People came and went over the next few hours. I made a game of counting how many of them slipped and fell in the doorway once their icy ski boots met with the melting snow on the wood planks. A fall would always be followed up with the same remark, "We're cutting you off!" from some poor, not-so-clever ski buff who believed he or she was actually the first person to think of such a snappy response.
I shifted on the hard stool, trying not to think of the plush chaise of my après-ski fantasy. A novice snowboarder named Jenny sat next to me. After chatting over a drink, she bundled up in her outfit with matching butterflies and dragonflies embroidered in pink and brown over the khaki-colored jacket and pants, pulled her pink hat (with more embroidered dragonflies) down over her blond pigtails, and ventured out.
She returned 45 minutes later, her face contorted in agony. I watched as she attempted, unsuccessfully, to bend over outside. Thinking she had dropped something and that her flexibility was limited by all of her gear, I stood up, fighting lightheadedness, and joined her on the other side of the glass.
"I fell. My ass is killing me. Jeez, right on my tailbone. Ouch. I want to put snow on my butt; I need to numb it."
Stifling a laugh, I said, "You're trying to reach the snow? Right here?"
"Yeah. Owowow." She had already managed to get some of the snow into her pants, where it was melting down her buttocks. I retrieved a small plastic bag from my purse (I knew it would come in handy), and filled it with snow.
Once the bag was placed in the seat of Jenny's dragonfly pants, she sighed with relief and we returned to our stools at the bar. Marshall limped over to us and poured a stiff Jack and Coke to aid the ass-numbing process. I felt more confident than ever in my decision to hang out and get drunk rather than risk life and limb. There may not have been any fire or comfy seating, but with a few drinks and enjoyable people, I had created my own après-ski .
Smiling to myself, cheeks rosy from the cold air and the warm drinks, I noticed through the glass that the rest of my crew had found each other and were skiing toward the Umbrella Bar. David looked exhilarated and, more importantly, intact.
"All right, guys," I said when they reached my side, "I've done the après-ski thing, and frankly, it wasn't the Four Seasons. However, I'm sure if we can find ourselves a swank, indoor joint with a piano and a fire, the après après-ski will be just the ticket for this buzzed and frostbitten snow bunny."