This summer, my husband and I are making an effort to be more spontaneous. On Tuesday, we took the kids bowling at the new bowling alley in town. I had a coupon for half off a two hour session.
Two hours of bowling turned out to be about half an hour too long.
In case you’re wondering.
My whole upper body still aches. Is that supposed to happen?
This is my bowling outfit. I am wearing Anthropologie’s Paisley Trails Tee. My post about it is here.
My daughter was less than thrilled with her red shoes. I kinda liked the white and black combo of mine. It was so interesting to see the different people in the bowling alley. It consisted of teenagers, older couples, some hardcore couples, and families with children.
We outlasted them all. Did I mention two hours of bowling is a really long time?
Awww. My shoulders.
When we were about to head to the lane, the lady asked me, “Do you want bumpers?”
I looked at her strangely. I had no idea what she meant. I have not gone bowling in over twenty years. I thought she was talking about bumper cars.
Bumpers are these, well, bumpers, that go up in the gutters to prevent gutter balls. Who knew? The kids desperately needed them. Who am I kidding? I definitely did too. However, I refused them. Pride: it’s a tricky thing. A tricky, stupid thing.
My children loved bowling. My son was hilarious. He would put this spin on the ball. He took over for my daughter at the end, when she hurt her finger getting it stuck in the ball. He outlasted us all.
Bowling is strenuous.
My final score at the end was 42. Yep. I’m out to join a league any day. Here’s how I did it. Please excuse the unflattering angle of this shot.
My pride? It flew away with that ball in the corner.
We left happy and sore.
As we were leaving the bowling alley, I noticed a man hunched over something and pushing it through the parking lot. We were not in the nicest part of town and I thought maybe it was a homeless man pushing a shopping cart. The cars blocked my view of what he was pushing. He had a scraggly beard. His clothes were worn. But not as worn as his face. Which looked like it had seen it all. Weary. His eyes. His skin. Weary.
I kept an eye on him. I clutched my purse. He pushed the something into my line of vision, through the cars. And I clutched my heart. His stooped shoulders. His weary face. It came together like the strike I had never made.
He was pushing a wheelchair. In it was a little girl of the age of eight. She was very disabled. As he pushed her, he looked defeated. Defeat was etched into every line of his movement, his face, his being.
My eyes filled with tears. Their long trek across the scorching parking lot was not leading them towards the bowling alley. I felt a sudden rush of gratitude to have been able to do such a simple thing, such as bowling, and a sudden rush of empathy for the man and his long journey. Not through the parking lot. But through life.
And I felt a rush of shame. For assuming. Because things are often not what they seem.
I should know that by now.
I wondered about their story. I still do. I am so grateful for the ability to have gone bowling with my family. It did not seem like a big deal, until suddenly it was.
Have you been bowling lately? Are you being spontaneous this summer? How long are you supposed to ache after this activity? And, most importantly, do you want me on your league?
I’ve got some mad skills.