When I was in high school, Dad had a pair of skates that must have been 35 years old. They looked ancient. Something a bit like this (or so I think that's what they looked like):
Of course, by the 1980s molded plastic was the look to have. It became pretty easy to tell newish skates from old skates. So yes, Dad's skates really did look ancient. I simply could not understand why he didn't go buy a new pair.
Of course now, I totally get it. I'm suddenly at an age where it's easy to own something you still use that's more than 30 years old. Time speeds by and we lose track of how much has actually passed. Plus, you enter a never ending cycle of buying stuff for kids as they continue to outgrow everything they own. It suddenly seems frivolous to buy a new pair of skates when yours work just fine.
While my skates are almost 30 years old, they don't look nearly as ancient as Dad's did. I can continue to use those with ease.
However, dad's skates are my downhill skis. My skis are over 30 years old and look like this:
They are not bad looking skis, for 1983. However, skis have changed since then. They are shorter, much shorter. Plus they are no longer straight; they are parabolic - fat ends, skinny middles.
But these work, so I've used them - until last year when we got a family rental package at the ski hill by our house. The parabolic skis I rented were quite fabulous in comparison.
This year, Eamon got a hand-me-down pair of skis and boots from a friend. Then I found some affordable gear for Meaghan and Kerry on Kijiji. We no longer needed rentals. So I returned to my super long, almost vintage, skis. Yes, there was the odd good laugh on the chair lift with someone who recognized the uniqueness of my skis. Despite the good laughs, I decided it was time to get a new pair.
Problem: In my mind I'm about 5'6", maybe 5'7". In reality, I'm much shorter, more the height of the average grade 6 or 7 girl. Turns out the ski size I needed is easily found in junior skis, not so easily found in ladies. But I was prepared to wait a long time for a second-hand pair, or for a good sale somewhere.
I left my name at one of the exchanges in town and figured I would never hear from them again. Much to my surprise (and excitement) the shop called on Thursday saying they had a pair in that was my size and in my price range.
Hello new-to-me skis! I left them in the shop over the weekend so that my boots (also circa 1983) can be fitted to the bindings. Then look out ski hill. My new skis and I will be ready to go!
The skis will have been worth the wait.
As for Dad, he did finally buy a new pair of skates and he couldn't believe how good they felt. I seem to recall he even wondered what took him so long. However, since time continues to tick on, those skates are now probably close to 30 years old.