It’s been much too long since I’ve been at the bowling alley. At least three weeks have passed since the summer league came to an end, and I was starting to suffer withdrawals! Last night brought the return of my women’s league which will keep me busy on a weekly basis well into next April. I’m a happy girl!
It was a wonderful reunion last night as not only my team and league came back together, but the co-ed and men’s leagues too. There was a lot of hugging to be done as I reconnected with the girls on the other teams, Chris and Mattie, the owners of the bowling alley, my favorite waitresses, Maggie and Lisa, who make sure I am never without a cold beer, and Andy, my special little 19 year-old buddy whose family bowls in the co-ed league.
It’s been months since any of us have seen each other and everyone wanted to catch up on what had transpired over the summer. Big-Boobed Mary couldn’t wait to show me that she’d lost 60 pounds after her gastric bypass surgery last spring. She looks awesome! Her hubby, Funky-Eyed Lou insisted on getting a hug. You hug him once, you better plan on a weekly hug. I hugged him once and am in for the long haul now. Oh well. He’s sweet and harmless and as long as I remember to look into his good eye when we’re talking, it’s all good. Andy wanted to tell me all about college and his job in the cafeteria. “Not a college with dorms or anything. It’s not that kind of college,” he told me. I told him I have a son who goes to a college without dorms too, and that made him smile. Keith, from the men’s league wanted to show me his scars from some recent surgeries. (Get your mind out of the gutter! The scars were on his elbow! … Alright, he did lift his shirt to show me another scar, but it was on his back. Nothing good.) Sam was busy telling everyone how her baby is due in mid-October, and damn if that girl didn’t still bowl like a pro! Alyssa showed up, even though she’s no longer bowling. She wanted to show us all why she’s too busy to bowl anymore. Is this not the most adorable reason in the world not to bowl???
And of course, everyone wanted the lowdown on how Gina is doing in Ohio. I tried to fill everyone in on her goings-on… “I’m sure it was a tough adjustment for her at first. Things seem to be settling down now that the kids are in school. I think they’re going to build a house. She’s getting a photography business going, I miss her like crazy…” Everyone wanted me to pass on hellos and I-miss-yous and I promised I would. The night did not come to an end without a few text messages being exchanged between Gina and I.
Back at our own lane, Alishea was showing off the engagement ring she’d just received from her fiancé while they were in Vegas and more hugs were shared as we all congratulated her. I also had to clue in Denise, our new girl, on how things go in the games. Denise is a coworker of mine and one of a trio of girls who are going to rotate in one spot on the team. Denise will bowl twice a month. Michelle, another coworker will bowl once a month, and Sydney a former team member will return to bowl with us once a month.
Denise announced to everyone that they shouldn’t be fooled, just because she owns her own bowling ball. (And a very pretty, pink ball it is!) She made it very clear that she should not be expected to perform well. We told her we didn’t care, as long as she shows up to bowl when it’s her turn and keeps our team at maximum capacity. I invited Denise to throw some practice shots during warm-ups and on her first try, she proceeded to throw a strike! She slapped her hands against the sides of her face and moaned, “Oh no! I wasted a strike on a practice shot!”
Not to worry, Denise managed to throw a few more strikes throughout the games. Oh, she managed a few gutter balls too, but she did well for a newbie!
Somewhere around the third game, Alishea decided we should all kick our legs far to the side when we threw our balls. (Some really serious bowlers have a really serious leg sweep.) We all agreed to give the leg sweep a shot and several strikes ensued! I may need to work this into my throw. It seemed to serve me well!
I didn’t bowl as well as I’d hoped to bowl on the house shot after spending the summer throwing on the sport shot. I threw a 138, a 139 and a 133. On the plus side, I picked up two splits! And they weren’t any baby splits either! One was a 6 – 7 split:
And another was this:
I got high-fives all around from the team for those shots! Those suckers can be hard to pick up! Andy always seemed to be around for the high-fives too. He spent a lot of time sitting at our table. He may have been hoping that Alishea would decide she couldn’t finish her nachos and might offer them to him. He always willingly finishes my fries whenever I order food. You know boys that age. They are bottomless pits!
Our team had a great time and we brought back the obnoxiously loud “Woot-Woot” victory cheer after all exciting throws, in honor of Gina, of course. Besides, we were far enough away from the serious men bowlers to be able to avoid their disapproving glances.
In the end, we won one and gave up two games. That’s alright though. The first night of leagues is always “sand-bagging” night. You want to be sure to develop an advantageous handicap and we definitely should have accomplished that!
Next Monday can’t come soon enough! Woot-Woot!