there’s no crying in bowling!

For those who don’t know the Vincents…

Long Preface Short:  I moved to Australia to nanny for a Scottish family, the Vincents.  I don’t work for them anymore, but I kept a journal of many of the [mostly wretched] experiences.  Here’s a story from my second day in Australia…

[archive style.]

Marc = Scottish man who is very deadpan and passive-aggressive.

Craig = 14-year-old shithead who has always been babied.  His mother still brushes his hair every morning.

January 9, 2009

Bowling With The Vincents.

I don’t have jet-lag.  Weird.  It’s the day before we leave for our “vacation” and I just got here yesterday. [p.s. they forgot when i was arriving in australia and scheduled a vacation for two days after i got here…]

The family is very strange, but I’m hoping that is just a feeling I’m getting from the newness. Marc asks if I want to go bowling with him and Craig… ummm YES, I LOVE bowling. Holler.

the jesus.
the jesus.

We get there and it’s embarrassing how I don’t know my shoe size. This shouldn’t be embarrassing, I just got to the country yesterday, but Marc and Craig make it embarrassing for me. The woman at the desk asks…

– Hi, what shoe size do you need?

– Umm… I’m not sure. I wear a Womens 10 in the U.S.

[Note: I’m 6 feet tall so it’s completely justified that I have huge feet.]

– I’m not sure what size that is here.

…I say in my sweet “hey-look-I’m-so-lost-and-innocent” way.

– They go by European sizes.

…Marc informs me.  Oh, awesome cuz I just came from EUROPE.

– I don’t understand European sizes.

Craig adds his 2 cents…

– Why don’t you know your shoe size?

Because I didn’t have the blessing of being born Scottish, Craig… Why don’t you know your phone number?

We finally get it sorted out and it’s off to the lanes.

I will tell you this, I exceed at no real sport. I’m a mediocre climber, a wretched swimmer and a downright embarrassing skier, but I kick ass at any game that requires mostly standing and aiming. Try me at shuffleboard and I will pummel you and gloat like I’ve actually accomplished something… but take me skiing and you’ll be waiting for me half of the time and trying not to make eye-contact because you feel guilty about all the bailing-early excuses you’re making up in your head.  Darts, pool, shuffleboard and bowling, though?  Check.

Craig’s up first… knocks down 8 pins.  Awesome!  I’m psyched…

– Yeah Craig!  Way to be.

No response.

I’m up… STRIKE.  Holler!  I throw my arms up in the air and take a power-stance of excitement.

– Yea-uh! Did you see that, Craigy Boy?!

– Pshh… Thanks for making me feel bad.

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaauuuut? Wait, what did he just say?  Whatever, Marc’s turn.

Marc hardly looks down the lane and throws a gutter ball.  Then haphazardly knocks down 4 pins.

[p.s. we don’t speak between turns… awkward.]

Craig’s up. Knocks 8 pins over!

– YES!  Nice, Craig!  High five!

He seriously left me hanging.

I’m up.  It must be luck, because I knock over 8 pins and then one more in the second frame.  I’m stoked.

– YAY! [big smiles.]

Craig literally folds his arms and huffs.

– Huff.

What the?!

Marc throws the ball down the lane like it’s the most inconvenient thing that’s ever happened to him.  I don’t remember what he threw.  Craig’s up and as soon as the boy steps up to the line, Marc leans over to me and says…

– Craig really doesn’t like losing.  He’s very sensitive.

[?????!!!]  This just became the most unfun thing I’ve ever been a part of.

Craig gutter balls and then knocks over 4 pins… he’s pissed.

It’s my turn.  Let me tell you something; nothing about the way I was raised tells me to throw the game… even if it is just bowling.  This kid is 14 years old… not 6.  All those movies where they make the sacrifice and suffer defeat for love?  Stupid.  They just made me angry and confused.  Like in A League of Their Own, when Geena Davis’ character drops the ball on purpose for her little sis to win the game… stupid.  Who does that?!  Sisterly love… blah, blah, blah… Okay, fine.  Maybe I should throw the game.  This is my second day and I don’t want to make a bad impression.  Marc did pretty much just tell me to start sucking on purpose… He is my boss… I guess.

"give me the bat, craig."
"give me the bat, craig."

Screw it… I have standards, as weird and random as they may be.  Plus, I ain’t no Dottie… and Craig ain’t no Kit.

I roll the ball down the lane and… STRIKE!, turn around to make sure and make eye-contact with Marc.  Craig’s pouting and rolling his eyes, while Marc looks at me like, “Did you not understand what I just said to you?”

Sorry Marc, I don’t understand European bullshit either.

4 thoughts on “there’s no crying in bowling!”

  1. ah i love the vincent stories.
    but rach, you DO exceed at sports. don’t ever forget your mad skills on the loser b team. just wanted to inspire you.

  2. oh man! abbi, i’m so thankful for our 8th grade loser B team participation. that’s how we met! you were always the first to encourage the whole team to start chunking the balls for half-court shots when couch payner left our gym to go to the other gym and give the A team actual coaching.


  3. the vincents stories. i’m so glad they are still coming out, and hope you still have a little store full of them!

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