Monday, April 26, 2010

I Was a Total Skater

A few years ago after church I waited for my friend Amy who was in a meeting. The building was just about empty except for a few of us. We stood in front of the alcove where the bishop and clerk’s office are. There were five of us in the circle: Doug and Wayne (both my age-ish but members in the bishopric), Andrew, and another man we’ll call *Brandt (this isn't his real name).

Brandt had shown interest in me – I think it might have had something to with the fact that he loved to cook gourmet meals and I like food. Dunno, but for whatever reason, he had asked me out quite a few times. He usually asked just a day or two in advance and I usually had something going on.

The five of us were chatting casually. The next day was Memorial Day and I was going to borrow Doug’s bike to go to the beach with some people. So we were talking about biking and mid-sentence Brandt turned to me and said, “Do you want to bake?” I paused, had he said bike or bake?

I asked, “I’m sorry, what?”

He annunciated each word, “Would you like to bake?”

I glanced around; Doug, Wayne and Andrew seemed puzzled as well.

I smiled, a bit confused, “Bake what?”

He clarified, “I’m asking you on a date. Every time I ask you out you’re busy. So, you tell me what night works for you and I’ll take you out.”

I noticed the men shift their weight from foot to foot. Brandt kept talking and I noticed Doug take a slow step back, then another, and then he ducked into the clerk’s office. Wayne noticed Doug was gone a moment later. He gave me a supportive smile and excused himself to the clerk’s office as well. Andrew watched Wayne walk away, gave me “the eyebrows” and made a swift retreat to the clerk’s office. I think my jaw dropped a bit more as I watched each exit. I do remember a part of my brain thinking, “Remember, this will be funny later.”

As I came back to the moment I realized that Brandt had been talking during the exodus but I hadn’t been listening. I tuned back in to hear, “So, there I was, if you can imagine it, on BYU campus, with long hair, a Get Lucky shirt, shorts to here,” he gestured at his knees, “and my vans.” He puffed up his chest just a bit and said, “I was a total skater.”

Now, Brandt is not someone you would ever imagine as a skater. His posture, mannerism, and speech indicates that he is more likely to buy opera tickets than a skateboard. So when he proclaimed himself a “total skater” I was surprised.

I tilted my head to the side, curious, “Really? You were a skater?”

He nodded with a confident half-smile and said, “Mostly roller skates. And some blades.”

What! I swallowed the laugh I felt rise in my throat and thought, “this has the makings of a great SNL skit.” I nodded and listened as he talked about the Classic Skating – the rink in Orem, Utah. I knew it. It's where I had my birthday party when I turned 8.

When Amy came out of her meeting we caught a ride with Wayne and the bishop. As I sat in the back seat Wayne turned around, patted my knee and started chuckling.

That evening Doug came by with his bike for me to borrow and said, “Wow, sorry about earlier. That was really awkward for us.” I almost fell off the bike (it was too tall for me), “Awkward for you? Awkward for you??

Mostly roller skates. And some blades. I love that memory, but it makes me wonder what other hard-core phrases might people might misuse. Similar convos might go like this:

“Hey, I’m a total boarder.”

“Awesome? You’re a boarder?”

“Yeah, and all my rooms are totally booked.”


“I love rallying.”

“Really? That’s seriously hard-core.”

“Yeah, I love getting people together for a cause.”

Or someone might tell you they like sandkiting, only to find out that they go to the dunes to fly kites. If you saw my four year-old niece at the beach you might say she enjoys wavejumping. Someone might say do inline skating with their buddies and skate off in a line. The possibilities are endless.

Oh, in case you’re curious, Brandt and I had dinner that weekend. The dinner was good, but part of me really wishes we had gone to a skate park -or was that skating rink?


  1. Great story! I like what you did with it. Is life funnier as Brook Mecham or is it just how she tells stories? I think life is just plain funnier. :)

  2. Have you seen the Human Giant sketch that starts off with "They say the hardest part about rollerblading is telling your parents our gay."