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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Birthday Skating

Well the skating went fairly well after a rocky start. First, they gave Will a bunch of crap about bringing in cupcakes. Now, I called a month ago and said, "I'm thinking of inviting a bunch of friends for a birthday party. Do I need special reservations? Is there a group discount? Anything else I should know? We talked it over, decided not to do a kids party, talked about the 25 person minimum for a group discount, and basically decided that the best thing to do would be to just have folks show up, eat a cupcake, and enjoy the skating. So I summarized and said, "So it's okay if I just have my friends show up, pay the admission, bring some cupcakes, and spend the night skating?" She said, "Yep, that's fine." I said, "I don't need any reservations or anything?" She said, "No, just call a few days in advance to warn us you're coming." I said, "Okay great. Anything else I need to know?" She said, "Nope." And that was that. But on arrival last night, we find there's a "No outside food policy" and a "Dress Code" which requires you to not wear tank tops with spaghetti straps. There's a two inch minimum width on a tank top strap. I was wearing my black tiered shirt with ribbon straps. It's an elegant shirt I wore to the office. This was unacceptable for skating. After doing the due diligence to find out what was required in advance, this really set me off. No cupcakes, and now I was about to be asked to leave or wear a smelly loaner shirt. This is when I got mad. I went off about how I'd made the call and this was never discussed and how I was perfectly appropriately and elegantly dressed and how it was my birthday and really they were not making me feel very happy. The poor girl responsible for correcting me looked really pained. But I wasn't feeling sympathetic. She'd given me a bullshit answer about it being a safety issue, which was utter hogwash a 16 year old might fall for, but I could see plenty of other tank tops on the floor which were far more low cut than my much more tasteful shirt. At twice 16, there was no way I was falling for the "safety" line. Regardless, I had 20 friends trickling in, so I finally ended up wearing my cardigan while skating which was frikkin' hot! Grr. And I went to Rick to do battle on the cupcake front. I was not in the mood to deal with it. Jennifer who'd been skating with me on the prior conversation recommended that it would definitely be better for someone else to fight that battle. Um, yeah.

Well, we won neither battle and enjoyed our cupcakes in the parking lot at the end of the night, but regardless it was really nice to enjoy the pleasure of rolling around the rink with friends as they went from wobbly to steady over about a half hour. I got to catch up with Monica a bit and hear about the fun of her job and her new boy. I got to play air hockey with Kevin. Nicole and Aaron showed up and were so completely cute together in their technicolor hair and 80's inspired fashion. Jennifer got to wear the "It's My Birthday" button they gave me for a while, which was cool because it's almost her birthday too. Ari looked poised and graceful as ever. I don't think she can look any other way. Rick utterly didn't recognize Rene at first with her newly brown hair, but did suddenly notice how much more blue it makes her eyes look. By contrast, Shauna talked of dying her hair blonde. Kevin and Rachel decided to feed my coffee habit by giving me a gift certificate to Barefoot Coffee Roasters. Yum! Sherman looked oddly incongruous in white jeans, worn for the 70's/80's retro occassion, though the music was far more funk based than traditional retro. Alex got lost, but made it in time for afters at Lyon's where we had the same amusing waiter as the last time I went skating 2 years ago - one waiter covering the entire restaurant and bar, and still smiling and joking. Pretty cool. Justine brought her daughter and Jennifer and her did the best to keep her up on her skates in the middle. Sam dragged Whitton along even though she'd just flown in that evening. Sam roller skates at Dickens so he glided around gracefully. Whitton also ran afoul of the tank top dress code, so she borrowed a t-shirt from Ari and found her skate legs after a few minutes. Christyn and Brian showed up too, but had to take off early because Christyn is recovering from a root canal, which is too bad, because Will's cupcakes were super yummy.

Anyway, all in all it turned out fairly well. As Monica noted, it's one of the most egalitarian settings possible - young and old, white, black and brown, all sharing the floor with no visible hierarchy or tension. Would that the whole world could be so well integrated. But it made for a fun evening. We'll have to go back again, but maybe not for a birthday. Just for fun.

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