Bowling or Food?

Today I took the kids bowling with 3 other moms and their kids.  It was our first time taking advantage of the Kids Bowl Free promotion that runs every summer and I admit I was a bit skeptical.  I thought there had to be a catch.

It clearly states on the coupon that each child and adult is allowed 2 free games, but you do have to pay the shoe rental.  I thought they would end up screwing you on the length of time you had to bowl and if you went over that time, they would charge you.  Nope!  We were there for 3 hours!  What a deal!

While I was standing at the counter waiting to get shoes for the kids, I was listening to a woman trying to negotiate the shoe price.  Before I continue, let me just say I do not support nor condone fleecing.  The shoe rental is $4 per pair.  A little steep?  Yeah, maybe, but since I wasn’t paying for the actual game and I have my own shoes, I paid a total of $8 for 3 hours of fun!

Here is a snippet of the conversation between the woman and the manager of the bowling alley.

Woman:  We plan on coming here a lot this summer and I was wondering if you could cut us a deal.

MGR:  Cut you a deal on what?

Woman:  Your pro shop isn’t open during the bowl free time so I don’t have a choice but to rent shoes.

MGR:  I don’t understand what you are asking.

Woman:  Your shoe rental is too high.

MGR:  You are bowling for free, we have to charge for shoe rental.

Woman:  Can you at least match the price in Mira Mesa?  We would go there, but I don’t want to take my kids there because of the gangs.

MGR:  Mira Mesa is on the verge of going bankrupt.  We are a for profit organization.  I am already losing money on this.

Woman:  I need to feed my kids!

MGR:  I’m sorry, but I have to charge for shoes.

Woman:  I told the whole San Diego dance team about this place.  They would have no idea about it if it weren’t for me.

MGR:  I don’t think we’re going to get anywhere here.

Woman:  I guess I just won’t bowl and Allison, you can’t bowl.

My friend, Kate, and I both agreed that if $4 is going to decide whether or not your children eat, maybe you should be choosing an activity that is completely free.  Like going to the park or the beach.

I don’t know how the “negotiation” went, but I was really pulling for the manager.  I’m going to go out on a limb and say that he isn’t going home to his beachfront property in La Jolla that he bought from all the shoe rental commissions he makes.  One way or the other, I saw the woman bowling later on and Allison was as well. 




Let’s Bowl!

I had an email in my inbox this morning about the Kids Bowl Free program.  Normally, I just delete them.  I signed up for the program last summer and will do it again this year, but I don’t need to read about it every week.  However, this time, something caught my eye.

I am trying to maximize my time with my kids so I can’t take the time to do a print screen and then convert the image to a JPEG.  What you are supposed to be able to read is “A recent study shows that parents are only spending 7 quality minutes a day connecting with their children.”

Seven minutes of quality time, huh?  Darin doesn’t site his source and states he doesn’t know what they consider “quality time”, but really?  Seven minutes?  I know I exceed 7 minutes of QT with my kids just by reading them a book every night.  I’m not boasting – you know this if you read yesterday’s post.  I’m just saying that it would take effort to only spend 7 minutes of quality time with my children.

For one, they are always around me, except for Kamryn when she is at school for a whopping 3 1/2 hours a day.  Right now, Rory is playing games on Ryan’s laptop because I’m on my laptop.  We’re bonding.  I’m kidding – I don’t consider this quality time, but just before this we laid in my bed and watched Jake And The Neverland Pirates together.  I wouldn’t normally consider watching TV quality time, but I can’t help but poke at Rory when he is lying still and being good or sometimes I just squeeze him until he yells at me to stop.  Maybe that wouldn’t be considered QT by some, but evoking a feeling of annoyance in my kids has to count for something.

I think the main thing that is missing from the seven minute statistic is the age of the children.  When you have kids under 10, I don’t know that it’s really possible not to spend time with them, but once they are teenagers, I could see this being true.  I don’t remember spending consistent time with my parents once I was in high school and probably tried everything in my power to ensure that.  I think the feeling was mutual, though.  I wasn’t the most pleasant of teenagers.

I got a little off track.  The thing that is really funny (to me) about promoting bowling as a quality outing is my competitiveness when it comes to the game.  I have been bowling for a long time.  I was in a league when I was 8 or 9 and have a 1st place trophy to show for it.  And just so you know, this was long before they gave ribbons and trophies just for showing up.  We had to bowl our asses off to get that!  I also took bowling in college for a gym credit.

There is a Jim Gaffigan joke that my brother and husband like to say to me “Some people have their own bowling ball and their own bowling shoes…and no friends.”  Whatever, I can kick both of their asses in bowling.

We went on a family bowling outing a few months ago.  It was both kids first time so we had the bumpers up as to avoid inevitable frustration from repeated gutter balls.  I gave a little instruction to Kamryn, but she doesn’t like too much of someone telling her what to do – even if she asks for help.  Hmmm….I have no idea where she got that from.  I just let the kids do their thing and focused my attention on beating Ryan.  Which isn’t really hard.

One thing that I struggle with when I’m bowling is people not paying attention to when it’s their turn.  For example, you don’t go to the bathroom at a random time.  You go immediately after your turn.  That’s common sense.  No one, and by no one I mean me, wants to sit and wait because you can’t time your potty breaks in a proper manner.

Also, don’t be embarrassed about the ugly shoes you’re wearing.  Everyone is wearing those gross, disgusting, germ-infested shoes.  Except me.  And guys, don’t expect everyone to suddenly think you wear a size 12 – we know you don’t.

You may assume that I am not fun to bowl with and maybe that’s true, but only if I’m losing.  Ergo, I am loads of fun to bowl with!  Bring on the quality time with the kids this summer!

*WTF Wednesday will hopefully be back next week.  I haven’t had anyone demonstrate worthiness of my award.  Just being stupid doesn’t always qualify you.