Friday, August 21, 2009

What to Do on a Hot Tuesday Afternoon

I became a Hot and Spicy Bowler.

I bought bowling shoes, though that was more a matter of being too old and too ornery to wear someone else's smelly foot coverings. They are white with blue trim and have very flat soles and nice gushy laces. My fingers only got stuck in one ball (then I realized that I was in the kids' section) and I really liked tossing the swirly red sphere I chose.

There weren't any teams, and our conversation was mostly giggling and taunting. The other lanes were peopled by more serious combatants who seemed to be aiming at points we were only pretending to find. I found out that big paper scorecards with little pencils don't exist in the modern bowling alley. Roll the ball and the electronic scorer puts your result up on the overhanging wall for all to see. It was a good thing we didn't really care - otherwise the humiliation would have been overwhelming. Bumpers in the gutters might have been a good idea for us; who says they're only for little kids????.

Once we got the hang of it, though, we began to heat up the lane. No gutter balls, several strikes, and we all broke 100 in the second game. The ladies next to us were congratulating our improvement and wishing us luck. The gentleman on the other side and the one two lanes down from him were too intent on their own performance to notice us but we didn't care - we had each other. Haircuts were critiqued and proud parenting was noted and aches and pains were commiserated with and after about an hour we were done.

Yes, we were too tired to bowl a third game. I know, it sounds absurd, but my forearm and my wrist were announcing their presence with authority. We changed our shoes and handed the cashier the discount coupons our leader provided and an additional $2.15 each and we were through

The Happy Ladies Club had, once again, brought me to a congenial group of women who were willing to laugh at themselves in public on a sweltering Tuesday afternoon. I can hardly wait til we meet again. And I wonder, should I ask for a bowling ball for my birthday this year?

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