Le patinoire

Between ice skating lessons and roller skating birthday parties, I spent a significant chunk of my early adolescence in rinks. Last night I went ice skating for the first time in about a decade. It was weird, not because I was on ice—muscle memory did its thing—but because the standard skating soundtrack has changed.

Gone are the days of “Lovefool,” “Barbie Girl,” and “I Saw the Sign.” The only remnant of the 90’s was an unfortunate techno remix of “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” I felt so old that, for the first time in my life at the ripe old age of almost 24, I can relate to my parents’ nostalgia when they hear the Beatles.

I don’t think it had anything to do with being in France. Nearly every song they played last night was in English. Except for the conspicuous absence of “YMCA,” I suspect that skating rink music is, like every television show and Titanic, a thoroughly globalized American phenomenon.

The one thing that was really significantly different about skating in France—I mean, you know, other than the fact that everyone was French—was that the snack bar serves alcohol. Can you imagine ice skating under the influence? Neither can I, but I think I’m going to have to try it sometime.

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