lundi 15 février 2010

Bowled over




In my world, every day is Valentine's Day because my one and only constantly finds ways to bowl me over.

Yesterday was no exception. We got together with a group of intrepid neighbors and had ourselves a bowling extravaganza at West Seattle Bowl. It was interesting to see the various strategies that the non-bowlers (like me) adopted to avoid sheer and utter humiliation. It was also interesting to see that we have some true bowlers in our neighborhood. I think there is something to the notion that certain people excel at indoor sports like bowling, ping pong and pool. Often, these people suck at the usual sports, football, basketball and baseball.

My hubby excels at all sports and is ultra-competitive. He did pretty well against the indoor sports enthusiasts. What I noticed is that he used his superior strength, size and muscle mass, hurling the bowling ball rather than releasing it close to the ground and close to the line like the true bowlers. As a result, when he aimed correctly it was like a bomb exploding. Pins went flying. This kept him in the game against the true bowlers.

As for the rest of us, we ranged from occasional bowlers to total neophytes. One neighbor grew up in the Ukraine and had never bowled before. Another neighbor, from California, decided that her best option was to gently place the bowling ball on the ground and give it a little push. This worked out well at the beginning but not over time. As for me, well, let's just say that I am close to a neophyte. Bowling is not unheard of in France, but it is not a national sport by any means. I had bowled three or four times as a kid. Once I bowled at the Washington Athletic Club as part of a birthday outing. We lived near Roxbury Lanes, but I was not a regular patron. It was the kind of place that looked seedy and sagging, and it smelled like stale cigarette smoke, even from outside.

So I watched people's strategies and tried to emulate the pros. Easier said than done. The bowling ball was heavy, even though I chose the lightest one. I appreciated that fact that my hubby did not try and "help" me, though he gave me just one tip toward the end and it was just what I needed. He told me that instead of trying to correct for the curve of my ball (it kept going toward the right), I could just stand further to the left and closer to the line. I tried it and immediately improved from totally sucking to actually knocking over some pins and even getting one strike. If I had my own personal bowling ball, I'm sure I would improve my game. In other words, I believe I am just one properly sized and weighted bowling ball away from being awesome at bowling. I have heard that a bad carpenter blames his tools, but I don't think this applies to bowling or curling.