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Sunday, March 13, 2011


So, the husband and I were invited to a 40th birthday party at the local curling rink.

Now, I've never been accused of being particularly sporty, much less coordinated, or quick on my feet. But I must confess to being drawn inexplicably to this anomoly of an indoor outdoors when salty words like party, or hurry hard were dangled before my insatiable senses.

Besides- it's not as though I went in completely naive to curling.
I'd spent a lot of time and energy on it in the eighties, and although I'd since traded in my equipment for the flat iron, I hoped that I could still draw on former experience from my past life as a curler.

Not very big curls, but I couldn't be accused of not being willing to try.

Having resided in Manitoba for over forty years, I was also familiar with ice and cold.
Both indoor and outdoor. Why anyone would go out of their way to have a party that required its guests to drive in the frigid cold, minutes after a March storm, shivering violently in creaking cars to a building reminicient of the prairie farm's machine shop, only to exit the cold vehicle, traverse the icy parking lot, and enter a large building kept artificially cold and frozen.........

is well beyond my capacity to reason.

But, like I said. I believe in supporting a party where I can.

I was even familiar with some of the terminology. I'd grown up on a hog farm afterall, and while I'd never actually seen the weanlings stand in lines, I knew that they'd eventually land up that way at the packing plant.

What the Harley Davidson had to do with an icy indoor game I never could quite piece together.

But I was pretty sure the hogline had something to do with a pig roast, and having enjoyed seven years at the local summer fair, I knew about the wonders of pork on a bun. People flocked to that trough. Folks even drove out from the city to stand in line for that kind of hog, so I began to imagine that celebrating a birthday by standing in line for hog in an icy indoors might be just the sort of thing a Manitoban would dream up.

And I'm really good at eating with friends, so I might have gone into the whole thing just a tad over confident.

My curling partner was a spanish speaking woman who had recently emigrated from Columbia. She'd never been to a curling rink before and didn't even own a curling iron, as her hair naturally falls in ringlets. I confess that I might have sought her out intentionally, hoping that my comparison, I'd appear to be some sort of curling idiot savant.

Ten minutes in, and she's helping me.
In spanish.

I'm indoors.
My feet are frozen to the surface of the rink.
I'm taking desperate sips at my Bailey's laden coffee and glancing around hopefully for a birthday cake flambe on which to warm my blackening fingertips. All I'm seeing is a people group that I couldn't begin to psychologically profile, since they appear to be enjoying this charade involving ice and sticks.

If only they'd asked.
I could have helped them celebrate with a similar, but simpler compilation of ingredients, and half the jargon.

ice + sticks + coupla other liquids = party.

Happy birthday anyway.


marie said...

I knew you could do it - that hogline was just waiting to be exploited for our enjoyment. What you missed is the bruise on my thigh which is the definite outline of a curling rock handle. So it is truly a tale of survival on all fronts.

But what a great party it was.

joyce said...

That party was crazy fun. I met some really interesting/intriquing people, enjoyed some gin and appies, laughed a lot, AND learned a new sport.

Way to go, L. your husband should turn 40 way more often.

janice said...

I don't get the hogline reference, but I have heard of curling, and I like ice in drinks. I think you need to drink quite a bit before you go out on the ice so you have a reason to fall down.