We mustn't let our teenagers show us up!
I practically grew up at a bowling alley. My first kiss was in a bowling alley nursery at the age of four, I began bowling in the AJBC leagues (now YABA) when I was six years old, I met my first real boyfriend in the junior league and he also worked at the bowling alley (hence my impressive knowledge of terms like "180 on lane 15," "dead wood on the deck," and "out of range,") my husband and I went bowling on our first date, and my first novel, True Blue Forever, even contains a few bowling scenes: Although my heroine is completely clueless about all sports, the hunky, athletic hero takes her bowling in an effort to find some kind of sport she'll like, and bowling proves to be the one to win her over--although she continues to hate the shoes.
My son TJ, however, didn't come up through the junior leagues the way I did. After he'd developed a deep and abiding love for the game through all-night bowling with his friends at the age of 18, he decided he wanted to bowl in a sanctioned league, so I bowled with him in a summer mixed league at AMF Camellia Lanes in our hometown of Mobile, Alabama. TJ throws a big hook and hasn't quite perfected it yet, so his scores spiked and plummeted like a rollercoaster at Six Flags. He got consistently better as the season progressed, but he never really got close to my average of 168 and had to suffer the double whammy of injured male pride and getting beaten by his mama. Fortunately, TJ is secure in his manhood and took it well.
We had a relatively successful season, but when the last week of regulation play rolled around, neither of us had qualified for any individual awards. Evidently, we both respond well to a challenge because the second game of the set TJ bowled his personal high game, a nice 265 that qualified him for the men's High Game. I guess my maternal elation for him--coupled with being a former valedictorian who hates to be bested at anything--must have inspired me for the third game, because I shot 268, my personal best that qualified me for the women's High Game. When I threw my last ball, TJ greeted me at the end of the approach with a kiss on the cheek and this sentiment: "Gee, Mom. Couldn't you have let me be ahead of you for at least a week?" Oddly enough, the team we were bowling against didn't laugh much.
TJ and I both got watches from the bowling association for 100 pins over our averages, and TJ decided to bowl with his girlfriend in the future. I guess it could be because she's pretty and sits on his lap between frames, but I have to wonder if her high game of 110 has anything to do with it.