Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Growing up I was more than over-the-top about a few things. Mainly: Jose Canseco (the Oakland A's in general, really), Beverly Cleary books (I was convinced that I was Ramona Quimby), oldies music, basketball, my teddy bear, Teddy and Kristi Yamaguchi.

Admittedly, Kristi Yamaguchi seems like an odd fit in a clear list of tomboy favorites. I don't know why I loved her so much, we have very little to nothing in common and I know zero about figure skating. Maybe I loved her because I knew early on that Tonya Harding was trashy and I always prefer classy over trashy (another odd premise coming from a tomboy in rural Arkansas).


This morning Kristi Yamaguchi was on the Today Show and I was swept back to 1992 and the Olympics and one of the greatest presents, to date, that I've ever received: a pair of white, patent leather roller skates with hot pink wheels. I got them at Christmas, just before the 1992 Olympics. I was in heaven wearing them around my kitchen screaming, "I'm Kristi Yamaguchi!"

While watching Kristi on the television this morning I wondered if I had ever properly thanked my parents for those skates. It's hard to say thanks when you're only eight and slightly obsessed with yourself and making videos of yourself dancing to "Too Legit to Quit."

So, that's what I want to say this morning:

Dearest Reg and LJ,

What a great gift you gave me way back in 1991! I loved those skates more than just about anything and I remember trying to cram my foot into them long after I had outgrown them. I forgave you a long time ago for not entering me into any skating competitions, if you were wondering...But, seriously...thanks for the skates and the tolerance of my completely annoying charade of constantly pretending to be someone else whether it was Kristi, Jose Canseco, Michael Jackson, MC Hammer or a dinosaur. I'm sure you spent many nights wondering if I'd turn out somewhat normal and I hope you're resting assuredly that the "somewhat" part is somewhat true. I always had the dumbest dreams and ambitions for my life and you always encouraged me to go after them-- even the one where I wanted to be a professional tennis player and country music singer on the side. Thanks for that. Who knew that those skates would lead me to lead to such a fulfilling life? Well, I'm sure you both did. Duh. Best parents ever.

little l


Laurie J said...

Those skates ran for a million miles- they're probably still in the garage or the attic, if you still want them- right next to the red Chuckies!

bmayes said...

I remember being obsessed with Nancy Kerrigan, but I'm sure it was mostly because I felt sorry for her after the attack.

I found this on wiki:
"Some wondered if Kerrigan landed better and higher-profile endorsements than Olympic gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi because Kerrigan better fit an "all-American" image where as Yamaguchi is of Japanese ancestry."

Way to stray from the "all-American" image, Els. I expect nothing less.

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