I was testing blog titles to see which ones pulled the most responses from my subscribers, and this one is pretty well up there with the best of them!

Balls

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It’s not a trick title, though. It describes what I found out this weekend bowling with a bunch of senior citizens who just happened to be high school classmates of my wife, Annette.

Cover

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Yep, it was a high school reunion, a mid-term reunion, the forty-fifth not the fiftieth, which is The Big One coming up, hence the casual location of a bowling alley anticipating what would be a local and light turnout. Right in both cases.

Guys

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There were about fifty “Huskies” who showed up, dressed in jeans and Tommy Bahama shirts for the guys and slacks and simple blouses or sweaters for the girls.

We started out in a kind of lunch room for chit-chat and dinner that reminded me of the high school detention center I’d had some frequent familiarity with in years past.

One thing that struck me immediately is that there was no longer a need to guess how everyone’s career or life or luck was going to turn out because it had already turned out by now. That’s good and bad, restful and disappointing. Some achievements were achieved, some were not. And yet, in more cases than you’d expect…my own included…there were new dreams to make and to make come true.

By our age, a lot of the brio of girl-boy interaction has softened quite a bit. The testosterone levels are low in the men and most women have long since gone through menopause…but…

Girls

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sex was still in the air or so it seemed to me. There was still a tension in my eyes as I watched the verbal teases, the light touches to the forearms made by the ladies and the gentle shoulder patting by the men when we first arrived at the bowling alley.

By the time we’d had a few drinks, things got friendlier and louder and yes, sexier. And that’s when I started feeling a little jealous of the attention Annette was getting and giving to some of the guys hanging around her.

As I write this I’m experiencing a disconnect between the age of us, 63 or so, and the word jealousy. But you know what, we’re a young 63…ha-ha!

Honestly, though, that’s what I felt all evening. Maybe it was the location itself, a bowling alley for god sakes, or the buffet dinner reminiscent of cafeteria food, or maybe it’s that the type of people who chose to show up to begin with were the young of heart. And isn’t our generation, the Boomers, younger in spirit anyway? We like to think so…well, most of us do.

Alley 2

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Whatever the reason, the evening reminded me of a soda-shop afternoon complete with the whirling insecurity of of pimply-cheeked teenager inside my silly head. I was again, for some of the evening anyway, a 15 or 16 year-old kid jealous of his girlfriend and insecure about his attractiveness to her.

Ridiculous, huh? Maybe, maybe not, but Nettie sure thought so as did her high school friend Carolyn, who attended the reunion with us. I saw the two of them huddle, and clearly I was being trashed-talked in no uncertain terms.

And like a high school boyfriend who’s been in a fight with his high school girlfriend, I knew exactly how to say I was sorry.

I sneaked over to one of those crane arcade games that lets you dig for toys and cute baubles. I was a bit clumsy with the crane at first, but after a couple of tries, I was able to carefully guide it to just what I wanted and drop it into the chute, and slip it into my pocket.

When we got back to the hotel, I gave it to my girl with a sheepish grin on my face.

Teddy Bear

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“I’m sorry for being an idiot,” I said as I handed it to her.

She opened it and smiled, “I love it,” she said with tears coming into her eyes, “and I still love you.”

Then we kissed in the moonlight and promised to grow old together someday in the very, very distant future.

 

 

 

 

 

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