Let’s start my Friday evening, shall we? It’s really pathetic when I look back on it – but there’s always the funny and that’s all that should remain.
I got home after work and I hadn’t been feeling well all day. Denial is always the name of my game where germs and illness are concerned so while I knew something was coming, I knew I could put it off for a few hours to get my bowl on. Mike signed us up for a league that meets every Friday evening, just after work. This is an attempt to get us out more, socialize and do something fun together. Naturally, I’m anxious but am willing to give it the old college try (what the heck does that even mean, Cristina?).
I shovel the delicious dinner he made. I only know that because the kids tell me. At this point, I am losing my taste buds with every bite. I’m coming down with something fast. I guzzle more water than necessary, and begin to clear away the dishes as Mike heads up to take a call upstairs for work. That man is “on” all the time. He hollers at me from upstairs “Honey, you think your new friend would still want to go with you? I’m thinking about it, and we really can’t afford to take all of us bowling this week. I’ll stay home and you can go” In this league it would be $30 for both each week, then another $16 for the boys to play too. Oh yeah, we planned on taking them. Earlier at a lunch, I’d mentioned the possibility of Mike not being able to bowl on account of his medical situation and if she would be interested in covering for him after surgery.
I stared at the floor, eyes wide thinking social situation without Mike. He’s the best crutch. He can talk to anyone about anything: politics, current events, pop culture, movies, music – you name it. At least my new friend would be with me. Right? Cool. I call her. No answer. Per my usual, I leave an oddly awkward message, complete with howling like a coyote. I abhor voice mail and do what I can to get through it – laughter, remember? If I leave you a voice mail, you’ll want to save it. She did.
In any case, I’m panicking. I called the poor gal 30 minutes before we had to be at the bowling alley! What if she had plans? I texted her, I just left you a voice mail. Call me. A few minutes pass, and I wipe the small beads of sweat that have formed on my forehead with the back of my hand. Whether it’s the sickness or a hot flash, I can’t tell. She calls back!!
Me: Hey, did you get my voice mail?
Her: No, I got your text. I called.
Me: Well you’re going to want to save that message. It’s a classic. (Who does that? Me.)
Her: Ok, I will. What’s up?
Me: Wanna go bowling with me? We’re broke as a joke so if you come, you can take Mike’s place and bowl for him. (I’m such a great friend. ‘Hey hang out with me, my husband can’t’. I told you I was awkward)
Her: Yeah sure, when do I have to be there?
Me: 20 minutes.
Her: I can literally roll outta here 5 mins before and get there early.
Me: Awesome. See you there. Thanks.
I then send a text a few mins later, as I shut the dishwasher door so hard that all the dishes clang, and it’s $14 buck to play, ok? She replies immediately, Yup.
Not only is she helping me out, she has to pay to play. Damn, I suck.
I hop in the car and peel out. I have to use my husbands car – which is HUGE – because he has more gas than I do, and I just don’t have the time. I don’t live 5 minutes away from the alley, more like 15 and it was 6:15PM at this point.
As I tap my foot on the break for the 16th time (traffic) I realize I’m wearing thong sandals. Why is this a problem? You need socks! I forgot socks. So I grab my phone and plead with Siri to transcribe my message Forgot socks, can you bring a pair? I suck.
Her response: NP
At this point, I’m thinking she’s totally regretting this friendship. She’s figuring it out that I don’t have it all together. But, it gets better. And by better, I mean more pathetic.
I pull in and she pulls in at the same time. Homegirl has her own bowling ball AND shoes. Who knew? I receive a text from Mike, who is always worried when I go anywhere alone, and tells me to pull money out from the ATM across the street.
We walk in and it’s pandemonium. The place is hoppin’ and not one lane is free. I make a note to myself for the next Friday and all subsequent Fridays the boys will have to bring their devices, they aren’t going to get to bowl at all. We walk up to lanes 21-24 where our league is set to bowl and I see the Lady in Charge. They’re already bowling and I still have to rent shoes and get a bowling ball. Read, unprepared and late.
I’ll skip the part where my friend can’t believe how big my feet are when I mention my shoe size. Size 8 if you’re interested. And for someone who is 4’11”, that’s just mean.
As we walk back to our lanes, I tell her that I have to hit the ATM across the street. She asks why. Because it’s free, that’s why. The one in here will charge me the price of a latte to take out $20 bucks! Sad state of affairs people, but I really have no shame at this point. I have clown feet.
She chimes that she’ll just pay for us and I can pay her back later.
In my head, I tell myself, you’re a really crappy first date you know?
We played three games, wherein I bowled an amazing 103, 94 and 104 respectively. My Bowling Baller friend did well enough not to notice her scores. The Lady in Charge mentioned that there was an open spot on my team and asked if she’d want to join it. She needed a day or so to think it over. Of course, I forced it by way of writing her name in pen on the score card simultaneously telling her, she didn’t really have a choice. I’m even forcing things on her. Poor thing. She didn’t know what she was getting into when she showed up. Now she’s committed to 7 months of weekly bowling with me, Queen of the Low Scoring Bowlers who really thinks we need matching satin jackets a la Grease – and Mike, who will be on “medical leave” until he heals up for the next 6 weeks. He and I are two peas in the same nutty pod. Or maybe she is too, we had to come up with a name for our team and she said it had to be fantastic. The “Super Fantastics” was her suggestion. Mike was not feelin’ it. So as a compromise, I came up with “The Fantastic Four”, this way she’s Fantastic (she is) and Mike gets that super hero vibe (which he is).
The Lady in Charge named me Captain. God Bless us everyone, Tiny Tim. I don’t know the first thing about bowling in a league. The people in the next lane let me know as much with their nasty looks for bowling when they were. I didn’t know that two people couldn’t occupy the same space. All these rules!
I have yet to meet our fourth member. She couldn’t make it this Friday, but should be here for the next. Let’s hope she can fall in with the
Pink Ladies The Fantastic Four.
The rest of the weekend was spent, on the couch with antibiotics, NyQuil, Sudafed, Delsym and Emergen-C because I paid dearly, as I always do, when I avoid oncoming sinus infections, and played Words with Friends with my new Bowling Baller friend. I think she’s going to hang around. Yay.