Last night I went roller blading for what would have been the first time in a decade if you didn't count the day before. It was my first time ever at a rink. I've always used full safety gear in the past: knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards, helmet. When I got to the rink, no one was wearing any protective anything. No helmets, not even any wrist guards in sight. Most people were even wearing shorts! I was older than most of the kids on the rink, so I was already self-concious, but once I looked around, I seriously considered not putting on any of my gear. I was paralyzed with thought for a few minutes, while looking around for my friend I was meeting. Agonizingly, I decided to at least put on knee pads. After I had already put my skates on, of course. *groan* As soon as I started gearing up, a teen girl standing on the inside of the rink (big no-no by the way) told her friend "I need what she has, knee pads!" I beamed up at her from my bench. We exchanged patter about "padding" where they don't manufacture protective equipment for, then she skated off. Vindicated, I finished donning my gear and prepared to get rolling. When my friend arrived, he gave me this look like I was crazy. I'm glad I decided not to wear my helmet! After almost flipping over the wall (twice!) I was very glad I decided to not care about looking like a doofus in front of a building full of teens.
I know I haven't written in forever but this is the first thing I've felt compelled to write about publicly in a long time. It was weird realizing that I could still care about what others thought of me, as much as I claim the opposite.