In the 1990s, my sister and I were addicted to rollerskating. Every Friday night, our mother used to drop us off at our local roller rink so we could skate for hours - the same roller rink where we'd sign up for private skating classes and have our middle school birthday parties.
That rink, Skater's World, was where we met our first boyfriends, where we played Marvel Vs. Capcom until we ran out of quarters, and where I learned not to trust anything that uses blue food coloring. I'm looking at you, recession stand slurpees.
Skater's World has been closed for a decade now, and it's not the only rink that has. I petition that we make the roller rink cool again. (I mean, if earcuffs can make a comeback, so can skates!)
In fact, I've assembled a list of reasons why roller rinks were awesome - you know, just in case you guys need any reminders.
1. Couples Skate was the 'Facebook Official' of the 90s.
When a slow love song came on, all the singletons cleared the floor, the lights would dim, and it was time to lock hands with your BF/GF and skate around together. Romantic, right? You know what they say - the couple that skates together stays together. (This actually isn't true. I just wanted to sell my point.)
2. The snack bar/refreshment stand had the best pizza.
I don't know what it is about roller rink pizza, but nothing really hit the spot like it. It was probably because your other options were rubbery hot dogs and the stalest pretzels in town, but damn, was that pizza satisfying!
3. The arcade was the hottest place to socialize.
Most rinks have pretty epic arcade games. If skating got boring, you could head over to the arcade to play Terminator 2 pinball or Street Fighter. My favorite was always the Jurassic Park game because it actually moved while you played it! (Too bad 3 out of 4 times I'd try to use it, some high schoolers would be sitting in it and making out! Gross!)
4. Roller Rink DJs were minor celebrities.
Being a roller rink DJ was a serious status symbol. I mean, one does not simply become the guy who keeps all the Jock Jams CDs in heavy rotation. That role is earned. The roller rink DJ is king, and that weird off-rink DJ booth is his throne. Maybe.
5. Speaking of, the music was serious quality.
I don't care what anyone says. "C'Mon 'N Ride It (The Train)" by the Quad City DJs is basically America's second national anthem. (Toot, toot!)
6. EVERYTHING IN BLACKLIGHT!!!
I'm not quite sure why blacklight hasn't become the standard for all lighting everywhere because it's pretty freaking awesome to walk into a room where everything is neon and glowing. Roller rinks single-handedly put blacklight on the maps, yo.
7. Doing the Macarena on skates was the ultimate agility test.
There's two different types of little kids in the world - those who can do the Macarena on rollerskates and those who fall flat on their butt and hold up the party with their I-can't-hang-with-the-Macarena-on-skates tears.
8. Roller rinks were just plain fun!
Let's be real. Every time you left a roller rink, you couldn't help but feel like you just had the best Saturday ever! You ate pizza, you played arcade games, you Macarena-ed - life was AWESOME!!!