LIFE, LIBERTY, and my PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

Colorado has large mountains and they are very beautiful. Skiing is very fun and it makes you feel good about yourself when you do things like go down double black chutes without dying, or ski better than Dan (granted, sometimes he telemarks). However, chairlift conversations can be lacking in intellectual substance, which quickly becomes stifling and/or regressive to one’s own mental capacity. Everything is a tradeoff, I suppose.

Still, subsisting on sub-par levels of O2 makes a girl realize a few things about the world, humanity, and herself.

THE WORLD

The world is big, and sometimes it falls on your head. This is not recommended. Sometimes your head falls on the world, though this is not recommended either, as it causes headaches, and in extreme cases, concusses you.

Going down is easier than going up, but that makes it scary because it is fast. Slowing down is also very difficult. For a non-strenuous interaction with the world, we recommend going horizontal.

The sun is strong when the atmosphere is thin. This means your face will hurt if you are not adequately prepared.

Heavy, wet snow is less gnarly for shredding, but it is much better for staving off dehydration as it actually melts into water droplets.

HUMANITY

On a chair lift, even Winston Churchill would be reduced to speaking in the following manner: “Dude, I totally f*cked up my skis in those trees on that last run. I’ve got like this mega core shot.” “Dude, I don’t know, those trees were sick.” “Dude, did you see that skittle just take a total face shot and yard sale?” “Dude, check out those gapers.” “Dude, I caught so much air on that jump.” “Dude, you should check out ____, it’s totally untracked. Freshies!” “Dude, this pow is gnar. I’mma shred it so hard.”

Speaking like this is natural and encouraged in this environment. Other acceptable topics include how much PBR you drank last night, how much weed you smoked in the hut between the Haul brothers/how much weed you are going to smoke in the hut between the Haul brothers, reveling in the amount of powder, bemoaning the lack of powder, how much PBR you’re going to drink as soon as you get down to the base (or to a hut, or on the lift), “grumbling” about gouges/scrapes in your skis/snowboard but really just showing off how badass you are, and general overuse of the words “dude,” “like,” “gnar,” “shred,” “pow,” and any and all curse/swear words. (Mom: you should bring your jar to Colorado. You’d be rich.)

Conversations about politics, world affairs, government, current events, religion, culture, movies (unless related to skiing and/or that one about the kids who get stuck on a chairlift and are subsequently eaten by wolves), music (unless telling people what you’re rocking out to but only if they ask), food (except when referring to pizza as ‘za and as long as you simultaneously mention how much PBR you are going to drink with it), work, Texas (unless you’re making fun of gaper Texans), and generally anything suggestive of an IQ above, say, 90.

MYSELF

I do NOT want to be the kind of person who “goes on vacation.” Going on vacation is hard. It is a chore. You have you ask your boss, and then you have to plan it, and then you have to stress out about it, and then you have to pack, and then you have to sit on a plane with other crazies who are “going on vacation” and are ridiculously stressed out about it. (Oh, you have to gate check that steamer trunk? Maybe you should have thought twice before bringing three blow-dryers and your entire collection of Barbie dolls.) The worst is knowing that a “vacation” is invetiably going to come to an end.

I much prefer “going away.” It is indefinite, glamorous, and romantic. People with the last name Hepburn probably “go away,” to Europe or South America or other formerly exotic locations. Yes, I am going away to the mountains, to Colorado, no I do not know when or even if I shall return, so sayonara, that means good bye, until next time…

Yet still people insist on wishing me a “nice” or “good” “vacation.” Oooh and it makes my toes curl; not in the good way. Me? Someone who goes on vacation? Why, that’s simply impossible. I’m a rebel! A renegade! A revolutionary! I do not do such commonplace things as vacation. People who go on vacation have jobs and apartments and boring, real people lives. They have sick days limiting how much they can be sick, and vacation days, dictating how often and for how long they can disappear.

But me, on vacation? I must have lost my magic! I am no longer interesting or unique; I am a sheep, one of the masses! I have forsaken my spirit, my individuality, by inadvertently wandering wayward onto the path which deigns to allow me such lofty privileges as to “go on vacation” one week at a time for the rest of my life. I am just like everyone else, and that makes me sad.

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One thought on “LIFE, LIBERTY, and my PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

  1. I needed to hear you restate your question. It turns out I hadn’t quite grasped it from the airport story.
    The answer is, yes, after Israel adopts majority rule, which will involve turning over most of its private property to Palestinians and putting most of its senior staff away for life, the US will go on largely as it goes now.
    To put that in terms of skiing, skiing will be the same. What will change is no longer wondering if the world will have blown up while you were on the slopes. So it’s the return to normality after skiing that will change–the bitter instant will be gone.

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