Self preservation in the singles’ line
There are many good reasons to ski or ride the singles’ lift line.
One, you may be single. Another is that your life partner may have inspired you to wish you were single. Another is that you may be compulsive and think that it will get you wherever compulsion takes you, faster.
All judgment aside, if you take the singles’ line, be prepared to fend for yourself. The hazards are many.
The most common ones are the people in the regular lift line — who you must join in order to ride the lift — who don’t move forward in a decipherable fashion. Sometimes they appear to be groups of twos, sometimes threes, sometimes fours, and sometimes they don’t have a clue.
If you as a single assume that one of these hodgepodges is a twosome or a threesome and you join them only to find out farther along that they are in fact a foursome, you will be left high and dry at the final merge of the line, with nothing but groups of four passing and staring at you like you don”t have clue.
However, if you assume that a disorganized grouping is a quartet and don’t join them, and they turn out to be a duo or a trio, you will be crucified – probably via a ski pole in your back — by your closest followers in the singles’ line.
But that is often preferable to another hazard – the group of three who never acknowledges your presence … or cares. These lethal types have been known to walk right up to the lift with you by their side, only at the last minute to sit in your seat.
If you have the luck to be on a chair without a center arm, you have the possibility of squeezing on, musical chairs-style. However, on a chair with a middle arm, the best you can hope for is to get catapulted off the loading ramp into the oncoming line of the downloading chairs – in which case, DUCK – or, more preferably, off the other side and into the arms of the lift op manning the control box.
As if this weren’t enough — and thus far it’s only a sampling of the possibilities – if you are a female in the singles’ line who has managed to find warm clothes that make you look less than elephantine, there are additional hazards. For example, you may be subject to “selection.”
Specifically, men in the regular lift line have been known to select which female, within striking distance of the front of the singles’ line, they prefer to host on their chair. Although you may have the luck by this method to be propelled to the head of the line, you may also have the luck to be left standing there at the head of the line without a group to join. Both are mortifying because you will be either the violator or the victim of the natural order of things in the singles’ line.
Or, as is also known to happen, the man directly behind you in the singles’ line, apparently inspired from his one-dimensional view, may decide he must ride the chair with you. In this case, he will urge you to accompany him in butting forward into the regular lift line to ride a chair together as a solo twosome.
This will either get you crucified – by the method referred to earlier – by the nearest inhabitants of the regular lift line or, at the least, again mortify you for aiding and abetting in full view of all lines.
There are many good ways to cope with the hazards of the singles’ lift line. One is, if you are single, get married. Another is, if you are married, be extra nice to your life partner. Another is, relax.
Have you ever gone up a lift first thing in the morning and found anyone in the maze who was left over from the day before?
Elizabeth Eber is an award-winning freelance writer who lives in Vail.