Despite popular belief, there is no skiing in Wisconsin and there is no boating in Colorado. We moved to Milwaukee three and a half years ago. It was late in that first fall when I first heard people talking about skiing.
“I’m sorry,” I interjected. “Did you say skiing?”
“Yes,” they would answer.
“Going to Colorado?”
“No, here, in Wisconsin.”
I was never very good at hiding my puzzlement or containing my laughter. “There’s no skiing in Wisconsin,” I stated as fact.
They went on to tell me that, in fact, there is skiing in America’s Dairy Land. Later that year, I would drive by one of these so-called ski resorts. It reminded me of a giant landfill doused in just enough snow that you couldn’t see you were on trash. Really, that’s all there is to a Wisconsin ski resort. Wisconsin has enough snow to ski on, but there are no mountains, no hills even, at least by Colorado standards. I discovered that year that I was a ski snob and I don’t even ski.
And now, three and a half years later, I am in Colorado and I’ve discovered I am a boat snob and I don’t even go boating. People say things like, “Oh yeah, I ski all winter long and as soon as spring hits I start boating.”
“I’m sorry, did you say boating?”
“Yes,” they answer.
“On what body of water?”
They give me a name, but it doesn’t matter. In my head I see only Lake Michigan and its glassy surface extending out as far as I can see north, east, and south, challenging my definition of a sea. Like I said earlier, I’ve never been good at containing my laughter. You know how this ends.