My new school's ski trip seemed like a good idea to my mom, who was holding up the slick new ski jacket she'd just bought for me. Mom must have imagined me-her seventh-grade daughter, Carly—and my new rosy—cheeked friends sipping hot chocolate beside a roaring fire. Maybe she thought I'd spend the weekend dashing through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh, bells jingling.
After all, she knew I couldn't ski.
"So? You'll learn," she said, conveniently forgetting that I was nearly ten before I could manage a two-wheeler.
"But I don't really know anybody...," I said, afraid to admit the whole truth. I'd been in school for months and still had no friends.
"And what better way to get acquainted?" she said.
Obviously I had no clue.
After hours on the bus with rival boom boxes blaring the entire length of the New York State Thruway, we finally arrived at the slopes. The wind chill made the temperature feel like ten below, so I distributed the tubes of lip balm my thoughtful mother had sent to prevent chapping.
After my classmates smeared on smudge-proof all-day protection, I snapped photos, the proof Mom wanted that I was having fun. My best shot was of some guys on the football team. Their lips had turned hot pink.
My ski lesson went well. I learned how to break skis. Bindings snapped off under my uncoordinated legs.