Illustration and "decor" by Tess Wood.
As one might imagine, there is a lot to love in little ski bum towns. (Why else would they exist?) But what’s often forgotten when overly romanticizing the simple joys of ski bumming are the pitfalls of such a minuscule town. You will overpay for groceries, your couch will be a boarding house for freeloading friends, and on a night out your ex will walk into the same bar. The small town disadvantages only intensify, and they go a little something like this:
Ski town or not, people run into exes all the time. Get over it and take solace in the fact that you might see him out but you’ll never again have to pretend to enjoy skiing with him (and his stupid rainbow tie-dye helmet).
However, shit hits the fan a few days later when you’re cruising the singles line on a pow day at the resort. Next thing you know you’re squeezed into the gondola with none other than the blonde arm candy with whom the aforementioned ex was gratuitously canoodling. Now you’re in close proximity to the offensive interloper as well as her three besties. Amazing. You feign interest in a riveting app whilst listening to every word of the bimbo tribe’s conversation. After exactly twelve minutes and 42 seconds (turns out that “riveting app” is a clock) you reach the top and are free from the stifling gondola. “Pissed off” is a gentle description of the angsty heart-pounding you feel, and you aggressively kick the snow off your boots, planning to ski far, far away.
But no matter, it takes only a few turns to completely forget about that asshole and his new slam piece. You run into friends on the next lift, get some free beer from your buddies working at the Mangy Moose and make plans to weasel your way onto first tram with ski patrol the next morning.
But don’t think that small town life is done haunting you, no. Yet to come are many more less-than-ideal surprises.
Like going to your lady doctor appointment and knowing the young receptionist from going out to the same happy hours. In between letting you know how to access your PAP smear results she asks about your summer and how that new job is working out. You think you’re in the clear once you’ve entered the exam room (because who actually know any gynecologists) but low and behold your OB/GYN has a shadow today and it’s yet another acquaintance and you’re pretty sure the two of you went shot for shot on a bottle of Patron two weeks ago. Nice to see you, again.
And that’s when you should think: Well, what the hell. Could life be more awkward? Probably. But in the grander scheme of things, some girl knowing that I’m going on birth control before my boyfriend does? It’s not enough to outweigh the awesome skiing, good people, and amazing experiences afforded to me in this small town.
So bring it on.
And in exchange for the numerous small town benefits, you’ll be happy to serve coffee to the same cop that pulled you over at 5:30 am as you drove your booty call back to his place.
From The Column: From One Bum to Another
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