Jason, bowling. Circa 2009.
I am not particularly known for my athletic prowess, much less my bowling prowess.
Last night I had the fortunate opportunity to go with Hilary to her company Christmas party.
Her company really knows how to throw a party--they rented out the entire local bowling alley and packed it with employees and their guests, picking up the tab for dinner and drinks to boot!
Growing up, I went bowling a few times. Primarily gutter balls, as I recall, and I didn't love it. But when I got into college I was ecstatic that I could take a bowling class to satisfy one of my elective PE credits, rather than a traditional gym class. I got the credits. I did NOT get an ability to bowl.
So last night I was a bit apprehensive. Not only did I have to bowl, I had to bowl with a large group of people that I did not know. (Although I guess it was better than trying to make awkward conversation with people I didn't know.) But I was happy to do it. For Hilary.
As the evening progressed, I was reminded of a few things about bowling. First of all, the shoes. Oh, the shoes. Wearing shoes that countless other nine and a half sized men have worn during their sweaty games of bowling is just not right. I don't care how much they spray them with disinfectant. As I slid them on my feet, I had visions of my old roommate, Clarence, holding his nasty feet up in the air, spreading his toes, and spraying those suckers while he winced and squinted at the sting. (My freshman apartment always smelled like athlete's foot spray. Caca.)
Second, the balls. Trying to find just the right ball is no easy task! I cringed every time I stuck my fingers in those three holes, fearing something rank at the bottom of each. Plus, the holes were either too small, too large, too far apart, or too close together. And they felt greasy, surely providing a home to countless and untold multitudes of germs. Finally, I found one that felt okay, only to have the kid bowling in the lane next to ours get confused and start using my ball. But of course I was too timid to say, "Excuse me, that's my ball that took me very long to find." So instead I used his ball, which gave me a thumb blister.
One of the people we were bowling with was a cute little chickie poo from Costa Rica who had never bowled. Ever. She bowled with a six pound ball that struck the pins going less that two miles per hour, and after she warmed up a bit, she started getting strike after strike! She beat me, and I took a bloody bowling class when I was a sophomore in college! Pathetic.
Before the evening began, I had been wondering how people can drink and bowl. Somehow I assumed that anyone who drinks and bowls must be a very serious bowler, unaffected by the depressant effect of alcohol. As the night went on, it became clear that this was simply not true. A couple guys next to us got good and toasted and started hucking the ball half way down the lane before it slammed to the floor, throwing it directly into the gutter, or throwing balls two balls down the lane at the same time. I only had one beer, but even I could tell the difference between my before and after game; I went from sucky to super sucky.
Ow. My wrist hurts.