Thursday, June 23

one-arm bowling

About a month ago, my friend Heidi asked me to join her bowling team to raise money for developmentally disabled adults. I said yes. Though I'd prefer eating calf nuts to fundraising, I sent out a plea to friends and family to support a poor and very pathetic one-arm bowler. It worked. Then, a few days before the game, I got sick, and on the day of, I was in bed with barely enough energy to pick up a glass of water. Bowling was out of the question.

But if I've learned one thing about working with handicaps, it requires constant reevaluation and revision to the plan. So, this past Sunday, I had my own homemade bowl-a-thon with Little Gen and Asif (Little Gen's boyfriend who is staying with us). Asif is from India and only learned to bowl about a month ago, but he is already better than both Little Gen and I. He also cooks us a lot of curry.

Around 9 o'clock we headed over to Holiday Bowl where a helpful young attendant insisted on finding me the perfect bowling ball. "Here ya go, Mami," he said handing me a luscious red nine-pounder, "this is the one I use myself." I have definitely never been called 'mami' before. According to Urban Dictionary, this means I am a sexy Latina, though it occurs to me that I may also be old enough to be his mami.

We sailed through four games, though most of the pictures we took indicate that we did everything but bowl.

I played a bit above my average 70, but kept with my usual one strike and a couple gutter balls per game. Asif, of course, was winning every game. But I pulled ahead and miraculously won the last game. Either I got better the more beer I drank, or my opponents got worse––either seems equally plausible to me. And speaking of that, can you really call something during which you drink alcohol a 'sport'? I have my doubts. Ironically, it occurs to me now that the longer we played, the more developmentally disabled we became.

A family started bowling in the lane next to ours with one miniature bowler. It took everything she had to merely lift her bowling ball in her small arms. But when little Susie Q noticed Finneas, her interest in the game noticeably diminished. She was captivated, entranced. Both parents apologized for her curiosity, which I assured them was perfectly acceptable, and encouraged it with some tiny waves in her direction. She didn't take up my offer to give Finneas a pat, but did afford me a couple shy smiles. I'm glad Finneas got in on the action––I think he was feeling a little left out, riding along while my larger, more competent bowling arm got to play. 

I'm OK at bowling. I think with a little practice, I could be really good. It's one sport where it's not such a big deal if you have only one arm. Problem is, I'm just not a huge fan. Maybe it's the fluorescent lighting or the arcade-like environment; it just doesn't really do it for me.

But you know what does do it for me? Lizards with stub legs. A bearded dragon called 'Stubilina,' to be exact.

'Stubby' for short

Obviously, she was born to be a star. Heidi and her husband adopted Stubilina when her former owner could no longer care for her. Pete tells me these lizards are often missing legs due to their unfortunate habit of biting them off each other in adolescence.

I wonder if Stubilina likes to bowl.


And now, we make OneArmGirl history with our very first ever video. Enjoy!