I joined dating apps because I felt like I had to if I wanted to find a romantic partner. I’ve tried to “put myself out there” and meet men in the real world, but it seems like these days everyone has earbuds in or their eyes glued to their phone screen.
Mitchel and I matched and he interested me because he was cute and funny.
“Have you heard of Rocketbowl?” he asked one day. I love Rocketbowl. I grew up bowling at Rocketbowl and it hasn’t changed. Rocketbowl is probably the only bowling alley left that still makes you keep score with pen and paper. The whole place is decorated the way it was when it was first built in the ’70s.
When I arrived, I thought it was so cute that Mitchel was waiting for me outside. He looked just like his photos. We walked in, ordered rum and Cokes and nachos to share, got our shoes that were probably made in the 1970s, and picked a lane.
Once we began bowling, Mitchel came up with the idea of choosing the “winner” based on how uniquely we could roll the ball. That way we didn’t have to keep score and neither of us would feel bad about losing.
Mitchel spun like a ballerina for one roll, and got yelled at by an employee for throwing the ball from above his head for another. At first I went with all I could think of: “granny style,” where you roll the ball with both hands from between your legs, and granny style backwards.
Mitchel’s rolls became more elaborate, with dance moves and hand gestures incorporated into them. I planned an elaborate ball roll that would involve a spin, a jump, some kicks, and then a slow, delicate ball roll.
Unfortunately, I underestimated how much space I would need to perform my moves before rolling the ball, and I ended up crossing the line into the bowling lane. Do you know how slippery the lane is? More slippery than ice.
My ankle twisted and I instinctively threw my body the other direction to keep balance, but I over-corrected and fell. As I was falling, I half-threw the ball. It hit my shin as I landed on my wrist.
Mitchel rushed over to ask if I was okay. I felt embarrassed, so I quickly stood up to brush myself off. As soon as I put weight on my ankle, I fell again. My ankle hurt, badly. I started crying. As I sat there, I noticed that my wrist was already swelling up. I cried more.
Mitchel called 9-1-1 and I felt so embarrassed when the paramedics wheeled me out on a stretcher and put me in the ambulance. Who gets hurt bowling? It turned out I had a broken ankle, broken wrist, and badly bruised shin.
Mitchel texted a couple of times after that to see if I was okay and we chatted a bit. I never brought up the idea of a second date and neither did he. I suppose two broken bones on a first date is a sign not to continue.
The Choice is Yours
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