I bowl. Badly. Up until three years ago, I had been in a bowling alley only about 10 times in my entire life. My husband, Brian, changed that. He convinced me, the ultimate bookworm and introvert, that I should try bowling and “get out of the house more.” I expressed my concern about the unfashionable shoes, some of the cretins that I had observed at bowling alleys, and my total lack of mad bowling skills. He has since introduced me to the agony and the ecstasy that is league bowling, complete with finger-tip ball and new, orthopedic-looking bowling shoes. I wish that I could tell you that I have improved tremendously over the past several years, but I have not. The first year was particularly horrendous, as I started out with a 57 average and dropped the ball at least once each night. It seemed impossible to hang onto it with those tiny, fingertip grips. I know five year-olds who bowl better than that. It was a fairly competitive league and I was undeniably the weakest link on my team. Morale was low, but buying drinks kept my teammates from hurting me.
Brian and I joined a couples league last year. This one seems to be more of a drinking league that also happens to bowl; that is, when we aren’t busy scarfing nachos and talking. I averaged a whopping 107 and only dropped the ball a few times, due mostly to greasy french fry fingers. The other couple on our team consists of Brian’s cousin and his very understanding wife. I no longer fear for my safety. We started a new season last Saturday and I am harboring a teeny amount of hope that my average will rise above 120 this year. Of course, there is my secret, snobbish fear that I *will* become good at bowling and will then be known as a real BOWLER. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about that, but I do know my poor mother is having a case of the vapors over my “redneck” hobby, as she calls it. I am having more fun, now that I’m not quite so worried about hurting myself or others. The drinks help.
I really was hoping that my intellectual bent might somehow give me superior insight into how to throw the ball at the proper angle, with the proper form, etc. but, sadly, insight does not equal strikes. My brain knows where the ball needs to go, but my arm just doesn’t get it. I think my arm has a learning disability.
Our league’s season lasts from September until the beginning of April. That is a loooooong season. The way I figure it, even if I don’t improve my average much, I will have learned valuable drinking skills. One has to look at the bright side of things.