It turns out that MJ is not just another pretty face, she is indeed a talented bowler, as well. When MJ and I first hooked up, she asked me once if I liked to bowl and I said yes, every 25 years if not sooner. We laughed and she admitted to me that the last time she bowled was right around then. I blew it off as another question similar to, did you ever smoke pot? My answer was yes, but haven't for many years. It's not one of the things I do, at this stage of life along with bowling. It's not like I've never bowled, there was a time many years ago, that my friends and I hung out at the BA (Bowling Alley). It was more of a social setting then and frankly pin balls were really the main attraction. Around midnight, they'd turn the lights down really low and introduce midnight bowling and my friends and I would laugh like hyenas at the geeks that bowled. Here it is 47 years later and I with a gorgeous woman and the only thing on her mind is bowlin'!
I had every intention of just accommodating her by going to the bowling alley that I was secretly hoping was out of business, along with other businesses that had seen better days, but when we got there, instead of it being an antique mall or a pawn shop extravaganza, it was still a bowling alley. Shit!
We parked MJ's car and were first accosted by a gang of young girls on skateboards and short shorts. My first thought was they must be freezing in this 45 degree weather, showing my age. Taking me by the hand now, MJ walked me inside where some things never change. The first thing I noticed was the absence of cigarette smoke and it was a welcomed relief, then I heard the crash of the pins and memories were activated. There were not only plenty of empty parking places in the parking lot, but a shortage of bowlers, as well. I had every intention of just being a voyeur, but MJ walked us up to the counter and announced we wanted to bowl. Oh, what the hell? This is not the first time MJ has taken me out of my comfort zone, here we go. MJ then asked how much it would be to rent shoes, 25cents rang a bell and when the kid said $8.50, I explained we wanted to rent, not buy! I think that was the first elbow I received to the ribs. The rest of the instructions were moot. Alley 26 was to be ours and the computer would keep score for us and he'd be by to get our food and drink orders.. Huh? The balls were arranged from the West side of the bowling alley to the East and their weights ran from 8 LB to 16LB and I immediately remembered my sore thumb from the last time I bowled 25 or 30 years ago. MJ changed shoes first and went for an 8 LB ball, that turned out to be the wrong one, but I'll get to that. I went to the far side of the bowling alley to get my 15 LB black ball, where I found a dude leaning on the selection trying to hit on some chick. I excused myself and he said a good set of balls were important when bowling and I walked away staring back at this idiot wondering why he was still out of prison.
When I returned to alley 26, MJ was all ready to begin. She had entered my bowling handle onto the computer, where it said big as life, "Chicago Mel". Now that's a respectable bowling moniker.
MJ's first ball was a gutter ball, oh too bad. Then she followed with a second one and announced her ball was no good and went searching for a correction ball, but in that entire bowling alley there didn't seem to be one that was going to improve her game. I quietly smiled, not knowing how I was going to bowl after all of these years. My first ball got 9 pins and then I picked up the spare. Whew, I avoided embarrassment.........so far! With the better ball, MJ wound up with a 50, averaging 5 pins a frame, not bad, ahem... I bowled a 119 and was happy with my score and felt I'd satisfied my bowling needs for the decade, but no, MJ started another game.
That second ball did wonders for MJ's game when she bowled a 103 the second time. After me accusing her of riding the short bus all off the way through school, MJ did pretty well and was ready to start throwing her third game when I announced I'd pulled enough muscles and felt DONE!
I limped, as MJ walked to the cashier to check out. That's when MJ told the kid we wanted the senior citizen's discount and he wouldn't believe MJ was over 55. He took one look at me and gave it to us gladly.
We headed out to the Cheesecake Factory for an emergency piece of cheesecake. MJ had the Macadam Cream and I went for the Chocolate Muse'. On the way home we discussed the possibility of us joining a league, but decided it was futile! Not until we go shopping for our own bowlin' shoes.