Temperature is relative. Some people are cold in 90-degree weather. Me? I used to get hot on 15-degree days. A ski instructing job in the Colorado Rockies will do that to you, and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t tan in the winter, either, because despite the freezing temperatures and fantastic skiing conditions, I ended up with a lovely new semi-permanent make-up from my days on the slopes teaching children to ski. I had a tan line at my elbows from pushing up my fleece, another one at my wrists where my gloves stopped, one at each temple where my sunglasses sat, rosy cheeks around white eyes protected by afore-mentioned sunglasses, and a white forehead from my hat. However, in an effort to even out my new look (which, by the way, is much accepted in the mountains but doesn't get you dates anywhere else) I left the hat off. Although I wore sunblock, I was not exactly careful in its application and ended up with a burnt patch up near the right side of my hairline. To further increase my attractiveness, I made sure I didn't actually apply anything in the hairline, and consequently ended up peeling big chunks of skin in a white dust over whatever I was eating, writing or talking to any time I tried to get my hair out of my face. Yes, you have caught on: I am a regular heart breaker.
But this is nothing compared to my impaired mental state. You see, by the end of the season, (okay, halfway through it actually) I was sick of snow and wanted green grass and warmth. When spring came and I was sliding around over slush and dirt, I could not have been happier, which is a problem when you are a self-professed child-hater who once offered to tie a friend's child to a cinderblock so he could move about freely without actually touching anything. No, I swear that I have learned the error of my ways and become one of those sobbing, googling little-people eaters. Oops, I mean lovers, of course. Why, they say and do the darndest things! Here are a few of my favorite examples from throughout the season:
"Are those big bumps [moguls] fat people who fell down?"
"When do we get to ride the forklift?" (he meant the chairlift, of course, the little darling)
"I'm putting feces in the potty" (a three-year-old on a bathroom break)
"I love you" (within 30 seconds of meeting me)
"I'm peeing my pants."
And of course, there were my favorite little sayings that I gave back to these angels that I know they will remember forever:
"Stop moving. No. Stop. I said stop."
"Did I say you could go down there? Did I?!?!"
"So, when we get into position to ski, we bend our knees, lean against the front of our boots, bend slightly forward at the waist, and put our hands out in front of us to push the people that get in our way."
(When helping fit snowboard boots) "Do you know if you're goofy or regular? No? Do you play soccer or skateboard? No? Do you have a brother or sister? Yes? When you kick them, which foot do you use?"
"Can you be quiet while I'm talking please? Quiet! Now!"
"Well Bobby, I told you to go to the bathroom while we were inside. Now you'll have to pee in the woods. There's a tree."
"Fall down. Fall down before you hit someone! LOOK OUT DOWN THERE! FALL DOWN!"
"S@#$! Oops. Don't tell your mom I said that, okay?"
"Dustin, please stop picking your nose. It's grossing me out. No, stop it. Here, here's a kleen...that is disgusting. No, don't put that in your...Oh God."
For all of my efforts, my supervisor told me at the end of the season that he thought I was the best rookie we had. I was flattered. I was touched. I was glad he hadn't heard half the things I had said to the little cherubs.
And, looking forward to heading back to Fort Collins, which is very much out of the mountains and which had been experiencing 70+ degree days, I packed up my car and settled back into my house. I am now watching six inches of snow pile up outside my window. The snow gods have a great sense of humor.