I love our Sunday night bowling league. It’s unfortunate that I don’t love bowling as much as I used to, but I enjoy just being there, so I put up with the bowling. 🙂
I love it for a variety of reasons. One, it’s a date night with my husband. It’s not such a big deal now that I don’t work as much, and he works from home, but there are times when I have and will be working a ton, and those are the times I look forward to he and I hanging out. Two, we bowl with a very eclectic group of people.
We’ve got young 20 somethin’s. Some just getting married or having babies. Some who are still partying and out to have a good time.
We’ve got the “settled into marriage and family” group. These are the ones with young, school age kids who either keep themselves busy with their phones or DS’s or portable DVD players, or who attend the day care at the bowling center. Parents can pay $1 to have their child watched by college age kids. Well worth it in my opinion!
We’ve got the middle-aged group *sigh* which would be me…. We’re the ones looking for an excuse to get out of the house and away from our temperamental teenage children.
And then we’ve got the old ones. The ones you worry may keel over on the approach at any moment.
But the most fascinating ones all come from one family. This is a family we can’t help but watch, ogle, whisper about, roll our eyes at, or stare at dumbfoundedly.
I don’t know whether to admire how close they seem to be, or gag at it.
First off, the WHOLE family shows up every night, even though only 4 of them can bowl. The family is made up of the dad, the dad’s girlfriend, the mom, who might actually still be married to the dad. Then there are the three kids. The youngest daughter is still single. The middle daughter just got married to a guy who bowls as well. He’s a little odd himself, but a likeable guy. He is on a separate team right now, but I won’t go into that…. The oldest son has been married to a girl for a few years now. They had a baby last year and it’s been kinda fun watching him grow up. He’s almost 2 now, and he’s the reason for this story. But first, allow me to give you some background information.
So the dad who doesn’t bowl, has a girlfriend, who doesn’t bowl, but they come along to watch. He has an earring in his left ear, and is usually dressed pretty ruggedly. The mom doesn’t seem to mind in the least bit that the girlfriend is there. She, too, comes up with scraggly hair, and dressed in something like a nice blouse with grubby sweat pants. She comes every week, but doesn’t bowl either, most times. She spends the evening chasing the 2 year old, Matthew. Matthew is usually quite busy taking bowling balls off the racks, or pretending to open lockers with his Dad’s keys, or making his rounds to all the tables.
Anyway, they ALL gather a bunch of chairs around one little table, and spread out a buffet of food that they’ve either brought in or ordered from there. Then they settle in like they are at home. If you are within 3 lanes on either side of them, you become part of their weekly reunion. Like it or not.
I used to dread bowling near them, or worse, against them, but this season, it’s just been fun to watch them. A few weeks ago, the daughter-in-law came to our table complaining about the Dad. “I can’t believe how much gas he has.” I look over at him, just sitting there. I can imagine him “releasing his gas” without a care in the world. Most respectable people would excuse themselves if it was that bad, especially since he wasn’t even bowling, but they’ve never been a family who cares too much what others think. I thanked God that I was 5 or 6 lanes down.
I mentioned earlier that they’re a pretty close-knit group. I’ve often wondered how the newest members of the family, the in-laws, can stand how involved everyone is with each other, but I suppose there is someone for everyone….
Maybe it’s because growing up, my family was never really close. And even today, I talk with my parents maybe once a month, and we get together with my in-laws about that often as well. So a weekly gathering at the bowling alley seems a little odd to me anyway.
But then, last week, they walked in with the normal chaos and commotion, with little Matthew in tow. He was helping Mom pull her bowling bag. He has the same red hair that most of the family has, and it was sticking up like it usually does. We couldn’t help but smile at him as he walked by. After all, he is a cute little guy, and like I said, we’ve been watching him grow up. But this day, when he walked by, my jaw about hit the floor.
This little two year old boy had his ear pierced! Just like his Grandpa.
I rolled my eyes at my husband, whispered to my teammates about them, and stared dumbfoundedly at the parents of this little boy.
As weird as I think they are, they do offer a lot of entertainment – that is for sure. It’s worth it to go bowling, if only to see what they’re going to do next.