A Sunday or two ago we faced a big wet blanket of a day. Soggy weather that alternated between pelting rain and damp cold. Not the kind of weather that makes you spring to your feet, sweep your arm around your troops and yell “let’s all get outside for some fresh air!”
But the flip side of an ugly day is something so wonderful, you might just wish for bad weather every weekend. What is this thing, you ask?
That would be leisure sports.
It’s a family specialty. So much so that my brother-in-law started and soon-after folded a side business selling Leisure Ball, a lawn game where you drink beer with one hand, and toss balls at a ladder-type contraption with the other.
With no lawn, no leisure ball, and of course, no balmy July weather, we were forced to consider our next option: bowling.
This was my husband’s idea of course, he being the one who took an actual bowling class in college. That counted for course credit. Yes, it’s a real school with Gothic architecture and the works. If you’re confused, join the club.
Before we could get moving, I was forced into my new role as chief executive hairstylist. Anyone recognize the Elsa braid? Elsa being the She nymph from the movie Frozen, sung by the beautiful Idina Menzel, aka Adele Dazim? Aha, bells are ringing!
Emma hopped on her scooter in 4-sizes-too-big cowboy boots, which made the absence of wipeouts some kind of modern day miracle.
Speaking of footwear, can we talk about these shoes? When I’m sitting on Santa’s knee in December and he asks what the kids would like for Christmas, I may whisper “bowling shoes”.
Let’s have a moment of silence for the man of the hour. I’m not one to brag, but the kid bowled a 133.
He crushed me, he beat the other kids, he even edged out the college-educated bowler. I know, I know – he was using a ramp and the rails were up, but the same thing could be said for Emma and he doubled her score. There has to be some kind of talent involved, right? And if there is talent, do I nurture it? Does one want his or her child to be an exceptional bowler?
There was lots of puddle jumping on the way home.
With feet soaked, we finally arrived, unpacked our gear, and lay slack jawed on the couch for 5 minutes until our babysitter arrived. Because, I remind you, this was leisure Sunday, and we had not one, but two leisure sports lined up.
Next up was our friend’s birthday party in Brooklyn where we’d be spending a few hours playing shuffleboard and drinking beer.
Here we are en-route to the party, crossing over the Gowanus canal.
The three people reading this blog who were actually at the party might be thinking, “but you don’t have to cross the Gowanus canal to get there?”
That’s because you didn’t have Rodney navigating, and I should know by now that if he points in one direction, I should immediately head the opposite way.
What I really didn’t need at that moment was to cross the Gowanus canal (twice), which smells like Gowanus, whatever that means, but it’s not pleasant.
We finally did rendez-vous with the birthday boy who we found hunkered down in a cabana with a half dozen Mason jars of beer and a platter of half-finished Mexican food. He got up, slapped Rodney a high five, burped what smelled like a mix of cilantro and achiote, and then hit the courts.
I’m lying about the second to last item on that list, but the rest of it was true. I might have actually underestimated the number of Mason jars.
While the court action was getting started, I made a beeline for the bathroom, which naturally, was festooned with pink flamingoes.
Back from the bathroom, I rolled up my sleeves, put on my “bring it” face and started slinging disks. In my professional leisure sportswoman opinion, it’s one of the best games out there. The kind of game where you need skill to play well, but novices won’t embarrass themselves. And as with most leisure sports, the more you drink, the better you play.
At last it was time to head home. But not without a last-ditch effort to get some pie at Brooklyn’s famed Four & Twenty Blackbirds. We forged through the rain, found the shop, and rejoiced that the lights were still on.
No luck. Sold out. Dagger to the heart, there would be no Key Lime that night. But who was I to complain, what a day. They don’t get much better…As night fell on New York City, we jumped on the subway back to Manhattan, leaving the flamingoes and the smell of Gowanus behind. I’m sure we’ll be back again soon.