That will be $18.50 the cashier said. I thought I had heard incorrectly and asked him to repeat himself, no that was the price, my ears were in prefect working order and I handed over the money unwillingly as my life flashed before my eyes. Well maybe that is an overstatement but I definitely started to compute in my head exactly how much time each game would have to be for this to be worth it. I looked over at my date, making sure she didn’t realize that I was too cheap to take her out bowling and to see if she could actually provide me with the remaining amounts of entertainment that would make up for this rip-off to put it simply. My thoughts that it was a rip-off were matched by the man who swiped my card and stole nearly 20 bucks out of my account and put it into his. With his simple swipe he had nearly cleaned me out of the little money that I really don’t have. I started to think about all the goings and comings in and out of my account. Would that check not clear now because we have spent a fortune to role a ball down a wooden field into some pins that might as well be empty seltzer bottles at the end of a driveway minus the convenient roll back feature and the added plus of being able to do the moonwalk on the slippery bowling floor with the shoes that had to be rented just so the alley could double their profits on the many rich Jewish patrons who patronize this establishment only because in their neck of the suburban hell hole they live in there seems to be nothing to entertain these lost souls who sold their freedom for a big mortgage on a nice concrete lined culde-sac and their bright yellow SUV parked in front of is in order to take them out of the very place that they sought refuge from the noisy crowded city. And so with nothing left to do but browse the miles of endless strip malls, eat your supper from wax paper and drive on miles of freeways they are willing to shell out the same amount it would cost for a cheap vacation in one of those third world countries that have the commercials with little skeleton black kids with flies buzzing around their faces while they run for the UN rice drop, than for a couple games of bowling.
Later I learned that my lovely entertaining date wouldn’t have been offended if I had stopped the man from taking my hard earned cash for our 30 minutes of fun that could have been had elsewhere at a reduced rate, I kicked myself. I felt like those people that shopped around in one of those department stores for a deal and finally they found it. That pair of jeans marked down 3 times with that famous red clearance sticker that had been put over a bunch of other colored stickers determining that this garment in your hand had at one point or another been sold for 8 times the amount which you were about to fork over only to learn when your turn came in line that they were indeed double of what you had planned to pay. Not wanting to leave the line and in the process embarrass yourself for being cheap, you grudgingly acted like nothing was wrong when all you wanted to do was reach over and grab the large African American women who happened to be working the cashier at JC Pennies that day and strangle her until her 45 piece chicken bucket she had for breakfast spurted out over all the customers waiting in line for your credit card to go through. But instead you stand in line patiently not wanting to embarrass yourself and waste your cash instead, kind of like I felt I did last night.
Funny thing is the bowling was quite fun, you see having a wild crazy self confident girl who talks smack by shaking her hips and dancing to the little step that every bowling alley has separate the bowlers from the chillers when she had just knocked down 8 pins and you sat idly by as your date schooled your ass. Or maybe the fact that instead of teeny bopper rap songs about milk shakes, salt shakers and other sorts of food that can be construed into different types of sexual innuendoes playing over the sound system, they had oldies. In honor of this Motown festival they had playing, I think in honor of the large black population that took up every lane besides the token Jews on the end, I had to bust out my moves. Not my moves in terms of jumping on my date and sticking my tongue inside her ear, but rather when the Mashed Potatoes song came on, I could really shake em down. To the chagrin of the teeny bopper crew who had just arrived I busted out my snappin fingers and twisting self to the point of garnering stares from the few frummies who were dumb enough to take their kids bowling instead of out to pizza, a way cheaper affair.
My date and I were trying to figure out if the teeny bopper crew was Jewish or not. She said no, but until Cyndi Lauper’s Girls Just Wanna Have Fun came on it was not confirmed by me. You see anyone who is under 18 and knows the words has to be non-Jewish because their only exposure would be at weddings and different party type events. Jewish teeny boppers on the other hand would first of all think it is some new hit by Avril Lavigne and second unless they still play it at bat mitzvahs would have no idea what it was. Its kind of like oldies, every non-Jewish kids knows the classics, but Jewish kids and I am referring to orthodox ones really aren’t exposed to anything unless its through their own means and kids these days just don’t pick up a Temptations album and thin k it’s the greatest thing.
So contrary to my belief system and bank account I opted for another game. I was having a blast and as far as I was concerned my date was too, though I have found you never really know what’s going on in a women’s head. Its kind of like desert and women can tell instantly by the way. If you order desert another game of bowling etc… you are into them, plain and simple. Women contrary to what Borat says are pretty damned smart I have come to realize over the years. Its kind of like the guys who pretend like they aren’t looking over the mechitza, scratching the head, looking around, stretching, doing the whole neck cracking thing, or one of many other things that allows you to scan the treasures that lie over that wooden wall separating you from your sexual fantasies are not fooling any of those who happen to sitting behind the wall. Nope, they know and in fact are quite the experts on all the different moves that guys use to gaze the women’s way. But men please keep doing it because the women enjoy making fun of us, since they don’t get to take part in the action up at the bima.
So on went the date. You see bowling doesn’t take too long no matter how much time you take to dance and hoot and howl. At some point you have to finish, give back your shoes and continue on. Come to think of it if you really wanted a short date you should take the girl bowling, you see two games maybe three is the most you are going to bowl. This move unfortunately will take a lot of money but, if you open knock on her door and when she opens it you almost lose your lunch $30 on bowling to get rid of her quickly may seem like a bargain. It has never happened to me, but a buddy of mine one time knocked on a girls door and when she said are you so and so. He had the strongest urge to say, “sorry I knocked on the wrong door” but being that he unlike me has manners and is too immersed in the ways of good folks, couldn’t say anything but nod, smile, and gulp and proceed to take out someone who had obviously put a different picture on frumster or doctored it up liposuction style and had given herself a tummy tuck too. Because if you are 200 pounds you cannot say slim as body type- unless you are 7 feet tall.
Tomato onion pizza and then another slice for me of portabella mushroom – that looked much better then it tasted. You see ordering pizza is an economics lesson. You have to figure out if the taste from 3 slices of tomato is worth an extra dollar. Would you pay a dollar for these veggies by themselves. You may figure out that a tomato costs around 25 cents yet this piece of tomato is 4 times that price. The tomato onion nevertheless was quite good, with one of those light crusts that is crunchy yet dense with good edible bread on the inside. I just get mad when the crust is merely a utensil to make it easier to hold a pizza, should crust not be more then just a holding device, should it not be more like food, yet so often I encounter pizza crusts that are not edible and are merely retired to the side of the plate and discarded like old film canisters when they have so much potential to be used for more.
After all was said and done we wound up in kosher Dunkin Donuts right off Rockaway Turnpike. Were we there for a simple donut craving or was it more. We could have lived without the extra calories and artery clogingness of that succulent sweetness of glazed donuts with a slathering of creamy vanilla frosting and unique blue sprinkles rather than the traditional Christmas colors in honor of the mostly Jeweish costomers that instead of buying anything just sat around and used the heat, space and sewers of this wonderful 24 hour kosher establishment. I did find it ironic to have a blue and white Israeli donut yet be serenaded by the looping over of Christmas songs over the sound system. In my book there are two good Christmas songs. Rockin’ around the Christmas tree and Jingle Bells Rocks.
So we sat and stared at teeny boppers, hockers, and a couple of folks that were sitting at a table and we assumed may be having an affair. A man with a tight white undershirt and a weird cap sat down with a rather normal frum looking girl. I notice`ed that the girl was playing with her wedding ring under the table. Of course it may have just been me wanting instability and strife, but I felt like Penny from Inspector Gadget trying to surmise things without knowing the whole story. When they got up to go the girl was going to throw her barely touched coolata in the garbage so I interjected and took it from her. I blame all this acting like myself completely on my date. This is why I was wondering if the first two “outings” were in fact dates. You see no one not even me can bring themselves out on a date. It just doesn’t work, maybe you want to make a good impression or you are enjoying being seen with a lady, but whatever it may be- most folks take themselves and shove it back inside their head and only turn the faucet on according to what they think the person can handle. In my case it is normally about 25% faucet turn. More than that and the date runs away screaming.
Well from the first two minutes of the first “outing” which according to my buddy here was indeed a date- had I known I may have acted differently but nonetheless I was able to act myself and not scare her away. Maybe after she reads this post she will be scared away and sue me for mentioning her without permission. PLEASE NOTE- she will read it- because that is how we met thanks to my clever writing. So anyway I was myself on all three dates as they are called in the Jewish world. Just for categorizing sake lets call them shidduch dates. I have decided that a shidduch date is going out with a girl that is not for the sole purpose of sex. That’s right, for most folks a blind date, or any date for that matter is at least for the guy the chance to bone someone. But for the shidduch crowd unless it’s a criagslist shidduch, is for marriage purposes. That’s why I don’t understand how we cannot act ourselves, after all this person you are trying to avoid eye contact with and are nervously crunching ice between your teeth during the awkward silence with your potential husband/wife. You shift your butt cheeks on the pleather couch while eying another similar couple in the hotel lobby and decide in your head if this person is marriageable. This actually I think is the problem with shidduch dating. Its not fun for most people. How the hell can you have a good time when you are both looking at each others flaws to the gravest details. Even singles events are lame, oh lets go hear a speech by Esther Jungreiss on why we cannot find our zivug and then afterwards, after we have stared at all the potential hotties, we will awkwardly make our way to the refreshment table and while pouring mayim chaim seltzer we will strike up a conversation with someone we eyed from across the room. Yes indeed that will work quite nicely, and after the potential mate throws her seltzer in your face, you can talk to Esther Jungreiss and she will recommend a psychotherapist to help you figure out what is wrong with you. Actually there is an add for one of them right in the shidduch section of the Jewish Press. I find these papers that talk constantly of the shidduch crisis and they have 3 articles at most about the thing. Its not like the chicken or bugs in water crisis wich are pretty short lived. This is ongoing and still the shidduch articles receive back page behind all the ads for Pesach hotels wedged in between the used car deals and the long stories continued from the front.
So overall a good date, and we covered everything of any sort of entertainment that could be done in the Five Towns. Pizza, bowling, beach walking, and hanging out at Dunkin Donuts. And staring at teeny boppers and screwing with their heads in between all the laughter.