Monday, February 23, 2009

One Way to Spend a Sunday Afternoon

A dear friend of mine who has kids about the same age as we do suggested meeting at the local bowling alley for a couple of games. I was pleasantly surprised. The last time we had visited here, it seemed to be kind of seedy-there were teenagers hanging around at the pool tables in the arcade area looking less than favorable with lit cigarettes hanging out of their mouths. While I think James Dean pulled this off without a hitch-these kids were nowhere near coming close. Tattooed arms and greasy long hair hanging in their faces, I am sorely reminded of the fact that these were the type of boys I often had often fallen for when I was a teenager. They had seemed so mysterious, and somehow that disrespectful bad-boy attitude was attractive. Now all I wanted to do was drag them by the ear to the nearest bathroom, give them a good scrub, a haircut and make them look respectable. I would have liked to also wash their mouths out with soap. Didn't they know there were little kids here? I felt like a mother lion protecting her cubs. Occasional profanities floated over to us above the din of the bowling balls plowing through pins. Of course, my girls would inevitabley pick up some of those words with that highly sensitive radar that most kids seem to have. They would run over to me with wide eyes, tugging on my shirt, motioning for me to lower my head so they could whisper in my ear. "Mommy, that boy over there just said something bad."

"That's it," I said to myself, making a mental note. "We won't be coming back here again." I remember storming over to the group of kids leaning over the pool table. "Excuse me," I angrily interrupted. "There are little kids here and I would really appreciate it if you would be careful about what you say-they can hear you."
One of them spoke up-"We're very sorry m'am, we'll try to be more careful." I nodded my head and went back to our group. While I felt better that I had said something,and some of my faith in teenagers today had been restored by the polite response, I still decided it wasn't the right place for my kids. Its funny how, when you become a parent, you start living these double standards. What would have been fine for you is not fine for your children. And Lord forbid if one day one of my girls comes home with a friend that looks like one of those kids? How will I handle it? I shudder at the thought and focus on the moment.
Where was I? Oh yes, I can now say that this bowling alley has been kid-tested and mother-approved. If you are looking for a nice way to spend time with your family, I have no problem recommending Gilley's Bowl and Grille for a nice way to spend a Sunday Afternoon. 2855 Biglerville Road, Gettysburg, PA 17325, 717-677-9542. Call for hours as they change by season. Games were $4.00 each and shoe rental was $2.00 per person.

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