Thursday, April 06, 2006

Double Dating

I had a double date last night: my daughter and one of her friends. We went bowling; their choice!

I didn’t grow up bowling. Bowling was what beer drinkers did. And beer drinkers were guys liked the Dukes of Hazards. In my Southern upbringing you were either a teetotaler (like my mom) or you sipped fine whiskey. I feel into the later category. I always felt guilty drinking beer, until I went to Pittsburgh as a graduate student. In the Steel City, beer was cheap. But I digress. I bowled twice as a kid, both times at birthday parties. In younger and wilder adult years, I bowled a few games. I never understood the attraction. And besides, to bowl seriously, I would have to give up some deeply held assumptions, so I never took up the game.

But my daughter thinks bowling is fun even if she has to use two hands, and roll the ball from under her legs, to get it down the aisle. She’s young. But a neighbor and his wife have taken her bowling a couple of times, so she’s got the routine down. She knows enough to give me pointers. Not exactly the way to endear me to the game.

So we went bowling. Since this isn’t anything I do regularly, I had no idea Wednesday night was "guy night." There were only a few women in the place, mostly those who worked there. My two girls were the only ones not smoking... Most of the lane was taken up with an all-men league. There men overweight; there were men drinking cheap beer; there were men smoking, there was even one man nearby on oxygen, who was bowling, smoking and drinking cheap beer. And he did pretty good. There were a lot more "x's" on his scorecard than mine. But that was okay, for I was the guy with two dates. The three of us were assigned the last aisle, where the air wasn’t quite as smoky, just stale.

One of the advantages of bowling with kids is that they put gutter guards down, which means that you don’t have any gutter balls. These guards can even give your ball a good bounce. My daughter got a strike on her first frame, the ball having bounced three times off the guard. One several occasions I even avoid the embarrassment of a gutter ball as my ball stayed in play. I made it into triple digits one and nearly there a second time. If my bowling score compared to my IQ, I’d be at the top of the bell curve, nothing special enough to write home about. My top score was 109. My daughter and her friend both had a game in the 80s.

We bowled two games. The other guys were reminded how good they had it, not having women with them, as they watched me untie the knots in my daughter’s friend’s shoes… As we walked outside, my daughter threw up her hands and exclaimed, "Fresh air smells so good." We headed to Dairy Queen, dropped her friend off at her house, and were home by nine.


  1. What a cute date night. I have bowling blood in me but have only done it twice so I think my average is still in the double digits. Along with the smokey atmosphere, I don't like the bending over that it requires. Not because I have a back problem but because I fear everyone's looking at my bum.

  2. Bowling... fun!

    Dairy Queen...yum!!

    Spending time with your daughter...PRICELESS!!!

  3. I would really enjoy bowling if it weren't for the stale, smoky air and the smell of a cheap date. I really like bowling. I just hate bowling alleys.

  4. Bowling and Dairy Queen used to be a part of our youth group activities. I remember it as being good times though I was almost never a high scorer. I always hated the smoke, too.

  5. Fresh air is definitely preferred to bowling shoes! And Dairy Queen made it all better, didn't it?

    The first time I went bowling, in the 10th grade, I had 5 strikes. Beginner's luck; as I never had more than 2 in a game after that.

  6. I love bowling!!! We used to go skating for several hours and then bowl a few rounds. The places werw right beside each other.

  7. I can't remember the last time I went bowling. Or any time for that matter. I guess it's because I like beer a little too much. . .

  8. I've always wanted to get a pair of those bowling shoes to wear to parties as a gag. I had an opportunity when I lived in Minnesota to get all the pairs I wanted for free after the first of the year when they got new ones. They were these bright neon orange and yellow ones. Unfortunately I ended up losing my job and moving to another state before that happened. I'm still hoping.

  9. Well let's see. I offended how many of you by my comments on bowling?

    Murf, with the haze in the air, no one is looking at bums, which are good 'cause everyone there the other night, except on aisle 20, were way too big.

    Karen, and not putting any of it on mastercard...

    Dawn, it was a cheap date--i still don't have to work hard to impress my daughter and her friends

    Tim, Do you know Calvin Miller. He has a wonderful parody about a church that wants to put in a bowling alley.

    Kenju, 5 strikes, Don't think I want to bowl with you--heck, I only got 2 strikes in two games!

    Kontan, one of the things about skating is that their is no smoke, cigarettes tend to create holes in the ice--it is ice skating you're talking about isn't it?

    Ing, stay out of bowling alleys if you're trying to quit smoking and if you like good beer--I only saw cheap stuff in Al cans. Then again, the bowling alley might be a place you can go after skinning a skunk and no one will notice. (Great post, btw)

  10. Ed, suppose you could trade 'em shoes... leaving yours under the bench and walking out... but be sure to disinfect the shoes!

  11. I've never liked bowling. I've been a few times in my life but can't stand the pressure to perform in public. Odd that they can still smoke indoors where you are. I'm visiting from Michelle's place. Flourish

  12. Sounds like a great night out...I miss DQ :) Maybe that should be my new strategy for a better score...only bowl with the kids hehehe

  13. That is so funny and true. My mom would get so ill (after I was older and in college) when I would say something about having a beer. She says ladies do not drink beer. It is cheap and tacky. "Only the bad girls drink beer." She has never touched alchohol but doesn't mind me having a nice glass of wine or fancy cocktail..(just one) ..but beer...well just as you said. That is an old Southern thing.

  14. I love how you write so vivdly about your experiences. Our kids LOVE bowling, and some of our most fun family outings are to the bowling alley.

    They even ban smoking here in Ontario, so it's easier on their lungs than it was when I was a kid, accompanying my Mom on her bowling outings.

    From generation to generation...

  15. Sage, the name Calvin Miller sounds vaguely familiar; but I can't say I recollect anything about him. Should I ever find a bit more free time, maybe I'll need to google

  16. Bowling! Yeah!

    In Third Grade I had my birthday party at the local bowling alley. I found $11.00 under a bush in the parking lot. (No one claimed it, so the bowling alley let me keep it!:)

    Sage--when I think of bowling I think of the $11.00, and I think of Queen's CRAZY LITTLE THING CALLED LOVE andForeigner's DOUBLE VISION. There was a jukebox and those two songs played ALL day!

    I just love your writing so much, Sage.
    You always manage to bring back such beautiful memories.

    I'm glad you had fun with your daughter. She's a lucky girl to have you for a dad! ;)