Saturday night I accompanied Sara to a friend-of-a-friend’s roller-rink birthday party at World on Wheels. The theme—generous in its breadth—was ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, so I put together a ‘70s outfit that consisted almost entirely of items I wear on a regular basis: polyester shirt depicting giraffes on a red-and-brown jungle background, knit cap, bellbottoms. My only out-of-the-ordinary accessory was a long metal chain adorned with a five-inch owl charm, whose red glass eyes matched my shirt. Sara and Becky and I decided that the look was Idealistic Environmental Lawyer.
So yeah, my outfit sort of missed the rollerskating boat, as I discovered when I walked into WOW and saw acres of girls in early ‘80s roller gear: short slit shorts, striped knee socks, pigtails. One girl’s “shorts” were definitely boy-shorts-style underwear, but to her credit, she had the back pocket to pull it off. Since I don’t hang out on the beach or in Beverly Hills very often, sometimes I forget how many girls with almost fictionally perfect bodies there are in LA. But I got lots of complements on my owl-and-giraffe motif, so ultimately I was glad I left my knee socks at home.
I’d never been to a roller rink before. This one was the sort of place where the bathroom stalls featured signs reminding you not to drink while pregnant or your baby might be born with a deformed face. Where the DJ periodically interrupted the music to say, “Let’s give a shout-out to Benny, who found the missing locker key!”
I’m definitely going back.
Not being much of a party person, I really appreciated that, at any given time, I had the option of ditching the crowd and taking a spin around the smooth wooden floor on my own. Although skating with Sara was also fun, as she tried to teach me how to “shoot the duck” (it sounds scandalous, but really it’s just squatting down and skating on one foot) and other tricks.
As always, I learned something random about Sara’s past: She’s versed in Egyptology and would have moved to Cairo if there had been more opportunities for women Egyptologists there. This came up when she began a sentence with, “My favorite pharaoh…” and I was like, “Wait, who has a favorite pharaoh? At least, one who’s not Tut?” Sara, that’s who.
Cultural intake notes for the weekend: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang: funny and postmodern and good. Poets Sholeh Wolpé and Dorianne Laux: smart, intense-and-subtle and good. The Rules of Attraction (on DVD): well made, I guess, but I’m just not into movies about sassy, brilliant, privileged assholes and how desperate their lives are. If I’m going to watch a privileged asshole, I’d prefer to watch Paris Hilton, because at least I can comfort myself that I’m smarter than her.
(I don’t buy that the ditziness is all an act, on her part or Jessica Simpson’s. If it is an act, that makes them all the more pathetic, because it means that all they’ve used their brains for is getting rich by bombarding the world with images of spoiled, stupid women.)