Last night I laughed and smiled so hard my face hurt.
My co-worker George had invited me and twenty of his closest friends out to celebrate his birthday. First, we hit Granite City Brewery in Saint Louis Park, where I was tricked into taking a shot of Patron (and literally paying for it!). I didn't know many of George's friends, but everyone warms up after a shot of tequila, so it turned out alright.
The dinner was fairly uneventful, but what came after was AWESOME. George (and the two other May birthday's he and his group of friends were celebrating, organized a roller skating party.
Remember these? With the advent of roller-blading, I thought that old-school, four-wheel roller skating had gone extinct. In fact, in retrospect, I guess I thought that since the roller rink had closed in Grand Forks, ND that they'd pretty much died across the US.
Oohhhhhhhh no. Oh no. They are alive and well, my friend. Turns out, there's atleast three roller rinks in the Twin Cities (not counting when they open up the Dome for roller-blading). Last night, we went to the Roller Garden, also in Saint Louis Park. It's not far from my friend Kate's house, but somehow I'd never noticed it on the side of the road, in a big, but unassuming building.
Walking in was like that part of the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy opens the door and discovers a world full of color and tiny, sparkly people. It was Technicolor - live.
First off, there were a TON of people there, in all shapes, sizes and colors....and man could they skate. Not just skate, but skate-DANCE. Skating backwards, one legged, jumping, bumping and yes, grinding. I had totally forgotten that skating could sometimes be 'porn on wheels'.
It was 25 and older night (random, right?) and also R&B evening. Lights flashed and whirled, twinkled and twisted, while skaters whizzed around the rink. The carpet was nasty, grey, worn and covered everything. There were tons of kiddy games on the side of the rink, but thankfully, no kiddys. The overall effect was completely disorienting; like eating waaaay too much cotton candy.
All of a sudden, I was a little kid again, and I couldn't wait to get on the "dance" floor. I couldn't stop grinning as I laced up my ancient rental skates (which weighed about 14 pounds, by the way). George's friends were all pretty good, so there was no judgement when my feet slipped from under me and I landed smack on my ass in front of them :)
Aside from the initial flailing, I got the hang of it again pretty quick. I was a bit unsteady, but managed to hold my own. I'd forgotten how physical it is! A few songs and I was literally, sweatin' to the Oldies. I managed not to knock anyone down (coup!) and to really, have one of the best nights of my year so far.
Who wants to go next week?