Thursday, July 07, 2011

Roller Girl Makes Me Nostalgic

So, I was sitting around last night thinking that I hadn’t watched the most-excellent Boogie Nights in a while now. It’s one of my favorite movies of all time, and not just because you get to see Mark Wahlberg’s wee-wee. This movie made me fall in love with Julianne Moore, and of course Heather Graham as Roller Girl.

Thinking about that movie made me start to reminisce about the old days, when a 12 year old-Slyde and his posse would hang out on Friday nights at a local skating rink called Hot Skates.

You have to remember that this was around 1980, when roller skating in the U.S.A. was all the rage. Every Friday night, one of our dads would drive us to Hot Skates and drop us off around 5pm, and we’d stay until 10. I remember feeling very “grown-up” there, because the place was basically a tween version of a singles bar.

Besides, what the Hell ELSE was I supposed to do with my Friday nights? Play with my mood rings and pet rocks?

Anyway, I have some great memories of my Friday night Hot Skates trips. Here are a few of ‘em…

- I danced my first dance with a girl there. Her name was Amy Kennedy, and when the announcer called for a “couples skate”, she grabbed my hand. She was a girl who lived on my block and she was a few years older than me. I DO believe that the lovely Amy, and that dance, was the impetus for my obsession with cougars. RAWWWR!

- I remember having to take all sorts of shit from my friends one night because I wanted to leave early because I wanted to be sure I was home in time to find out Who Shot J.R. In hindsight, the shit I took for WEEKS afterwards was probably pretty well-deserved.

- Hot Skates was also the location of my first public humiliation. One night, I skated into the bathroom to make some wee-wee. When I came out a few minutes later, I didn’t see any of my friends around, so I jetted onto the rink and started skating. As I rounded one part, I saw a group of boys all staring at me and yelling. As I got closer, much to my horror they were all screaming that I was a “fairy”, “homo”, “queer”… you get the picture. EVERY damn time I skated past these guys, they would rip into me, and everyone around them was laughing. For the life of me, I could NOT figure out what I did to these guys.

Anyway, the song ended, and the announcer called out, “Ok, that ends the ‘Ladies Only’ Skate!”

I pretty much wanted to crawl up and die.

Anyway, as I was skating down memory lane earlier, I decided to do some googling about my old hang-out. I had heard that it was, unbelievably, still up and running so finding their website wasn’t TOO much of a surprise, but I was truly giggling when I found their old local TV commercial from 1984.

Alas, i cant embed the video... clicky HERE!

Check out those clothes! I can’t laugh TOO hard, since that’s pretty much how I dressed when I was there. No, not the girls outfits, you sickos! I meant the ambiguously feminine-looking guys. Not much better, I suppose.

Anyway, this morning that commercial YANKED me by the scruff of my neck, right out of my cubicle and body-slammed me back to the early-80’s, a time when I was young, innocent, and apparently exploring my homosexuality.


Verdant Earl said...

Wow...I remember that commercial. We had a skate joint near us called 2001: A Skate Odyssey. Or something like that. Then there was that skating rink near the South Shore Mall that David Berkowitz was planning to visit before he got caught in 1977. I forget that name of that one.

sybil law said...

Hahahahaha - that commercial is freaking awful awesome!
Rollerskating was an excellent time, indeed. Had to have the brush in the back pocket! GAH!

Slyde said...

earl: ive never heard of that place, and i didnt know berkowitz was planning on coming to suffolk.... see, i learn something everyday.

sybil: yeah, my brush was so big that i couldnt sit down..

Unknown said...

HELL YES! Roller Rink on a Friday night was the ONLY place to be.

(The mall was for Saturdays hello)

Were you cool enough to skate backwards for the couples skate??? That shit rocked.

Also, the suicide from the concession stand. Gotta have ALL the flavors of soda in there.

I remember if I went with my older friend we'd get dropped off but sneak accross the highway to Godfather's Pizza to hang with those kids who were too cool for the skate. So. Bad.

You make me wanna dig out my speed skates and hot pink laces and break it down.

BB said...

I loved Boogie Nights. I hate it on my Netflix queue as a matter of fact. You were only 12 in 80? OMG I feel old.

2abes said...

don't feel to bad about skating the ladies only dance. i think that happened to just about everyone. as for the get excuse. i hope you don;t still dress like that

meleah rebeccah said...

Oh snap! I love the movie: Boogie Nights! And roller skating!

Heff said...

Roller Girl makes my Dong bigger. Here, I'll draw you a picture of it....

badgerdaddy said...

I fucking LOVE that advert.

Shania said...

Unless you had the big poufy pom poms on your skates, I think you're ok. but MY skates were blue suede, so I'm cooler than you. AND I can skate backwards.

I'm just gonna go get my member's only jacket and be awesome now.

Marlene said...

Ha ha ha, this brings back memories. I used to live at the roller rink back in the late 70's in my teen years. :)

It's funny, though, finding yourself on the rink accidentally during a "Men Only" skate tends to get you a lot of helpful dudes trying to escort you off, rather than being called nasty names, as in your case, lol!

MarkD60 said...

I think my roller skating days were a few years earlier than yours, but I remember them well. I watched the video, it reminded me of when MTV first came out, it was so cool! MTV sucks now.

Raquel's World said...

Oh the good ole skate ring. SO many memories there. "Ladies only skate" that was hilarious.
Tell me did you ever experience this. Tryna pee while on skates??? Tricky huh?

Slyde said...

anna: as cool as i was, i could NEVER learn to skate backwards :(

barb: see? when i say that, I'M the one who feels old..

abes: sometimes i do.. when im alone.

meleah: i bet you do! :) would you mind being my personal roller girl?

heff: still waiting on that pic...

shania: where you been girl? its been ages!

marlene: yeah, that IS sexist!

mark: true dat. the first years of MTV were truly magical.

raquel: yeah, trying to pee while on skates took some getting used to. i think i had it mastered, though...

Bruce Johnson said...

Boogie Nights makes me nostalgic as well. Not for roller skatting, but for that stint I had as a porn star back in the 80s. That was the only job where I gladdly gave 110%!

Cocaine Princess said...

I really enjoyed this post. I had a good giggle about "the ladies night" -- poor Slyde!

P.S. The commercial- it just screams total 80's awesome!!

Jill said...

The rink here is alive and well. Most likely with the same carpet and paint from the 80s. I took the kids a little over a month ago. And a bunch of adults from my husband's work go every Thursday night when there's like a no kids night or something.

Ugh on the lady's skate thing. I guess everyone needs a few moments in their life like that.