"Rinkrat:," according to Webester's dictionary and dictionary.com.
Since about 8th grade, my brothers and I have been "rinkrats" at our beloved Arrington Ice Arena.
It isn't until someone out in the "real world" says something about your rinkrat lifestyle or phrase you say that you realize just how different you are.
1. You spend your summers in the rink
I spent every summer from 8th grade to this past summer before my sophomore year of college at the rink here at Adrian College. Until this year, I was either open skating, playing sticks and pucks or doing a camp all summer. While my friends were out doing things like pool parties or lake days or bonfires, I was in the rink skating.
2. Your dream job eventually becomes something to do with hockey
When I was a kid, I wanted to be a dancer. When I was a freshman in highschool, I wanted to be a coach and then in my junior year I decided I wanted to become the first female general manager in the National Hockey League and now I'm studying Sport Management.
3. You want your first summer job to be at the rink
After spending my first summer before ninth grade at the rink, I wanted that to be my first summer job. It ended up being my first real job, working over Thanksgiving break one year, but I didn't work the summers until this year. And my brother who's about to turn 16? He wants to work at the rink next summer too.
4. You acquire an entire second family or two
I have two younger brothers, but after spending the last 6 years living at an ice rink, I can't begin to keep track of all my "brothers" and "sisters" that now call my mother "mom". I feel bad for the poor soul who dates me because I know there's a long line of guys who will be more than happy to question him and torment him.
5. Your every weekend is consumed by hockey games
When I wasn't spending the summer at the rink I was spending every Thursday and Friday night and most of Saturday and Sunday at college hockey games, we have 7 hockey teams here at Adrian College. There's nothing I'd rather be doing than watch the guys and girls who became my brothers and sisters over the years every single weekend.
6. The day the ice comes out might as well be a national day of mourning
It's pretty much a tradition now for my brother (who's nearly 16) to pout in front of the pile of snow that gets dumped behind the rink when the ice comes out every April here in Adrian. It then goes on Facebook and the rink manager reminds him he only has to go about 65 more days without ice.
7. And as soon as the ice comes out you have a countdown on your phone for the day it goes back in
It's basically a tradition
8. Your birthday parties are always at the rink or with hockey people
My 18th birthday was at the rink doing sticks and pucks and my 19th was spent with one of the college hockey teams at the annual Christmas potluck and my sweet 16 was at the rink and every birthday has pretty much been at the rink for my middle brother.
9. The rink staff says they should just build you a room in the back
It's been the joke for at least the last four or five years that they're adding on a room in the back with a couple cots for my brothers and I.
10. You own more hockey t-shirts than any other kind of clothing
Half my dresser is Adrian Hockey apparel and three-quarters of it is hockey apparel in general. I know for a fact that I own more Adrian Hockey shirts than dresses and skirts. Between my middle brother and I we probably own most of the Adrian bookstore.
11. You eventually befriend all of the rink staff and coaches
I never walk into the rink without seeing at least four people I know and having at least three different conversations. Not to mention I can't even begin to remember all of the shenanigans that happened at Arrington Ice Arena every summer in high school but let's just say it included a Nerf war, duct taping my youngest brother to a wall and plenty of other pranks.
12. You've had concession stand food for dinner more than one or two times
Sometimes $3 mini pizzas and a bottle of pop are the easiest and most convenient dinner option.
13. You have multiple hockey moms
There are definitely a few moms who I've met over the years that I refer to as my hockey moms, my youngest brother even calls one of them mother just to see if she'll respond sometimes.
14. Trying to date is a nightmare
Because you obviously end up with a crush on a hockey player. I've been there, done that (a couple times), got the t-shirt and it's more than likely it'll happen again a couple more times ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ But trying to date is an absolute nightmare when you have 30+ guys who try to keep the lucky fellow far away from you and won't let him get anywhere near you. Either that or they call you Mrs. ______ every chance they get in public.
15. You get territorial
From the players who've become your family to the rink itself, you're a
little extremely territorial because you don't want to share this awesome thing that you have.
16. Senior night is the worst night of the year
The final home game for the senior class is the worst game of the entire year and you're always sure to pack tissues and wear waterproof mascara so you don't look like a raccoon in all the post game pictures. Thankfully guys have a *fantastic* sense of humor and they make you laugh so you forget about being sad.
17. And homecoming weekend is the best weekend of the year
The weekend when everyone comes back "home" is always the best and if there's an alumni game it's even better.
18. There isn't anywhere else you'd rather be
Because if there's anything I learned in high school, it was that the people that you meet at the ice rink are the best kind of people.