Disco Queen

February 14, 2009
My favorite time in my life was during grammar school when my life revolved around roller-skating. I went to a private Catholic school, and everyone was into classic rock and roll like The Rolling Stones and The Doors. I had no interest in that whatsoever, which began my alter ego of a disco bunny rollergirl.

My secret roller-skating life existed at Hot Skates, a roller rink in the next town over from mine. I would be dropped off there in the morning and I would do the 9 to 11:30 am, 12 to 2:30 pm and 5 to 7:30 pm sessions. During each session would be a couples skate, free skate and competitive races. I was always competitive and I would always win the races and get free passes for the next week. Otherwise, I would never have been able to afford this habit.

Such was my life for approximately five years every Saturday and Sunday. My typical uniform was Sergio Valente jeans, an airbrushed t-shirt and the pink or purple back-pocket comb and my $365 Reidel skates that I waited four years for (this was in 1984, mind you). My laces were glittery, my wheels were perfect and my legwarmers completely unnecessary. My hair was in wings, and I would use the curling iron to make sure I had the perfect roll down both sides. I ruined that perfect hair with a perm that went awry, and I looked like Latoya Jackson for a two-year period. I'm convinced that the slight wave in my hair is a result.

This life had to be kept a secret. My St. Agnes friends would have made fun of me, so I kept it to myself. Here my true love of disco music was born. There is not a ‘70s or ‘80s disco song that I don't know the words to, from Evelyn Champagne King, to Kool and the Gang, to the Sugar Hill Gang. Yet I couldn't come close to telling you what Coldplay sings.

These years had romance too. There was a group of tough boy roller hockey players from Queens who used to come every weekend. I still remember my first kiss with Mark and my second with John. These kisses earned me hockey shirts that I'd proudly wear around the rink as my badge of honor.

I have even tried to recapture these years by visiting the Roxy Roller Rink in New York City, which has subsequently closed.

I'm also an excellent rollerblader but nothing will ever compare to my Reidels. That was the time of my life.