This post has nothing to do with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which ends today. I completely support BCAM; my stepmother is a survivor. She, however, has gotten rather fed up with the awareness movement and turns away in disgust at those little pink ribbons.
In her honor, I will definitely say that breast cancer research and treatment might have come a long way, but there’s still much work left to be done. If you haven’t gotten tapped out already, here’s where you can help.
The rest of my somewhat irreverent post about pink has nothing at all to do with breast cancer or any other type of cancer or illness (although I feel compelled to mention that I have had Type I diabetes for years and am pretty well tired of it, so here’s that link, too). It has everything to do with my distaste for the color itself.
I am not a girly-girl. My boyfriend jokes that since I already have the Subaru, the flannel, and the key-ring beer opener, all I need is the girlfriend. I take out the trash after being asked at least ten times and see nothing wrong with socks on the coffee table. True to stereotype, I shun all that is floral or that ranges anywhere below a solid red on the shade scale.
This has been an issue in the past. Last Christmas, my boyfriend’s mother gave me a fleece vest as a gift. It has incredibly thick, soft fleece and fits right in with the rest of my no-nonsense cold-weather wear…or it would, if it weren’t garishly, eye-gougingly pink.
“I noticed you never seem to wear anything that color,” she explained when I forced myself not to shield my eyes. “I thought I’d expand your wardrobe a little.”
There would be a reason I don’t seem to wear anything that color, I thought about saying. I politely thanked her instead and made plans to toss it in the donations pile. There are too many people going without any no-nonsense cold-weather wear, pink or not, so I figure I can at least put my unwanted excess to some good.
But I had to face my aversion head-on when I needed to purchase new ski boots. It’s pretty difficult to find boots that are stiff enough to hold a skier upright when the slope is steep and the powder is deep and also wide enough to accommodate fat feet. Most boots with a generous width are designed for raw beginners or, at best, those just moving past the “Pizza, French Fries” stage of the game.
Fortunately, Nordica seized on an underserved market and decided to make boots that offer the perfect fit for those of us who almost don’t need skis to stay on top of the pow. After trying on a few different styles, I went with the Hot Rod 8.0W (yep, that’s W as in “wide load,” at least as far as feet go). It was the perfect intersection of fit, stiffness, and price.
Only problem: the ones they had in stock were pink. With little flowers on the outside.
I was so happy to find boots that didn’t cut off circulation but wouldn’t leave me flying out of them when I caught an edge, leaving me headfirst in a snowdrift with my socked feet vibrating out me behind me like a Warner Bros. cartoon character, that the color didn’t really sink in until I put them on at the slopes.
After all, these were new boots, and new boots are a literal pain. Walking in them hurt. Skiing in them hurt. On top of that, any confidence I had built up from last year in my no-nonsense, Darth Vader-esque solid black boots was gone, washed out the window using a mauve dye with a shiny pink metallic finish for the buckles.
However, after eight break-in sessions, my new boots and I have declared a peace treaty. Walking in ski boots still sucks–it always will–but I know what settings to put the buckles on for groomers, and last Wednesday gave me a pretty good idea where to clamp them down when conditions are steep and deep.
And, with the reacquisition of the knowledge that I am a sexy, sexy beast on skis, a shining example to all who bow down before me when they catch an edge, intentionally or not, I have also come to accept (if not embrace) the color of my boots.
No more will I ski up to a lift that services advanced and expert runs only and be greeted by, “Hey, man. [Pause, double-take] Oh, shit! You’re not a man!” No more will I have to reassure myself that those runs still are, by and large, a sausagefest, and that I look like an androgynous marshmallow under my heavy ski gear regardless. Nope, now I can take to the chutes and bowls and listen to guys’ genitals withering up and dropping off in envy as I whiz past in my gloriously pink Hot Rods.
Of course, the genital withering took place whenever I skied past in my Darth Vader boots. I’m just that awesome, no matter what colors I’m sporting.