Roller Rink Character: Origin Story


So my family and I are at the skating rink – the roller kind, not ice – and I’m sitting out a song or two or three because apparently, I’m not as young as I used to be (or as thin, but let’s not dwell on that one). It’s all good, though, because people-watching at a roller rink is pretty fun.

For example, there’s those 3 high school girls helping a single high school boy who may or may not be very skilled at skating. I mean, who knows, right? He might be faking it, but for what it’s worth, I don’t think he was… although he definitely didn’t feel bad about not being a very good skater.

Then there’s the 7-year old girl skating with her 4-year old brother who has one of those skate-along helper things made of PVC pipes. It’s kind of adorable to see her encourage him and stick with him and help him when the skate along thing gets ahead of him.

Finally, there’s the late 20-something/early 30-something guy who’s got a gaggle of girls skating all around him. They are skating every which way just to stay in his circle and a man near me yells at them to stop going the wrong way and I’m guessing he’s the dad to probably 2 of the girls and the guy on the rink is their uncle.

Let me tell you more about that family.

Dad is jealous as hell of his brother out there on the rink. He’d be skating himself, but he’s got a bum knee from a construction accident. He and his wife split up a few months ago and she’s already got a new boyfriend. He’s trying to keep his girls happy so he let them each invite a friend to go roller skating. His brother stopped by the house at the last minute and invited himself along. His brother has always been the fun uncle. Way cooler than boring dad, that’s for sure. And now, here he is yelling at them to just follow the rules that his brother thinks he’s too cool to enforce.

The 30-something uncle is using rollerblades instead of skates and he’s completely comfortable on the rink. He’s loving being the cool one out there with his nieces and their friends. Sure, the friends are crushing on him a little bit, but it’s innocent. They’re all just kickin’ it on the rink. He’s feeling good. He doesn’t have to discipline them since they’re not his kids. Mostly, he’s trying to forget the fact that he lost his job 2 months ago due to majorly messing up and is too scared and embarrassed to tell his brother that he’s broke. He’s jealous of his brother and all that he has with his great kids.

If you write, you already do this – this making up a backstory for people you see out in the world. If you don’t write, now you know how it works.

Tell me more backstory for the teenagers or the siblings in the comments. J


In searching for a song for this post, I found this gem. Patrick Swayze in Skatetown, USA. That belt is kind of scaring me along with wondering where that gum at the beginning of the scene ended up…


3 thoughts on “Roller Rink Character: Origin Story

  1. I do this kind of things sometimes when someone seems to be a jerk while driving. I try to think of something that could have happened to make them act that way. Maybe it’s an emergency, or maybe they just got fired. I usually end up calming down a little and just letting them go on ahead.

    The belt scares me too, but I don’t care about the gum.


    1. This is a good idea – unless that driver is encroaching on a parking spot while your pregnant wife is helping strap in a toddler, of course – then feel free to unleash the rage.


  2. I love everything about this. You’ve combined two of my favorite things- people watching and roller skating. I’d definitely read a story about the family at the skating rink.


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