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The Right Approach...Views on the world of bowling.

Volume 2, Issue 8, The 60th Edition

By Angel Zobel-Rodriguez

      This weekend, in somewhere in Kansas, in a beautiful ceremony, professional bowlers Lynda Norry and Chris Barnes got married. To the happy couple, I wish my sincere congratulations. They're probably destined to become the closest thing to a Royal family as bowling can have. And they're probably on their way to the U.S. Open right now. That's a dream honeymoon for bowlers. Any time I see two bowlers get together, I sigh. Maybe because I know the feeling when people who don't bowl say "You met your spouse in a bowling alley?" and maybe just because it takes me back to meeting my husband about ten years ago.

      If you think about it, meeting your future spouse doing something you love isn't all that strange. Conversely, once you're bitten by the bowling bug, you need an extremely understanding spouse, and who's more likely to understand, but someone with the same affliction? Football widows only lose their spouses during football season for a couple of days a week--mostly all day Sunday and, of course, Monday nights. But a bowling widow/widower loses their spouse several nights a week, often for the entire year. And don't forget to throw in tournaments on weekends and during the "off-season."

      When I met my husband, Mario, I was following my little brother around during scratch leagues at our local center. My brother was about to go adult, and was trying to raise the prospect of being asked to bowl with some of the better teams. I, on the other hand, was merely his transportation, and my job was to not embarrass him, as older sisters easily can do. Mario's favorite line to my brother was, "Isn't it past your bedtime?" which gave my then-17-year-old brother fits. I thought it was funny.

      I was way down on the learning curve of bowling, and Mario was one of the big shot, scratch bowlers. Soon, I was joining high-end scratch leagues as the low bowler just to have a reason to hang around. After we were married, we actually tried not to bowl in order to save a little money, but that grand experiment lasted a total of eight weeks. After that we figured selling body parts would be better than giving up what we both loved. We were (and are still rational enough) to pay our bills first, of course, but bowling is both entertainment and exercise in our family. When we bought our first home, we cut back again to be cautious, but we have always had our head in the game. And now we have created the bowling dynasty, with the addition of our littlest bowler, Michael.

      I'm sure plenty of bowlers meet and marry nonbowling spouses, and go on to live very successful lives. But the more I ask around, the more I find folks who met their significant others right there in the bowling center. And it really doesn't surprise me. Who else will comprehend the costs of $200 bowling balls, tournaments, league fees, or why on earth people would actually want to bowl with injuries. And there's something very easy about sharing your frustrations with someone who isn't going to exploit them in the next tournament against you. And how do you explain to a nonbowler that you spent several days in a new city on vacation, and didn't really see much outside the bowling center itself?

      This year, a friend asked me if I was going to drive over to Las Vegas to watch the Showboat PBA tournament. I was all set to go until I realized the date fell on my anniversary. Of course, I shouldn't have been surprised when my husband said "Sure, let's go." After all, he understands, he's a bowler, too. We drew the line on actually bowling, though. I guess that's the test of a true vacation--if a bowling couple goes somewhere without their arsenal, especially Las Vegas.

Gotta Split,


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