I knew I was in trouble when the 3 year-old kid in the next bowling lane had a higher bowling score than I did.
Granted he had the help of a "thingy-ma-jig" bowling ball ramp that helped aim the ball just right to roll off gently down the ramp in the perfect direction. The ball would slowly meander down the lane to barely kiss the pins; teetering them with a domino effect, which created some score-worthy results for this little guy. But, little Theo had something more, something I was missing from my bowling game.
Cuteness. The bowling style of dog-gone cuteness!
There's just something so darn adorable about watching a little kid grappling ahold of an oversized bowling ball in both arms with wide-eyed excitement. With the help of dad, they'd carry the ball; baby-steppin' along a slippery waxed floor, hoisting it, lining it up and giving it a mighty push.
I, on the other hand, a rookie bowler of a different sort was still trying to figure out how to enter my name on the scoreboard.
Mister O and I go bowling once or maybe twice every other year. Mister O being a little more experienced than I, had a leg up on me in comparison. Next to him, I was on Theo's level, but not nearly as cute.
The only style I was throwing down was a neon pink bowling ball that I had wrangled from the ball corral down the hall. To start, I had a chicken wing lofting approach to my stride and once the ball hit the wood grain, any flair for style I may have had, went rolling down the gutter with my pink ball. This, unfortunately, occurred more than once.
Meanwhile, I looked over at Theo's score and he was kicking my ass!
Not to be had by a 3 year-old, I needed to get my bowling cred in line and face my faults. Mister O tried critiquing and giving pointers on my bowling style...”move left...move right...tuck your elbow...turn your hand...geez just throw straight!” "I know, I know...I'm trying! I think my boobs are getting in the way" I groaned! "Maybe I need a thingy-ma-jig," gazing with envy at Theo.
Not surprisingly, I lost the first game pitifully in front of a crowd that was now gathering to watch a middle-aged woman get shamefully out-bowled by a 3 year-old.
I took a seat to study my bowling dilemmas over a cold beer and to ponder how I needed to pull out a strike or even a spare if I was going to show the hubster and the grimacing onlookers that I was much more than a flashy pink bowling ball. This was a lofty goal for someone that was just hoping to outscore a little kid.
But...bowling miracles do happen!
Mister O had stepped outside for a quick smoke break (yes, this is an unfortunate habit) and against numerous signs of warning not to get your bowling shoes wet, he naturally ignored them and went outside anyway. Snow had recently melted outside leaving behind wet sidewalks, but showing no concern, he defiantly walked out in his bowling shoes.
Now, if you're an experienced bowler, you may know what happens next.
By the time he had returned, my bowling game had moved from the gutters to the strike zone. This turnaround had surpassed even my expectations. To put a strike on the scoreboard was like hitting the lottery! I, literally, had just figured out what I was doing wrong. I needed to squat lower and follow-through. Ya know, sweep that leg down and around and get closer to the floor with the ball, just like the bowling pros do. Doing this took my boobs (clearly a handicap) out of the throw zone and I was able to throw a honey of a ball hitting the king pin straight on.
That's the bowling style I'm talkin' about!
I had no sooner impressed the hubster with my new score and revamped form, when he took his stance to match my strike with one of his own.
Pay attention here, because this is when bowling shoes serve more of a purpose than just simply being a fashion fail.
Just as he was about to show me what his "bowling ball" was made of, he took his first step, then second and like a Mac truck hitting a brick wall his second stride stopped him dead his tracks. From my view, it was like watching a slow motion reel as the ball had narrowly been released just in time while his arm flung wildly in the air to regain balance. It was a brave attempt, but not good enough to keep him from falling to a sprawling split at the foul line, with which I had never seen in bowling before.
He laid flat out in astonishment and awestruck as we all watched in jaw-dropping silence. You could hear a pin drop. Literally, you could hear pins drop. Ok bad bowling humor.
Anyway, this awkward mess had suddenly overshadowed my lack of bowling experience against 3 year-old cuteness. I felt a little more proud of my pink bowling ball as I moved up the ranks on the scoreboard.
With possibly only a bruised ego, Mister O jumped to his feet and said, "I guess that's why you don't get your bowling shoes wet." I'm chuckling by now, "yup, that's what the sign says."
For any inexperienced bowlers out there, bowling shoes when wet, don't make them slippery, they make them sticky. Therefore, it causes a Mac truck hitting a brick wall effect.
There was no harm no foul, as Mister O managed to win the second game too. However, I was proud to have gained ground with two strikes and a few spares.
Truth be told, I didn't feel bad about losing. Actually, I was feeling a little on top of the world and kinda cute, myself, with my newfound striking form and pushing ahead of Theo on the scoreboard. I gave Theo thumbs up for his bowling efforts and freed any envious energy towards him.
Additionally, by his own admission, Mister O revealed he had learned a valuable lesson for any future bowling outings.
Never, never wear bowling shoes outside of a bowling alley,
it's just NOT cute!