Joanne Palmer's Life in the 'Boat column appears Wednesdays in the Steamboat Today. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Note: Since Dr. Phil never addresses issues confronting couples on the ski slopes, I am devoting this column to skiing with your mate. The term"mate" applies to your spouse, significant other or the person whose clothes you frequently find on the floor. Out-of-town houseguests fit into this category, as well. In this scenario, the male is the superior skier, but the reverse, particularly among locals, also can be true.
It happens every ski season. Even if I were to ski only one day of the year, I can practically guarantee that I will come across a couple stopped dead in the middle of the slope arguing with each other. In between the screaming and crying, the following words can be overheard:
Woman: "I told you, I can't ski moguls!"
Man: "Just point 'em downhill! Let the skis do all the work."
Woman: "Why did you take me on this run?"
Man: "Let's play Follow the Leader. Turn where I turn!"
Woman: "I hate you!"
Man: "Ski over the tops of the bumps."
Woman: "I hate you!" (She advances on her mate shaking a ski pole)
Man: "You're making it harder than it is."
Woman: "I hate you! I'm going home! I never want to see you again!"
To avoid this argument, maintain a harmonious relationship and avoid sleeping alone on an uncomfortable couch, I offer this tried-and-true method for skiing with your mate.
Do not give into temptation. Do not try to be a good sport. Do not let him talk you into it. Just wait. Calmly but firmly state you would love to ski with him and be a part of his day after 11 a.m. Turn him loose to ski with his friends. Let him press glass, huff and puff to find some little powder cache or ski through the trees. Allow him the freedom to make two turns at Mach 5 speed on a freshly groomed run. Let him catch big air off a mogul or huck it off a cliff.
At 10:50 a.m., your mate, tired and sore, has a convenient excuse for his buddies. He just says, "I have to meet my mate!" He saves face because he doesn't have to admit he's exhausted, his quads are cramping and his feet hurt. You have become his savior, and he will worship the ground you walk on and the air you breathe.
While he is busy busting out all the moves from the last Warren Miller movie, you have time to roll over and snuggle underneath the down comforter. Or pop a chick flick into your DVD player. Or both. Since no one is complaining and telling you to hurry up, you have all the time you need to get ready. Into your ski outfit should go: a precious comb to combat hat hair, lip stuff, a dab of cash, a stash of hand warmers and a cell phone.
Finally, please pick an indoor meeting place, preferably with a bar, for your rendezvous. There is nothing worse than shivering outside if he gets delayed. And if he loses a ski or drops a pole from the chair lift, you can simply order another hot chocolate with a generous dollop of whipped cream and eavesdrop on a family from Chicago.
When he arrives, he will be so happy to see you. After two or three runs together, it will be time for lunch. He will be grateful for the break and grateful to you for providing it. There is no complaining because by now you are a ski goddess to whom he must pay homage. He will buy lunch. He will carry your poles. He will wait patiently while you adjust your bindings. Life is as it should be, and you can get ready for the best part of any ski day.