wore the other
    and we rollerskated upstairs
    from the bathroom to the bedroom
    for hours...

    and my husband
    swears he could rollerskate
    with the best of them
    to platinum blondes' "doesn't really matter"

    your post has obviously
    struck a memory chord in me!

  7. Skating memories here too...but I remember having those crappy metal wheeled skates first and complaining that everyone else had skates with "real" wheels! I too became the star of my own rollerskating fantasy each time I went to the Roller Roost. I can still skate well and DD's friends are always amazed when I skate backwards or spin. Just wait...your day will come to dazzle your daughter's friends ;)

    I too "procrastinate wildly" but I call it circling. I start in one place and move from item to item stopping to think/daydream/remember along the way. I think most creative types are like this and can't pass up an item that might one day be needed or was needed at one time.

    Love your blog :)

  8. I'm on the floor laughing! I had skates just like that when I was young--begged my dad for them! been there. done that and more.

    No it's not foolish. you have heart, girl, and that's what it's all about.

  9. I can really really relate to the procrastination. My finals are upon me and I just can't seem to focus on revision. Blogs are the perfect procrastination-aid.

  10. I had my 12th birthday party at the local roller rink, which made me feel like the coolest kid in town. We always did the Hokey Pokey and the Limbo. I did have my own pair of white skates, but they were definitely not the cool ones from the roller rink.

  11. my dad used to OWN a roller skating rink that was open only in th summertime. i was the queen of that rink - doing all kinds of tricks with all the boys. i loved nothing more than being in that rink, skating wildly to music. one of my favorite pictures (hanging proudly in my house) is of me in a halter top, pigtails swinging and carving a turn in that rink.

    damn, those were GREAT days and your post brought me right back into them!

  12. Okay, seriously, I am going to your yard sale. I shall travel hundreds of miles to sift through your castoffs. Call me crazy, but I think I may have fallen down one too many times on my roller skates back in the day. That pillow tied to my butt never really helped me avoid head injuries. I guess the concept of helmuts for roller-skating hadn't really caught on in southern New Mexico in the early 1980s.

    I am so with you and your brother on the slaves to material items thing. I think that is the major danger for people like us who have a collector's mindset. I've been going through a phase of trying to rid myself of stuff, and even though it pangs a little, I can report that you do feel lighter afterwards, somehow.

  13. You should try roller derby. It's making a huge comeback, and it RAWKS. :)

    Ps - I think I need to come to your yard sale too.

  14. lol LOVE it! I have the hardest time sorting through my own 'junk' for this very reason!

    PS- hold on to those skates. ;)

  15. you kill me!!!! this was so funny. thanks for the trip down memory lane...yes, i remember Friday nights at Skate Ranch...those were the days. i so wish i could come to your super dooper garage sale. i bet you have some cool stuff.

  16. I am so coming to visit where you live when you have that yard sale- I am sure you have some great stuff~
    on a side note, one of my best friends is having a "Roller-rama" skate party to celebrate her 28th- oh, ya, this post just got me even more excited about the party!

  17. oh yeah... used to hang at the roller rink... mmm hmmm.... doing the hokey pokey....

    LOVE the photo... and i found a pair of black ones that fit.... :D

  18. wish i could go to your yard sale!

  19. oh my, i was no Camille but i had the pink popoms and i wore them proudly with my pin & patch covered jean jacket!

    oh sundays at Happy Wheels...ah

    your yard sale will have people lined up down your street!

  20. Heehee, this was a GREAT shot. Loved the spunky colors in the skates, you captured it beautifully both in picture and in your words.
    P.S You don't know howwwwww bad I want to be at your yard sale. Oh my, my mind is swimming just thinking about it. I just love all of your things!

  21. Fantastic post, A! I'm prepping for the mother-of-all-sales, too. And I get sooooo distracted, looking over each item, trying it out/trying it on, etc.

    Oh, and I also had a Camille! Sandy McCleod. I'll never forget her. Ergh.

  22. Awesome post. It's so funny to me getting distracted by impractical tasks. THAT'S SO ME. Taking time to photograph stuff and try stuff on - uh, this made me laugh. Stuff is just stuff, but it's entertaining and decorates our lives. That's a good enough reason to keep some of it at least.

  23. I love it! I love stories like this!

  24. "I cannot listen to peaches and herb's 'reunited' without feeling some mixture of dread and hopefulness"...now that just sums it all up in one line.


  25. ah the skating rink. the ultimate skate song to me is "angel is a centerfold." obviously i had no idea what it meant at the age of 9, but i would skate my heart out to it. loved to spin and could not wait til the couples skate. great memories.

  26. OH MY GOD!
    Me and my sister used to have those exact same skates! I had the white ones and she had the blue. She always wanted the white ones and I think she hated me for that.

  27. save those skates! and if nothing else...save those laces. they're so fun.
    i love sitting and reminiscing with you--about my sundays at "starland" with my two best friends...and couples skate and the hokey pokey and 'shoot the duck' and not being able to cross my skates over one another when i went around the curve, so i had to do the little pushout with my outside skate. (that was very embarassing to me...)
    love your words, as always. and i love seeing a camera in your hands. (the butterfly pic above is amazing. it must be eating all those tiny bugs.)

  28. you could have been describing my childhood right there. i had the cheap vinyl skates with floppy, skinny ho'made pom poms. but i could fly on those skate! i wanted roller skating to be an olympic sport so i could win.

    i started looking online to buy a pair of skates this week but i don't really have $75 to spare.

    just found your blog and i'm enjoying it. thanks!