The pre-hockey learn-to-skate session was seriously crowded this morning. I’m not involved with corporate America on Wednesdays and instead spend my time as a domestic worker. I’ve been to the ice rink with my charge and his mother about four times now. Today was a busy day. Every parent there reminded me of a celebrity. Maybe it’s because I was wishing I was having brunch at The Peninsula with all of the celebs in town for Oprah’s big farewell show. Maybe it’s because that British man has reminded me of Colin Firth since day one.
I assume he’s single. He moved to America because his wife’s job. She either left him for another man or died. I can’t tell which, but I’ll probably know by next week. His child is so small and squeaky that he could probably pass for Tiny Tim, though I don’t think he’s an invalid. He always skates with a stuffed animal, and his blades strap onto his white Velcro shoes. His father doesn’t know where to buy real skates in his size. He has a very appropriate name and wears a page boy cap before putting on the helmet that’s too big for him. Sometimes he falls down on the ice. When he falls, his dad just picks him up and smiles at him.
Maybe soon they’ll move back to be close to family, but for now they’re making their way. Nobody‘s too stressed about money, so that’s great. They both make friends with the little girl with a kind of trendy name and her father who is friends with the other young dad whose son skates like a mad-child in shorts and a bike helmet. That dad looks like Freddie Prinze Junior. I’m not kidding.
My little charge is star-struck by his coach and once told me that grownups don’t drink milk. “You drink wine. You drink lots of wine everyday,” he said. He could skate slowly on his own but instead prefers to speed along while holding onto the training bar.
Ice rinks make me want to drink Mello Yellow over perfectly crushed ice. They make me wonder if anything has really changed since 1993.