The other day I was buying some Christmas gifts in a major toy store. It was about eight at night, as I generally prefer to avoid the hoards.
I’d bought a few items for my own kids and a few bits and bobs for some little ones we will see on Christmas day. It was then I saw it on the shelf, something I just had to have and it was only £11.
What was this wondrous device? I’ll tell you: a skateboard!
I’ve not had a skateboard of my own for, oh, 25 years. It had to be mine, pure and simple.
In the past I used to be a retailer’s dream at Christmas time. I’d do my Christmas shopping on a “one for them, one for me” basis and return home with numerous different items for myself.
As I got older, I got more disciplined. Okay, let me rephrase that, I had less money. Then I became a stay at home dad and had even less money, times infinity.
The skateboard, however, well it called out to me. It would be an investment in my health and happiness.
I returned home and my wife immediately questioned my logic. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t in trouble (we don’t have that kind of marriage) but apparently, a man in his early forties might be a little too old to want such items (that’ll be very early forties to you, by the way).
Too old to be a sk8er boi, as Avril Lavigne once sang. I beg to differ.
It was the wrong statement to make. The skateboard happens to join a long list of wheeled items I occasionally use. I have an adult Microscooter and also in-line skates.
Although the in-line skates only come out from time to time I love using them. Even if I say so myself, I’m reasonably good on them. As for the scooter, it is a marvelous way to get to the train station on time if I’m cutting it a bit fine.
Both my kids are quite keen on such toys. Izzy loves her scooter and is very skilled at using it while Helen adores her roller skates.
Maybe seeing their father using such items has encourages my kids to be active? It can’t be a bad thing, surely?
My question to you, dear reader, is whether it is socially acceptable for a man of my age to use a skateboard / in-line skates / scooter? If you saw me hurtling towards you at 20mph on my blades, board or scooter and wearing protective padding would you think: “he’s old enough to know better” or would you simply ignore me?
Whatever your opinion, I’ll tell you this: I am not retiring from these wheeled activities any time soon. In fact, I’ve long thought those flicker scooters look very appealing. . .