Turkey Bowl

I can’t really explain what got into me last weekend. I mean, I had been on a seven-year Sabbatical from bowling and I was perfectly content with my life. I knew I wasn’t missing much. Every time I have ever bowled, I have baffled folks with how I can bowl a series of strikes and then gutterball the rest of my game. My aversion to bowling is simple: I never participate in anything I can’t win. After all, my mantra in life is “If you can’t beat ‘em, don’t play ‘em….” the perfect motto for sore losers such as myself.

Later that day, Hurricane Hadley, Jamie and I arrived at Brunswick Lanes. Haddie loves balls but had absolutely no idea what to think of people chucking ‘em down the alley. Whenever she saw pins get knocked down, she would make a resounding “Uh Ohhhhhh,” as if to say “Mommy’s gonna bust your butt for knocking those things over.”

Our rules were simple. The first ball was ours, the second we had to share with Hadley. I thought for sure the first game would be a wash with this concept. But sadly, having Haddie on my team improved my game because we discovered these cool metal ramps that you could line up with the pins. After a series of gutterballs, Haddie would sweep in, tap the ball and get me a spare. I think she’ll go pro next year.

Partway through the game, I bravely looked at the scoreboard. It wasn’t just the score that disturbed me but my dear husband had entered himself merely as “J.J.” while I was flashing everyone with my “Hot Body” moniker. Thanks, Honey.

Haddie lost interest the second game and left me floundering. I had previously squeaked out a strike and a couple of spares but all hope was lost now. Gutterball after gutterball followed, helping me to remember why I hate this game. “I think I finally have it,” Jamie announced. “Have what?” “The real solution to make you a better bowler.”

I couldn’t believe it. After years of critiques and even a couple of classes in high school and college, no one has ever figured out what I do wrong. My form is fine, I have plenty of strength and I line up just dandy with the alley. But something always happens in that last second of delivery.

I eagerly awaited his bowling profundity, knowing full well this moment could change my life forever. Maybe I’d ever get a ball for Christmas and would join a league after this; I’ve always liked those cool bowling shirts.

But then it came: “You just need to stop bowling with your left hand.”

I am officially back on Sabbatical for another seven years.

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