The year was 1993. Those flashy colors of the eighties were still making their presence known in the early nineties when I set off to buy my first ever “grown-up” snow suit. Winter sports are a popular part of Newfoundland culture, and if you are going to partake, you must look the part. When I walked through the doors of the mall, it was love at first sight. There, hanging on the wall, was the most beautiful, one-piece, Columbia snow suit that I had ever seen. I was so mesmerized by the bright fuchsia color that I could barely take my eyes off it. I really felt at that moment in time that this suit could change my life forever. I was sold.
Even though I had never skied, I was sure that I would have looked “da bomb” gliding down the slopes in that baby. I was actually glad to see snow squalls in the forecast so that I could wear my fashionable snow suit to work. It would always garner compliments from fellow staff members, such as, “That’s a sharp looking suit you have on there.” And I would sheepishly reply something like, “You know I normally wouldn’t wear a snow suit to work, but you never know when a blizzard could hit. You can’t be too careful!” Then I would strut down the hallway like a peacock on parade, imagining how envious my co-workers must have felt about my lovely one-piece, fuchsia snow suit.
Fast forward a decade. The year was 2003. My children, Kaitlyn, then age 8 and Donovan, age 6, were in their prime sledding years. Manys a winter afternoon was spent with other moms and groups of red-cheeked kids, sliding down steep snowy hills amid squeals of delight. I can still see thirty-something year old me (looking hot in my fuchsia snow suit), roasting wieners over the open fire, while I sipped cold wine from a flask, along with the other cheery mothers.
Life was sweet……..until……….one fateful day, after a few tips of our flask, my friend, Sherry, looked at me and said, “Sweet Jesus, Flo, when are you going to get rid of that PURPLE ONE-PIECE SUIT?” I quickly noticed the other mothers trying to stifle their giggles, and suddenly the scales fell from my eyes. As I looked around me, all I could see was a sea of black, TWO-pieced snow suits, with white lettering on the back that said words like “Ski-Doo”, “Bombardier” and “Yamaha”. My suit, while stylish in its day, was now blatantly OUT OF STYLE. In fact, clownishly out of style (all you had to do was attach the red nose.) I will never forget sitting there, red-faced, wishing that an avalanche would come and carry me away from the scornful glares of the fashion police mothers. (As an aside, one of the things I love best about my friend Sherry is her blunt honesty. While a lesser friend may have made fun of me behind my back, I could always count on Sherry to tell it how it is. That’s why I call her, “The Wise One.”)
You may be wondering why I find myself reminiscing about my “purple one-piece suit”. (For the record it was fuchsia!) Well, last weekend I once again found myself shopping for a grown-up snow suit. Shawn just bought a new ski doo, and as all good snow-faring Newfoundlanders know, you can’t travel with the pack unless you have the proper gear. Finding the snow suit was not a problem. I quickly spotted a black two piece, with just a splash of fuchsia to grab my attention. The handsome young sales associate told me that it was their best-selling suit, and it even has flotation ability; not that I plan to swim in it or anything. Besides, he was just wasting his time telling me all of that; I was sold on the fuchsia stripe!
But that was only half the battle. Apparently, to be truly “in style” for snow mobilling, you have to wear a helmet that matches not only your suit, but also the snow machine itself. (I know, right? I’m a bit over-whelmed by it all!) I have worn helmets before, of course, but always open faced ones, which apparently are no longer in vogue. So Shawn found this lovely model that fit all the criteria, and he jammed it on my head. I mean literally JAMMED it on my head, and closed the visor. Within nano-seconds, I was catapulted into a complete panic attack. I couldn’t breathe! As I frantically clawed at the helmet, I thought, “Surely I will die before I get this thing off”. Luckily Shawn, and the handsome young sales associate, came to my rescue and gave it a good yank, sending my earrings flying across the room and causing my pitifully thin hair to stand straight on its end, exposing all of the bald patches that I had carefully combed over and sealed with a tin of hair spray. (FYI, fine, thin hair was an unfortunate after-effect of my chemo. Not a perk!)
Looking like one of those hairless cats, I drew my neck, turtle-like, into the collar of my jacket, in an attempt to hide my naked, exposed head. However, although I was feeling kind of humiliated about my hair, Shawn insisted that I keep trying on helmets. To his credit, he did find the perfect one, which is closed-faced, yet not too claustrophobic. (As an aside, one of the things I love best about Shawn is his “never-give-up attitude”. I can always count on him to make me step outside of my comfort zone. That is why I call him, “My Man”.)
So, here I am, with a fashionable two-piece snow suit and helmet…but ironically, for the first time in decades in Newfoundland, no snow. But I don’t care. Come hell or high water I am going to put on my new suit and go ice fishing next weekend, even if I have to walk to my destination. In fact, I envision myself creating many happy memories in my black…with a touch of fuchsia….two piece snow suit, for many years to come. And how will I know when it is out of style? Easy! I’ll just keep hanging out with my friend, Sherry!
P.S. My regular followers will notice that I have made changes to the appearance of my blog. One year in real time is like ten in cyber-space, so it was desperately in need of an up-date. By the way, the background color you are looking at is clearly fuchsia, NOT PURPLE! I hope you like it.
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