You think you know someone inside and out, are pretty sure there are no new secrets to emerge, and poof: in the space of five minutes your preconceptions are dashed against the wall. There is a piece of devoted partner's childhood lore that he and a certain snarky Portuguese kid used to play a weekend sport together in their youth. Once a suitable amount of time has passed after the boys stopped playing the sport, snarky Portuguese senior recalled the hours he and devoted partner's father spent watching the boys and pronounced (sadly, accents don't come across in print), "you two were shitty!"
So imagine my surprise when we stepped out onto the ice at the Dorothy Hamill skating rink and devoted partner could, well, skate. Mind you, I'm not talking camelspins and triple lutzes, but damned if he didn't push off and confidently skate around that rink. Even backwards. Someone else, I'll give you one guess, began the afternoon clutching the side of the rink before muscle memory kicked in - and by muscle memory, I mean remembering how she can really only push off with her left foot. Clutching devoted partner's hand, I made it around the rink a couple of times before he claimed I was simply using him for momentum and left me to my own wobbly devices.
Now the thing it's important to understand about me and winter sports is that a) I'm not a fan of the cold; b) balance is not one of my more pronounce skills; and c) I have a massive fear of running over children. The several times in my life I have gone skiing, I maintain that the majority of falls taken were falls taken in the pursuit of not hitting a five year old who was confidently whooshing back and forth in front of me. Similarly, on the confined space of the ice rink, where many small ones are either learning or showing off, my lack of ability means I am forever petrified of running one over and severing his digits with my skate blade. Since I neither know how to stop short, nor really how to slow down, you can imagine the consequences.
But our afternoon of skating was actually lots of fun. True, I ruined it somewhat by attempting to talk about honeymoon ideas, but I didn't fall. And devoted partner impressed the poo out of me by his skating prowess - where prowess means he skated a hell of a lot better than I did.
6 days ago