Bryn Gallagher: Striking out

Bryn Gallagher

8:39 p.m. and I was still sitting locked in my car outside the bowling alley on Thompson Blvd. trying my best to be invisible, completely alone. I was going to go bowling, and my friends were coming… but where were they? Why had no one shown up, and why was everyone on the street and in the bowling alley so incredibly sketchy? On that note, how likely was I to end up on a missing persons list by sitting here in the little black Prius surrounded by huge trucks and motorcycles? Does anyone even get milk cartons anymore?

After the third group of not my friends passed by, I checked to see if I had anyone’s numbers, no dice; I have never been good at numbers anyway. I sat there for a little longer and then after the fourth group of not my friends and the seventeenth shadowy figure shambled past I gave up. I couldn’t take it anymore. I pushed the power button intent on going home and figuring out why I had been completely alone. 
 
I couldn’t drive home. My good parking spot had become a prison. Between the giant sized truck parked way to close to my car and the ridiculous white compact parked directly behind me I would be lucky to get out. Clearly, I would have to spend the night here.
 
No, I couldn’t give up, not like that. I had to get out of the dark creepy parking lot with all of the scary shadowy patrons. So after twelve close calls and a five-hundred and seventy-two point turn I was back on Thompson, had gone on Seaward, turned on to Poli, and collapsed onto my favorite green couch sobbing like the small, frightened pathetic high school senior that I was. {sidebar id=65}
 
Mom let me sit there for a minute, sobbing, vowing that I would never go anywhere ever again, that friendship didn’t work for me and that I was going to be a hermit. Finally she handed the computer to me and said, “Try checking the Facebook page.”
 
There are two bowling alleys in Ventura, and I had a 50/50 change of picking the right one. I didn’t. All of my friends went to Buena Lanes and I had been sitting sadly outside of the Ventura Bowling Center (the weirder of the two).
 
I closed the computer, curled up in the corner of my favorite couch, and began the process of wallowing in my own stupidity. 
 
Mom would have none of it.
 
“Get up Bryn, you’re only thirty minutes late, you are going bowling!”
 
I looked up at her, puffy eyed, completely defeated and informed her that no, I wasn’t going out. She in turn informed me that yes I was, that she would drive, and that I was going to have fun. Clearly, having fun wasn’t really a choice.
 
There I was, on the steps of the Buena Lanes, praying that this time I would see my friends. I took a deep breath, opened the door, and there they were, bowling, just like I thought they’d be. After quickly explaining why I had been late, and the main points of my ordeal to anyone who would listen, I went to get my shoes.
 
Now, clearly I don’t understand prices for bowling, or the guy at the shoe counter could tell that I had had a long night because I didn’t have to pay for my shoes. “You’re with them, right?” he said gesturing towards my friends, “yeah, I’m with them,” I answered hopefully not sounding as confused as I was, “then just take the shoes.”
 
So essentially my ordeal ended in bowling for free, and with good understanding friends, and getting one strike that I will never understand because I can’t bowl for my life.
 
So, I suppose my ordeal has a few lessons: first off don’t go to the bowling alley on Thompson alone, secondly always listen to your mother (turns out they do kind of know what they are talking about), and finally don’t let one mishap ruin your evening or your life. If you get up, stop wallowing, put on a game face and go out, chances are life will be more fun.
What do you think?