Another head case on the slopes
Harangued into “protecting my melon,” I encased it in foam and hard plastic for the first time last weekend and hit the slopes.My first experience with a ski helmet left me wondering if my headwear wasn’t little more than a pricey mishap magnet.Sitting in the gondola plaza sipping overpriced coffee, I butted heads with my helmet-headed companion. Thank God we were both wearing protective gear. Of course, without the added girth of the brain buckets, our less-fat heads probably wouldn’t have collided in the first place.Then, in the gondola, the back of my head clanked repeatedly against the metal pipe between the seats. This has never happened to me before. I can only assume my noggin’s added circumference was to blame.Fast forward two hours: I’m about to plunk down on the Couch (aka the Gent’s Ridge Lift) when I inadvertently whack my companion’s head with a ski pole. OK, maybe some people should wear helmets – the people around me.I’d like to say my molded head case spared me from a mind-numbing encounter with a tree, or at least my hatchback, but no such luck. Instead, it just made me sweat, a lot. In the name of safety, I will now be sporting nightmarish hair while I soak up the sun at the Sundeck. And I thought my old hat hair was scary. At least no one will mistake me for the beautiful people.My helmet is silver, thanks to a rare fashion epiphany. I figured, ski jackets come and go, silver won’t really clash with any of them. Also, silver in the model I was looking for seemed hard to come by, which I figured might push the purchase into next season, giving me a few more days of carefree, tassel-flapping glory. No such luck.I insisted it couldn’t be dark blue or black (too hot), sky blue (please), bronze (too statuesque) or white. If you’re going to survive a plunge into a tree well, do you really want your little head, bobbing desperately toward the light, to match the terrain? I don’t think so. And no flames could be detailed on the side (too inflammatory).I mostly succumbed to the whole helmet thing because someone else bought it for me and because love means never getting to say, “But I don’t want to ski the trees.”But I don’t want to ski the trees. The way I see it, if you can’t make tight enough turns to maneuver around humps of snow on a wide-open run, you’re not going to make them in the woods. And, since I’m already convinced the helmet invites collisions with nearby objects, well, you get the picture.I think wearing a helmet is like driving an SUV. If you’re not careful, you start thinking you’re invincible.At least I can’t be distracted by a cell-phone call. It’s impossible to use one with the earflaps in the way, which is fine with me. I’ve been pretty miffed about cell phones in general, anyway, ever since I found out my phone number wasn’t on Paris Hilton’s. That bitch. I’ve taken her number off mine.Janet Urquhart lamented the purchase of her first bike helmet, too. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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