*Thanks to Charlie Sheen for the best post title ever.

A few weeks back Monica reminded me of her
New Year's resolution to learn to ski.

"Why?" I asked.

I don't think she ever provided me with an acceptable answer, but like most of Monica's schemes, I agreed to be a part of it without much question and scheduled a day off work to go learn to ski with her. I do what she tells me, folks. It's better that way.

When I told The KingofHearts about my plan to go skiing for Monica's birthday, he was incredulous:

"Have you even TOLD Monica that you DON'T KNOW HOW TO SKI and you've never been skiing before IN YOUR LIFE?!?"

"Um, actually, I kind of do know how to ski and I've been skiing a few times."

"When did you ever do that?"

"When I lived at the bottom of a ski resort. I had a life before I met you, you know."

This, from the person who was convinced I was a fantastic soccer player who could wipe the floor with native players, not because he'd ever seen me play soccer or heard me talking about playing soccer, but because I lived in South America for a couple of years.

I skied for the first time in high school with a church youth group trip. I had never done anything of the like before and my skiing companions assured me I wouldn't need lessons, they'd teach me. What this meant was, "I'll help you put on your skies and then forget that you don't know what you're doing and drag you down a run with so many moguls, you'll need a new suspension by the time you get to the bottom." So until this week, I had never had a ski lesson. I don't remember much about that first trial by fire. I don't really even know how well I skied but I think I managed to stay above the snow and I know I didn't fall down the mountain or anything. (Relax, folks, he's all right.) What I do remember is standing next to Robert Redford while in line for the ski lift and him being kind of a tool. Though I suppose I'd be a tool too if there were a bunch of hyperactive teenagers trying to get me to take my sunglasses off.

Back in the 90s... fine, 80s, when I was in college, I went skiing with friends a few more times because a ski resort was ten minutes up the hill from the school I was attending. I'm confident I went up that ski lift more times in the summer to have a picnic than in the winter to ski down. Near as I can tell, that was the last time I was on skis... sometime in 1987 or 1988. Since then, I've gained a few pounds, developed a healthy fear of death and thanks to my last pregnancy, lost all ability to balance while ascending a simple set of stairs. Needless to say, I wasn't confident in my skiing abilities after not having been near skis in mumblesomething (I can't even bear to do the math) years.

But I looked confident.

I say this by way of full disclosure because every time Monica tells the story of our ski trip, her estimation of how I under-represented my abilities at the outset of the day starts more and more to resemble a pool shark trying to hustle someone for his last dollar.

Though I'll admit the mechanics of the sport came back to me fairly quickly, the truth is, every time I look at the video of me skiing, I have to check and make sure there's nothing wrong with my computer because I appear to be moving in slow motion.

Other highlights of the day: Sonny Bono jokes, near constant Charlie Sheen quotes all day long and Monica yelling "Superstar" and flinging her ski poles in the air at the end of each run, threatening to put out the eyes of anyone who had the misfortune of being in our section of the mountain.

I can't imagine why no one wanted to be around us.