Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The goths who like to roller skate

When my husband and I were in our 20s, we discovered an all-night skating rink. We both had fond memories of roller skating when we were younger and decided to go. The rink had a familiar feel to it: There was a disco ball in the center, 80s music blaring over the speakers, lots of first-time skaters hanging onto the wall, and the smell of leather and slightly musty air.

And there were goths. Dozens and dozens of goths. They went around the oval rink in pairs and clusters, their black dusters trailing close to the wheels of their skates and their ultra pale faces looked ghostly in the light of the rink. It wasn't goth night or anything special like that. We had just happened to find a very large population of goths who really enjoyed roller skating.

I was never a goth girl. I wasn't in love with their style, their makeup or appreciation for other eras. I was a boringly normal teenager (you're welcome, Mom!). I didn't even have any goth friends, because - at least when I was in high school - they tended to only want to hang out with their own kind.

Goth teens are normal enough to see these days, but research indicates that parents should still beware if their child suddenly wears all black and develops a penchant for dreary music. HealthDay recently reported a study indicating that goth teens are more likely to suffer from depression than their non-goth peers. And let's be clear here: Becoming a goth doesn't necessarily mean that your child will become depressed (this is not about causation), rather that teens who are prone to depression are also drawn to certain aspects of the goth lifestyle as well.

Which brings me back to the roller skating. We have since been roller skating as a family, and I find myself sometimes looking for goths. Granted it hasn't been an all-night skate and we live in a different neighborhood, but I still think about them all in black with their gently swaying bodies as they turn about the floor: Happy. 

What's your fondest memory of roller skating? Tell me in the comments.

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