Growing up in Massachusetts, I have definitely had more winters than I can handle. I am not, nor ever will be, a “snow” guy. Yet, for some reason I cannot comprehend, I CHOOSE to live in this shit. Every winter I usually have my moment (or one hundred) where I seriously contemplate what life is like in Florida or Arizona, but never can pull the trigger because my family is all here and we also have the greatest sports scene anywhere (fact) among many other draws to Massachusetts. To top it all off, I married into a skiing family. My wife grew up skiing and her parents have a house on a mountain in Vermont. For 13 plus years now I have made the countless treks up to Vermont during the winters to bask in all the awesomeness that is the sport of skiing. My wife and in-laws have indoctrinated my children since basically birth, and they too are now lovers of putting two long boards on your feet and going down a mountain in ice cold death temps. Joy. I never skied growing up, and I actually tried to learn as my kids were a few years ago. After several falls and countless curse words let’s just say that it isn’t for me. As a parent, I have to be encouraging of their love for skiing, but on the inside I seethe with the power of 10,000 death stars at the whole scene. This past weekend we went skiing again, this time on a holiday, and the whole scene finally pushed me to my boiling point. I hate skiing, and here is why. To all you skiing fanatics I could say “I get it” but I honestly don’t. Sorry but not sorry.
1. Cold as shit – we, as a human race, are not meant to be in extreme cold temps, never mind pay for the right to be in them. Yet, millions of peeps around the world pay ridiculous amounts of money (more on that in a bit) to “play” in temperatures that literally hurt. “But Ed, we are wearing lots of layers and hand warmers” – I can hear it already. Yes, you sure are – and let me tell you as a parent – the fact that it takes thirty minutes to prep someone to go out in that frozen wasteland should tell you that maybe it is not the best idea to do it. I know you all love coming into the lodge and having your precious hot chocolate to warm up but take it from someone who sees all you clowns coming in “to warm up” – you all look like you are on the verge of hypothermia with frozen snot hanging from your noses. Call me crazy, but when it is really frigging cold outside I prefer not to spend hours in that kind of environment. This is why, we as human beings, built these things called “houses” with “insulation” and “heating systems”. I also see the skiers after a long day on the slopes, and what I see is someone physically and mentally drained from exposing themselves in temps that even animals try to hide from. Sounds like a blast.
2. Mortgaging Your Home – Now that we established how bat-shit insane it is to be willingly playing in extremely cold temps, let’s discuss the fact that skiing is ridiculously expensive. Like you need to take out loans expensive. First off, the equipment. Skis, ski boots, poles, gloves, helmets, masks, and literally 4,000 other bits of layers of clothing just to start. Then you get to the booth at these “resorts” (count me as someone who doesn’t ever want to vacation at these “resorts”) where the person literally laughs in your face when they ask for $75 – $100 on average for the right to ski on their precious mountain for 4 – 5 hours. With a family of four that comes out to about $400, without even considering the several hundreds you already spent on the gear. OK – so now the family is on the mountain, skiing their hearts out. Come lunchtime, unless you packed it already (another of the endless pre-skiing prep that is just so easy and not at all frigging annoying) you then plop down a good $75 – $100 for the crappiest food you will ever eat (but you HAVE to eat it because F you). There is also beer and wine? Great – that will be a cool $10 – $15 for awful beer and an average wine. But the ambiance, Ed? Tell you what – you can have this shit hole ambiance in awful temps with people acting like lunatics everywhere in close proximity – I will take a beach in warmer temps. Enjoy!
3. People – Here’s the thing – skiing puts thousands of people in very close proximity in their “enchanting” lodges. Lots of crying kids, pushy adults and teens everywhere – and all up in your shit as there is literally very little room to move. You have a “hunger games” like mentality to find a table to put your stuff down, and just like the train at rush hour, people will literally kill you to get there first. The “human” part of human beings is thrown out in this environment, as it is literally a free for all on everything. Then at lunchtime, this turns even uglier. Waiting in 45 minute lines to eat crap food, stuck behind people asking about the caloric intake of a hamburger that has been sitting under a hot lamp for 2 days is just the start. People throw their food and trash everywhere, don’t clean up after themselves at the tables they sacrificed their first born to get, and because you’re so close to everyone you hear the beautiful chorus of kids crying, teens cursing and adults complaining and screaming at the kids and teens. Kill me.
4. Honor Code – as someone who grew up in Massachusetts, the very concept of plopping your belongings on or under a table and then taking off for the day seems like just about the most stupid thing ever. Yet, this is the unspoken “honor code” that exists at these places. Yeah, a room full of bags with nobody around them that has their valuables in it and NOBODY is going to take someone’s stuff? Let’s just say that this is one of the many reasons I stay inside – to guard our crap. Call me crazy, but I don’t trust people to not take things when there is literally no one there to stop them if they wanted to. Maybe it’s because I didn’t grow up in the Midwest or somewhere less jaded, but leaving my valuables unattended in open spaces? Nope and never.
5. Pain – even the skiers I know who have skied for years are never feeling “good” when they are done paying craploads of cash, being in freezing temps and navigating through tons of people. Nope – they typically complain about body parts hurting or how sore they are. I love golf, but let me assure you when I am done I am not in pain nor do I need to be next to a fire with hot beverages to defrost. So let me get his straight – you want to pay for this experience?
6. Badges – One of the most douchy things ever is when people literally collect ski passes on their jackets like boy scout badges. “Look at me, I ski lots of places” – I hate you.
It has been a while since my last non-business post because of a) being really busy and b) a bad back. It took a weekend of skiing and the rage it built inside me to get back to writing these posts – but that is the only nice thing I will ever say about skiing.