You Know How I Know You're Old?

I'm somewhere in my 30's. That makes me younger than Brett Favre, so that's somewhat of a feather in the cap. On the flip side, I see many professional athletes that were born in the late 80's and even early 90's, and that makes me feel like Wilford Brimley. Like Eddie Vedder says, "I know I was born and I know that I'll die, the in between is mine."

So the question becomes, what do I do for fun? It's a different ballgame now. You get a job, you get married, you start a home. That means no more spontaneous weekend road trips. No more hitting the bars three nights a week with White Chili while we'd plant forget-me-now pills into unsuspecting girl's drinks. No more sleeping in on weekends until 10 or 11am. Shit starts to get real, man. And it leaves you one choice: couples bowling league.

Yeah, I said Couples Bowling League. It's teams of four - two dudes and two dames, rolling three games every Monday night for 33 weeks. This isn't The Big Lebowski or Kingpin, this is serious business. You're bowling against some beasts. It's husbands and wives that have been together so long that they only communicate in body language, aside from the occasional remarks like "strong throw" or "you missed your board". It's unmarried guys in their 50's wearing those bowling wrist things, rolling nasty hooks that are only rivaled by their combovers and overusage of Brut cologne.

You see them warming up, rolling the balls so slow. Compared to them, you're a regular whippersnapper, drinking all the while, joking, high fiving, and genuinely showing emotion. Then you start to notice that while they don't throw hard, they throw damn accurate, and soon you start to realize that you're going down at the arthritic, yet consistent hands of a 60-something lady.

By the third game, the 16-pound ball that your own dad loaned you starts to feel like trying to roll a boulder. The shoes he also loaned you are starting to make your feet ache. You start to wonder if maybe you shouldn't be drinking as much if you want to compete. You start to wonder if they're secretly smirking when you consistently miss your spares. In short, you start to question yourself. And the you start to rationalize. Maybe you should get your own personalized ball. Maybe you should get some comfortable bowling shoes. Maybe the matching couples' personalized bowling jerseys aren't so lame, they're almost cool.

So now you're outfitted in new gear and rolling in and with new equipment. Goddammit all, you know it's true - if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

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