Don’t you ever just get sick of it? Aren’t you tired of all the work, the responsibility, the inability to go hug your mommy when someone says something that hurts your feelings? Yes, I am talking about that thing that Peter Pan tried so desperately to avoid, growing up. One day I was directing an exciting game of house on the playground and before I could say Polly Pocket, I was worrying about the SATs, going to prom and packing for college.

It is only a few years before I am standing in the kitchen yelling at my 2.5 kids to turn off their iPods – which at this point will probably be some sort of microchip brain insert – and do their homework as I drink a glass of wine. Where did my life go?

Alright, so that was a bit dramatic, but I am a senior contemplating my future.

Sometimes I really think it would be great just to be a kid again and not have to worry about anything, but alas I have no time machine. I don’t even have a cute 80s Michael J. Fox type guy.

However, for the past two weeks, I actually have been given a trip down memory lane thanks to a very special TV program I like to call the Winter Olympics – in particular, the women’s figure skating. Women’s figure skating was a pillar of my childhood as I am sure it was for many other little girls. I remember begging my mother if I could stay up and watch Nancy Kerrigan – the toothy Tonya Harding-beaten, American girl with a heart of gold – battle Oksana Bayul – the 16-year-old Ukrainian orphan.

Don’t you remember watching the skating and then attempting to recreate the triple lutzes and axels by twirling around in socks on the wooden floor?

This simulation was almost as good as the time that I decided to wear my older sister’s tap shoes to the bathroom – of course with the purpose of achieving that authentic tapping sound – only to slip and fall flat on my back which knocked the wind out of my lungs. I was convinced I had almost died. Sadly, after that my bathroom dancing days were brought to an abrupt halt.

Then, of course, the Michelle Kwan years came along. Michelle was the kind of girl everyone hoped to be – graceful, intelligent, demure and she played the piano. Sadly, to everyone’s dismay she was defeated by Tara Lipinski – the horse-faced, four foot-tall girl whose 18 triple/double jump axel-lutzes sadly beat Kwan’s excessive arm gestures.

But I am 22 now – too old to be caught up in the silly world of skating. Plus now I really only believe I have a 20 percent chance of being a great figure skater – the odds were much better when I was younger.

I tuned in to the Ice Dancing pairs earlier in the week but they just kept dropping each other and seeing who could wear the sluttiest costume. When the short program for the women finally did come on, my suitemates’ excitement was intriguing. Three girls, all in their 20s, were cooing and shrieking at the TV like the first time they saw Devon Sawa’s naked butt in the movie Now and Then. The drama, the glamour, the extremely annoying commentary – I loved it all. This year was an unbeatable combination with Emily Hughes, the younger sister of gold medal winner Sarah Hughes – she has got to have a complex – and Sasha Cohen, the most flexible and graceful girl who could be mistaken for a fairy. Then there’s that Russian girl with the Dorothy Hamill haircut and some girls from other countries.

All I can say is it was nice to go back to that familiar sense of cheering for my country.

Thank you Olympics for momentarily sparing me from curling up in the fetal position because my world is changing so much.

Lepore can be reached atmlepore@camustimes.org.



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