Seriously, people. What is it with bowling? Physical limitations aside, is it really that much fun? You're rolling a giant, heavy ball toward some pins.
There is a big "bowling party" tonight, held by a local professional organization. I said a flat-out "no" to actually participating in this. As the entire office will still be attending, I thought I'd just hang out with our 68-year-old VP and drink some gin and tonics I don't have to pay for.
I was anticipating lots of "Helen, why aren't you bowling?" questions on the night, but then people started pulling out for various reasons and suddenly our team was short one person. So yesterday in my cubicle, in front of everybody and very loudly, I was asked: "Helen! WHY won't you bowl?"
But, I am getting so much better at just saying "screw it" and telling the truth (thanks in very large part to this whole blogging community). I told them all (including the account manager I have a crush on) that I can't bowl because I have rheumatoid arthritis and it would wreck my hands. J didn't even blink - he just said, "ok, we'll find someone else." R went on and on about how much fun I could still have without bowling and how badly she wanted me to come. I love these guys.
And look how far I've come in one year. My "welcome to the company" last February involved a somewhat elaborately planned surprise bowling outing. I felt terrible that they'd gone to so much trouble, so I bowled, horribly, and cried in the bathroom between games. It was 10 pin! I might as well have spent the afternoon hurling bricks around.
I know I underestimate people. I forget these aren't the kids I went to school with who thought arthritis was hilarious or gross. I'm always going to feel awkward when I'm put on the spot, but I need to give people more credit than I do.
Minus one for my own preconceptions. Plus one for nice people.
(But still, minus a million for bowling.)