Monday, August 22, 2011

Battle of the Skiing Sexes

Ski hills are the perfect place to test compatibility, maybe better than online dating. Take a run together (athleticism), ride the chair (personality), eat lunch (coolness and cash). But those same hills can also test patience, can even lead to outright gender warfare.

A few years ago, I wrote this "He Says/She Says" piece with my colleague and ski pal John Naye from Seattle, Washington. All written in fun for snow bunnies everywhere, but still holds true for some couples today. . .

I love to ski with men. I’ll take a ski date over an apr├Ęs-ski date any time. But, guys, if you want to ski with this downhill diva, I’ve got issues.

For starters, why do you think the forest is your private urinal? More than once I’ve taken cuts through the trees where I’ve run into a guy shakin’ his snake. And I feel like the intruder! Dude, it’s my forest too. I have the decency to wait until I get to the lodge. Really, my dog has better manners.

And speaking of manners: there’s no excuse for hawking up a luggie and thwacking it off the chairlift. Puh-leeze!

Don’t look like a dork. Zip up your jacket, cut off that collection of old lift tickets, and don’t even think about wearing jeans as ski pants. That is sooooo 70s!

Guys talk the talk, especially in the bar the night before. Usually the ones who brag the most turn out to ski with the grace and coordination of Chewbacca. And, of course, everything has got to be an unannounced contest: who can ski the fastest, the longest, the most runs, the biggest moguls, the steepest terrain, the deepest powder. And no matter how old you are, if you’re exhausted or even afraid, you never ever, ever admit it.

Another thing. I’m so tired of hearing, “Come on, you can handle this.” I’ll make that decision, thank you very much. If you want to get laid, don’t lead me astray.

Oh, and a bite of chocolate plus a squirt of Gatorade isn’t lunch. I want the full-on sit-down—your treat, of course. Besides marking the end of morning and the beginning of afternoon, lunch is an opportunity for a makeup check. Men don’t understand that we have to look cute at all times.

And where does it say that guys have to be the leaders? You think you own the mountain. You get off the lift, and zoom, you disappear. OK, so I may not know exactly where I am. But getting lost together can be romantic, n’est-ce pas? Why do you always rag me about it? Mountain scenery takes my breath away. If you want to do the same, stop occasionally and savor the moment. 

And, no, I do not want you to help me contribute to the panty tree.

Now, let’s go rip it up!

Ah, get over it, Claudia. If men didn't lead the snow parade, there wouldn't be enough ski patrollers to find all you tender-gender types lost out there on the mountain. When's the last time you actually saw a woman read and understand a trail map?

I love to ski with women too, but it's not unconditional love. Since when did whining become an Olympic sport? It's too cold, too hot, too steep, too foggy, too early, too late, too just about anything.

And how can there be "too much powder?" Why do women always want to have a leisurely breakfast on a powder day? Why am I the jerk if I want first tracks? You could happily meet me later. I know you’d find that trail map handy, then.

Having a little penis envy are we? I'll try to be discreet, but if my anatomy makes me a champion of yellow snow, then so be it. French men pee along the side of the road, so lighten up. Hell, you can even participate if you want.

One of the biggest things that bugs me about skiing with chicks is when I ask them 500 times if they want to try something a bit more aggressive, they keep saying yes. Then I take them to a blue run and all hell breaks loose, and I instantly go from Mr. Charm to Mr. Mean.

What happened to that women’s lib thing—you know, all that equal treatment under the law? Does the simple fact that I invited you to go skiing mean I get to pay for everything . . . your lift tickets, ski rental, meals, spa bills, everything? Then, once I have, the first thing I hear is, “That was an exhausting first run; I'm going to the lodge.  See you at four."

That’s $60 for a one-run lift ticket.

I don’t think women realize their ability. They may be the most technically sound skiers in the world, but will they push speed a little? No way. I mean, where is the sense of adventure? They decide to stop and chat halfway down a run, then pout about being left behind. Save the chatter for the ride. That’s what chairlifts are for.

And one more thing. Don’t ask me—don’t ever ask me—if you look fat in stretch pants!


  1. IMHO,women can ski as well as Men and the same as men they can ski well as women.

  2. Love it! Especially those closing comments about panty trees and stretch pants. Silly men.