The first night of league last night was, well, a little stressful. This league is much bigger and more serious than the casual summer league we've been participating in for the past 4 years, so we had to pay close attention to the different rules, regulations, and scoring. Plus, it was a little intimidating bowling next to, and against, teams who have sponsorships and where individuals are bowling in the mid-200s.
Plus, these "leaguers" are there to BOWL. Not to socialize. So a guy on the opponent team didn't hesitate to prompt me that it was my turn (which translates to: "Put your beer down, missy, and get up there and bowl!"), and we saw a verbal brawl break out between two players on another team. And all around us, it was a sea of bowling supplies: Bowlers were taping their fingers, applying wrist braces, polishing their balls, and sipping their Vitamin water. In short, it was like stepping up from running 5Ks to running the Boston marathon, and the competition was not messing around.
But a few beers in, and our team was feeling more relaxed and we had the confidence that only beer can provide. We determined that we will just have to approach the league in our own way: We're not there to win the championship or set any bowling records; we're there to have fun, enjoy one another's company, and do our best at bowling. Plus, we do know a few other teams in the league who are more like us, so we can socialize with them, and enjoy the competition on a more causal level when we play them. And certainly, over the course of 37 weeks, we're likely to improve.
So, how did my games go last night? Like so: 131, 116, and 138. Not great, but not shabby for me either. The rest of my team did pretty well too, but we won't know how many points we scored because our averages weren't figured in and thus our handicaps weren't calculated yet; however, I think we held our own.
It was fun, but it's not gonna be like Thursday night league, which should really be called a drinking league in which we incidentally bowl. Don't get me wrong, we enjoyed some beers last night, but I limited myself to 3, and I don't plan on getting wasted every Monday night; it's one thing to be hungover on a Friday, and an entirely different thing to be hungover on a Tuesday.
Although...as Jerry says: "If you're gonna be hungover, might as well get paid for it."