I paid a lot of money to go bowling with my seven-year-old son last night. It was promoted as a Mother-Son event that would take place while some alleged Father-Daughter dance was happening in another location in the city. Apparently, it was mostly a fundraiser for the parochial school that is situated in the same neighborhood as my son’s less-holy public school. We knew precisely 1.7% of the others there, but they were all nice and didn’t cuss when they missed a spare, so it worked out.
As Divine Order would have it, this event doubled as a celebration of the birthday of the parish priest, and therefore we found ourselves deep in the singing of “Happy Birthday” to Father Fred, despite our decided non-Catholic persuasion. I am truly grateful that there was no kneeling or genuflecting expected, because we would have been exposed as frauds instantly. We did partake of the blessed cake and of some holy Hi-C.
In this gladiator stadium of a bowling alley, I enjoyed the fact that Mom-Son Catholic bowling flowed seamlessly into dyed-in-the-wool, beer pitcher guzzling, card-playing, weekly bowling leaguers. I had a joyful reunion with my former neighbor, Wes, with whom I shared a hug that was far more familiar than our entire previous relationship as neighbors had spawned. Crazy small bowling world.
Perhaps the best part was that I did not sustain a glute injury, like the last time I went bowling. I am white trashy enough to have once had a bowling average–as embarrassing as this is in most of my current circles, there is still a sense that I should be able to somehow rock it on the lanes, and a butt injury–my own private humiliation hell. Bless you, Father Fred.