Mr. GreatWeirdness and I took our little weirdnesses to the bowling alley on a Saturday afternoon. It was their first time. It’s been a number of years since my last time in one. Our local bowling alley used to be a real “dive” in all its bowling alley glory – a thick haze of smoke hanging in the air, shoes that had probably been worn by no less than 49,500 people wearing their sweatiest and smelliest socks, a sketchy pool table area in the dark back corner, a somewhat haggard individual working the register and the shoe counter.
I find I experience a real nostalgia when I think about it, which seems a little odd as a non-smoker and a pretty borderline bowler. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a relatively small town where bowling was one of the few options for things to do. Maybe it’s because my great-aunt worked in a bowling alley up until recently and she’s in, I think, her eighties now and always struck me as delightfully proper in her Canadian-ness…which just seems great to me in my bowling alley vision.
For my girls’ sake, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that our old bowling alley had clearly been renovated. It was clean. The shoes didn’t seem over-used. And did you know thy have digital bumpers now? No more major hassle to get them in place and everyone playing a bumpered game. They can actually have them pop up and down just when it’s your child’s turn. Crazy times!
While our littlest wasn’t quite ready to pick up a ball, she had a great time cheering us on. And our oldest did such a good job at playing and not getting frustrated when she couldn’t get it perfect. I can say with confidence that the GreatWeirdness family will definitely be bowling again. Put on a pair of bowling shoes lately?