We Need to Talk About Bowling

This is less a story about bowling and more of a story about failure.

The kind of failure that happens even when there are a zillion safeguards in place to make sure you can’t fail. When you fail when literally everything is built to make you succeed.

It’s these kind of stories that turn boys into men. That turn women into the kind of mothers that can lift cars off their babies.

Wait, I’m getting this backwards. This is the kind of story that is so crushingly humiliating that the only sane response is to go live underground until your inner shame becomes an outward manifestation of how terrible you are at life.

THE TYPE OF STORY THAT TURNS YOU INTO GOLLUM. Man, I turn into gollum a lot in my stories… I wonder what that means?

The reason why I didn’t post Friday or Saturday or Sunday for nanowrimo is because a) I was busy and b) I needed time to accept the fact that I am going to share this story with the universe. Friday night we went bowling, which is great fun and all that, but then I basically threw my back out.

Honestly, that’s not the embarrassing part. We all know that I’ve thrown my back out doing even dumber things.

The embarrassing story happened many years ago. It was another time. A time before I became awesome. A time when I was firmly in the middle of my horrendous acne, braceface, pyramid hair early teenage years. I mean, my acne was so bad that my school pictures were photoshopped before PHOTOSHOP WAS EVEN A THING. Ugh, I know right?

I was thirteen. Maybe 14 years old. Picture a chubbier, acnier, poofier Whitney. I wish I had a picture to show you, but thankfully I think they got burned in the Divorce. (My mom says they haven’t…. a girl can dream, though, amiright?)

My mom, brothers and I went to Fat City to go bowling and play in the arcade. All of their lanes were cosmic bowling, all the time. Because Fat City was the shit. They also had boneless buffalo wings, which makes it extra special.

So gross and yet all I want to do is to unhinge my jaw and shove all of them in like whoppers.

We played with the bumpers up, because I was not a very good bowler. I mean, NOW I can consistently crack a hundred, but back then I was solidly in the 40s if there were no bumpers.

Do you see where this story is going? Where it is, perhaps, the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever shared with you, dear readers? And I’ve shared LOTS of EMBARRASSING THINGS.

We bowled. Or at least my brothers and my mom bowled. What I did was manage to score so poorly WITH BUMPERS that I legitimately cried and sulked and didn’t talk to the rest of the family for like fifteen minutes while they either made fun of me or tried to comfort me, I don’t remember. Hopefully they made fun of me, because I fucking deserved it.

10 frames. Two bowls per frame. Bumpers.

My score?


That wasn’t just one frame, you guys. THAT WAS MY SCORE FOR THE WHOLE GAME.

I can’t make this shit up. I wish I could, I really wish I could. Then my dignity would be intact and I wouldn’t have to worry about being arrested for being such a massive goober of a human being.

Minus the fact that this is Katy Perry, this is nearly an exact portrait of what I look like as a massive goober.

10 thoughts on “We Need to Talk About Bowling

  1. Oh Jesus, those boneless buffalo wings just put me off my dinner! Not sure what’s worse: the colour of them, or the neatly arranged bowl of celery sticks designed to give a sheen of health!

  2. Oh wow. I very clearly recall once upon a time closing out a game of 5th grade P.E. bowling with a score so low I could count it on my fingers. For someone with natural athletic tendencies, it was positively mortifying. Even a blind hamster probably would have managed to pull off a more respectable score. So yeah, I can definitely relate!

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