It had to happen sometime. And that sometime happened to be today. This time's fun-event at work was scheduled to be bowling. Oh dear lord!
To top it all, our HR manager cheerfully announced before we got ready to leave, "Oh by the way, all your names have been randomly keyed in at the lanes we are playing in. So find your team by looking at the screen. Have fun!"
Oh no! So not only would I get to bask in my bowling glory, I would probably get to do it in a team filled with people I might not even be that familiar with. Great!
No wonder, just before leaving for the bowling alley, I went to my friend P's cube and whined, "Can I please just go home? I don't want to go bowling in a team filled with unfamiliar people!" P asked me to be a good sport and come. And then asked me how it mattered if I was in a team filled with unfamiliar people. I crossly said, "Duh, because, I can't ask them to shut up if they start giving me bowling instructions?"
Anyways, resiging myself to an afternoon of humiliation, I set off. My randomly picked team of five had exactly one person I knew fairly well. Great!
When we started off, as I had predicted, my bowling ball invariably found kinship with the gutter and set off towards it with great delight as soon as I let the ball go. After a bunch of abysmal throws interspersed with some fluke good throws, I realized something. While my team-mates hi-fived and cheered me for the good throws, no one said *anything* about the bad ones, and what's more, did not even have any kind of look of commiseration or pity!
At that point, I realized that everyone was just out to have a good time and I too should just let go and stop worrying about my game so much. So I decided instead to focus on enjoying it :-)! The rest, as they say, was history!
Ah, not really. But I managed a couple of strikes (yes!!!) and once went through an entire game without throwing a single gutter ball. You are probably scoffing at this point and thinking what's the big deal. But then, you don't know that on some previous bowling outing, I have gone through an entire game where every throw of mine except the first two throws went into the gutter!
Ya my score was still trailing along the bottom of the score cards - but I played for the entire duration for which the lanes were booked and did play much better than before. More importantly, I had a good time :-D!
I guess I have finally made my peace with the bowling Gods!