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I'm not here to tell you how many calories you can burn roller skating, I'm here to incite and entertain.
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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

My Dilemma

Yup, I just took this
I recently started working in Moxi Roller Skate shop in Long Beach. Selling skates is like delivering flowers. Almost everyone who buys a pair is celebrating something or treating themselves and you get to share in their joy and excitement.  I love sending people off with a smile on their face and skates on their feet. In the words of Estro Jen, life rolls! I had always thought I was bad at retail, and I am, when I’m selling something I don’t believe in. But roller skates are something I can get behind. It really does warm my heart when I can find the perfect skates for someone, I say, “I’m so excited for you!” And I really mean it.

My view from the Rental Shack
The cute rental skates

I also work at Moxi By the Beach on the weekends. That’s Moxi’s skate rental shack by the sea, and it really is as wondrous as it sounds. I like to wear skates to work, all day in the shop and all day at the beach. When you think about it, I’m being paid to be on skates. For years I’ve said I’d rather be rolling around than stuffed up in a stupid office or working a 9 to 5, and somehow, I’ve made it happen. A friend of mine warned me that the day would come when I’d be too tired to skate for fun, and skating would feel like a chore. I brushed the idea away and thought, “Ya, that’ll be the day.” But now, there actually HAVE been days where I have been too tired from working all day in skates to make it to roller derby practice and I have to laugh a little to myself. It’s lame to miss practice but in my mind, I’ve made it.

So now I have a dilemma though. I’m Auntie Social. Sometimes I don’t want to talk to you. Don’t get me wrong, when I’m on the clock and when I set my mind to selling roller skates, I can talk your ear off all day and answer your questions ‘til the cows come home. But there has to be a point where I can SWITCH THAT OFF. We all get off work sometimes, and sometimes, I JUST WANT TO SKATE. I don’t WANT to answer your questions. I don’t WANT to teach you the basics. I don’t WANT to explain roller derby to you. I just want to fucking shred.

Estro rampin' it up!
Let me put it to you like this: my friend Estro and I went to the skate park last night. I was over-the-top stoked because I have wanted to skate ramps with Estro for awhile and she was prepared to teach me a thing or two. I was going to learn how to drop in! When we arrived at the skate park we naturally drew some attention as we donned our quads alongside the boarders, but we ignored them and paid attention to the business of teaching me tricks. Some guys asked, “Do you girls do roller derby?” and quick as a whip I smiled and said, “Not tonight we don’t!!!” and skated away with a flash. Some parents at the park with their little boy tried to strike up a conversation with Estro about knee pads, which she politely entertained for awhile telling them about her skate shop on 4th street, but then when she couldn’t locate a business card to hand them she said, “I’m sorry I didn’t come here to make money today” and skated off.

There you have it. “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Sometimes I’m not being rude, YOU ARE. Last night I skated down to a local bar to meet some friends. I couldn’t go inside on my skates so I was rolling around outside having fun. A girl came out of the bar and sat down to smoke. She looked really excitable and had a dopey ass grin on her face. She crossed her legs, leaned forward in her chair, dragged her cigarette and said, “SO! Do you roller derby???” with that dopey ass grin on her face. Mind you, she basically just said this in my general direction, because I was skating back and forth not looking at her. I really had done nothing to invite her to talk to me. I mean, I totally could have ignored her if I wanted to. But this is why it’s my dilemma, I LOVE roller derby, and I LOVE skating, and at the crux of the matter, sure, ya, I want to promote skating in all and everything that I do. But can’t I just inspire you by rolling around out here? Do I actually have to TALK to you?

So I say, “ya, I play roller derby”, and I’m not one to hide how I feel on my face, so I must have looked at her with disdain and annoyance, hoping she had enough social graces to shut the fuck up and let me skate. But noooo, “So, do you girls just like, beat the shit out of each other?” she went on.

Now look, I don’t even want to fucking talk to you anymore. You just asked like, the pet peeviest of questions and I have NO patience right now, and it’s 12 o’ clock at night, and I’m just out street skating and I’m waiting for my friends and here you are leaning forward in your chair like you’re practically going to fall right the fuck out of it, sucking on that damn cigarette and smiling at me with that dopey ass grin across your face and staring at me with such keen interest you’d think I was doing a vaudeville routine right there on the sidewalk, especially for you, an audience of one. I mean, it was ANNOYING AS HELL. Drunk bitch.

okay I didn't make this graphic but I found it,
and I was like "sure why not"

But then she asks a few questions that I have some empathy for, like, “So, how do you get INVOLVED? How do I start?” And I HATE to be one of those bitchy aggressive derby types who SCARES PEOPLE AWAY because I’m just so god damn crass. I mean, I’ve had girls come into the shop and actually ask if you have to be INVITED to play roller derby. Shit, this ain’t no sorority or private club! But apparently, there are enough of us out there that give that impression. So I try, with all my might, to be a spokesperson, a mouthpiece, a roll model, an advocate, a positive force, for roller skating everywhere I go. But it’s like, this girl is treating me like I’m here just for her, and I’m not. That’s my dilemma.

And I hate for my love of skating to be taken advantage of. I was skating on Hollywood Boulevard the other day when I stopped into my favorite coffee shop where they give me free water. I do a spin, they tell me a joke, even exchange every time. So I was rolling around outside the coffee shop, downing my water before I went on my way, when a dude bee lines for me. He even points at me as he is walking to me so I know for sure that it is my attention he wants. I have learned from experience that 99% of the time I don’t give a fuck what this guy wants or has to say to me. I can’t stand when idiot strangers come up to me on the street and make me take my headphones off. But this time I did, and he asks with stupid excitement, “Are those the ORIGINAL 265s?” indicating my skates. Now I work in a skate shop, and my skates ARE 265’s, but I don’t know what the hell he’s talking about by referencing “original” and I don’t intend to find out. I look at him with the same disdain and annoyance I gave the girl outside the bar and said with a scoff, “I don’t know” and rolled my eyes at him like he was stupid. (He was). He said defensively, “Well, those are the original 265s. I used to shred on those!” I looked him up and down and said unimpressed, “good for you bro” and skated away.

Okay let’s pause for one minute. What if they ARE the original 265s? What if they’re not? You’re telling me you just came up and stopped me from my work out and insisted I take my head phones off to satisfy your own selfish curiosity? THAT is what you’re saying? Tell me asshole, would you stop a jogger to ask her if she had on Nikes, or to verify that her sports bra was in fact Puma? Had I not nipped this interaction in the bud and skated away from him, I wonder what would have come next out of his mouth. I mean, what was this guy’s PLAN? What he’s thinking, in his self-glorifying little pea brain, is that I actually CARE that he used to shred on 265s, (if he ever really did). It was a stupid pick up line. It always is. Every time. He didn’t want to fucking talk to me about skates, he was a pervy leerer who had the mother fucking audacity to interrupt my work out!!

I’m sorry, I’m literally getting heated about this. But men go around acting like WE’RE the rude ones when they have some god damn nerve in the first place.

I wrote a short rant about this last week entitled “Rollerskates are not an invitation to talk to me” and I will include it here, in full, for you.

June 1. 2011 

I ROLLERSKATE FOR MY OWN FUN AND EXERCISE. I hate to adopt the attitude of a snobby girl: "Who the hell do you think you are talking to me?" But at the same time, not just any fucker can talk to me. Yesterday while waiting for the sidewalk light to change a guy approached me and motioned for me to remove my headphones. (Which I fucking hate, look dude if you've got a question there are 20 other people on the side walk NOT listening to headphones). I took off my headphones and I rolled my eyes because I don't fucking want to talk to anyone, I'm out skating for exercise and I was really digging the song. He saw the distress on my face and got all defensive and rude to me and said, "God! GEE, I was just going to ask you where you skate", like he was harmless and like I was being unreasonable, and then wrote me off with a wave of his hand like I was a bitch who was missing out on something good here and it was my loss anyway. Excuse me FUCK YOU! I can NOT fucking stand men who act like I'm a bitch because I refuse to give them the time of day. I don't HAVE to give you anything buddy. You're lucky I even glanced at you. I'm not a bitch, I'M FUCKING WORKING OUT RIGHT NOW. There is nothing that says I have to pay any attention to you. What the hell gave you the impression I'm approachable anyway? I'm not standing in a god damn club. In fact, I'm avoiding eye contact with every person I see. If you had any people skills at all you would pick up on the fact that I DON'T WANT TO TALK TO ANYONE. Do you think I'm dumb??? Do you think I'm going to believe you're just trying to ask me where I skate at?! Why the fuck would you even do that anyway? You need to find somewhere to skate? Google it. You want to find a roller derby team to watch? Google it. DO YOU THINK I’M STUPID??? Do you stop joggers to ask them where they run at? Do you walk into gyms, stop the woman on the tread mill and ask where the bathroom is? DO NOT FUCKING INTERRUPT MY GOD DAMN WORK OUT ROUTINE AND THEN ACT LIKE >im< THE BITCH BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE THE FUCKING TIME OF DAY FOR YOU. god I hate men!!!!

Okay so that was a little bit of an emotional rant, but hopefully I’ve gotten my point across.

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