Folks, we are smack-dab in the middle of Cuffing Season. The holidays have since passed, that crisp December snowfall has turned to brown slush, and temperatures have gotten lower than a 2002 Lil’ Jon song. While there’s nothing wrong with ordering in takeout, jumping on the Making a Murderer roller coaster, and spending nights in with your significant other, it’s crucial to get out there and do something special once in a while. If you’re still on the prowl for someone to warm up these frigid winter nights, there is hope for you. One of the time-tested staples of winter dating is a trip to the local ice rink. Is it right for you? Let’s take a look.
This could really go down anywhere with access to cold temperatures and a large volume of water. In the Northern states, a rink might exist in the open air of a mall parking lot, in a city park, or nestled between pine trees where a lake usually sits. If you own your own skates, that’s great; if not, you will be forced to rent a pair that has been worn countless times by God knows how many people. It very well could be crowded out there. Ice skating attracts patrons of all ages. Be wary of clumsy children, high school girls running a conga line all over the ice, and that guy who “totally would’ve gotten drafted” if a nagging knee injury hadn’t kept him out of the 2nd line center role on his glorified men’s league hockey team.
On the plus side, ambiance tends to be top notch here. Music tends to be cheerful, lighting is romantic, and the hot cocoa tends to be flowing. If you played hockey growing up or did figure skating, this is your time to shine.
What You’ll Wear
Jeans or chinos are usually a safe bet here. A flannel shirt and a vest would be more than acceptable, and you can safely opt for a beanie and gloves if it’s particularly chilly. If you’re confident in the ownership of your Mancard, feel free to whip out a scarf too.
The jury is still out on wearing a hockey sweater. If it’s your old high school one, get the fuck out. If you are a diehard Avs fan, and you want to opt for the 2001 Joe Sakic jersey you got in an eBay auction, that’s up to you. It really depends on what type of image you’d like to put out here. Remember, it’s not what you wear; it’s how you wear it.
Ladies, I am nowhere near a fashion expert. Please bear with me. In this instance, it is best to opt for warmth and functionality. In this case, you are allowed to wear any hockey sweater you’d like, as long as it isn’t an ex’s. There are plenty of cute options involving vests (#VestLife is the best life), furs, jackets, flannels, whatever. All will work just fine. I promise the guy will think you look cute regardless. Frankly, he will likely be more focused on staying on his feet, avoiding the sporadic traffic of other guests, and making sure he doesn’t get too sweaty out there.
What You’ll Eat
In the spirit of winter, a hearty post-skate meal is absolutely necessary. Emphasis is on “post-skate” — no one wants to be laboring up and down the ice like Goldberg from the Mighty Ducks during a blue-line suicide. Limit yourself to light beer and spirits before hitting the ice.
Beer cheese soup, dark beers, pizza, and apps of any kind really hit the spot here. If you wear a hockey sweater, you’re obligated to drink Molson or Labatt Blue.
Where this will go right…
You each have a blast jamming to “Fa La La” by the Biebs as lights twinkle overhead. One of you insists you hold hands “for balance” and the other gladly reciprocates. You sip hot cocoa and take a cute picture with your winter gear on. You follow up the skating with a few drinks and a shareable appetizer at a Tavern boasting an extensive beer list and soft lighting. You bring the witty conversation and take this game into “Overtime.”
Where this will go wrong…
One of you gets hurt. Notice I didn’t include a trip to the emergency room in between skating and Apres Skating beers.
Or, the Rental skates are heinous and awkwardly moist from the feet of complete strangers.
Or, you suck at skating. Because there’s being bad at it, and there’s sucking at it. If you fall into the latter category, call off the dogs and rain check to a different activity.
Remember: keep it light, bundle up for warmth, and if you fall down, get right back up with a smile. Have fun, and don’t take yourself too seriously. Ice skating is a timeless, winter classic. In the right setting, with the right person, this can be the ultimate power play. .
Image via YouTube