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Unlucky Strike: The Aftermath of Bowling and Frivolity

Sometime today, maybe it was when I was wiping Drew’s poopy man-bottom or folding my eighth tiny pair of tights, that I had a horrible fantasy of being cancer-ridden. I think it’s probably the blackest and most demonic thing in the world to fantasize about. On the surface it’s not as insidious as daydreaming about Daniel Craig’s abdomen or the delicious way my nextdoor neighbor’s head would explode if I ran over her dog. It’s sort of melodramatic and romantic; I love to cast myself as the tragic victim. She could have done so much more with her promising life, people would say. Now we’ll never know the extent of her awesomeness.

(This is the kind of nonsense that God — and Gordon — put up with on a daily basis.)

On Friday we celebrated Gordon’s 35th birthday at Lucky Strike here on 7th Street in Fort Worth. If Justin Timberlake wanted to bowl, he could throw a strike and bring sexy back all at the very same time, and I’ve got the bill to prove it. I brought my new bright orange knock-off Tory Burch bag that smells of formaldehyde and Hong Kong and set it in the corner. One of the great advantages to living so close to 7th street is that we also live close to TCU, which means we live within a 1-mile radius of about 5,000 eligible babysitters. Since we only employ the crème de la crème, however, that number gets whittled down to 7. But the Magnificent Seven were all out of town for Fall break or otherwise avoiding me. Which meant we brought the kids.

Little red flags should fly out of your ears if an establishment has a “no children after 9 p.m.” policy, and it only took one look at our private waitress to see why. “Misty” we’ll call her. Misty with the short-short skirt. Misty with the cleavage with a capital C. Misty with the schoolgirl stockings and nerd glasses and extensions. But Misty always came bearing sliders or beer, so we naturally became besties over the course of the evening.

Drew and Madeline, obviously, loved the whole experience. After cyber-bowling for two years now on our Wii console, Drew got to finally heave a real ball down the glowing alley and watch it bump side to side against the bumpers. He would stand watching the ball’s slow progression, his silhouette black against the neon lights, his arms stiff at his side as if poised for a corrective move.

Madeline’s favorite activity of the evening was hand-selecting which chips were to be dipped into the spinach-artichoke dip and left to soggify, creating a food version of a Pollack abstract. She also loved getting tickled by Pops.

But the weekend with the kids just kept on chugging, like the Forest Park Train that Drew is terrified to ride.

On Saturday we attended a Ya-Ya-Grandmother’s Halloween Party — or so I’m calling it. My mother-in-law, The Pegs, and her longtime friends hosted all the grandkids for face painting, spooky crafts, creepy storytelling, witch’s brew, dinner, and a chance to see the countryside. The Things’ favorite feature of the evening was a horse named Something-Or-Other (no really, I can’ t remember the name, but great racehorse name, right?) who ate things right out of your hand with a lot of fanfare and slobber. By the end of the evening, the kids were covered in chocolate icing and horse foam.

It was a fun-filled weekend complete with lifelong memories and precious pictures. But its nonstop relentlessness made Monday and Tuesday thuggish and harsh — a couple of brutes who bludgeoned me with glocks. I began asking questions like when can we get away to a deserted island? When will I get to sleep in? When will the cancer finally give me an excuse to sit around, read, and be coddled?

I wonder if there’s a chance I won’t be struck by lightning. That would be lucky indeed.