Snow is falling.
So far it’s melting right away when it hits the ground. And the car. And my hair. I’m not crazy about this in-between precipitation. The temperature has been hovering just above freezing all day, so everything is wet and oh so slippery.
Slippery is the one thing that can deter me from going out walking. I’m afraid of falling.
And it’s not just because of my newly minted artificial hip, although I can’t imagine taking a serious fall on my recently installed joint would be a great idea. Actually, I’ve always been afraid of falling.
Not heights. I have no issue with heights. I can drive in the mountains. I can look down from tall observation towers. I can walk across a bridge without getting the shakes. But an icy sidewalk… now that’s scary.
In fact any activity that involves even the sensation that I might fall is tough. I didn’t get very far with learning to ice skate. Even sports like broomball and curling where you get to wear boots, but still have to be on an ice surface, have no appeal for me. And you could not possibly pay me enough to convince me to get on a skateboard or a pair of downhill skis.
Once, in my youth, I gave into the pleadings of a good friend and agreed to go on a blind date. It was to be a double-date– my friend and her boyfriend, and me and another friend of theirs. Somehow– and to this day I cannot fathom how I ever agreed to the plan– it was determined that this social outing would take place at the roller rink.
My experience on roller skates to that point in my life was exactly zero. “No worries,” my friend insisted, “it’s no different from ice skating. You’ll pick it up right away.”
Great. And who exactly was going to pick ME up? I could see where this was going.
And yet I went. Perhaps because I didn’t want to disappoint my friend. Perhaps because I was afraid to admit just how afraid I was of the prospect of strapping wheels to my feet. Perhaps because hey, it was a date.
Dear Reader, I did not “pick it up right away.” The evening went something like this: my friend and her boyfriend skated graceful laps hand in hand, periodically pausing to check in on me and Blind Date boy, who was essentially having to hold me up and drag me slowly around the periphery of the rink. He seemed, to me, to be very pleased to have stumbled into a situation where the young woman he was with had no choice but to cling to him with all her might. I, on the other hand, was mentally counting the minutes until the farce could end and we could all go for coffee and laugh at me for the rest of the evening.
I did not go on another date with that young man. And I did not ever agree to strapping on another pair of roller skates.
And I’m still uber-cautious about stepping out onto an icy sidewalk.