Professor Dumbledore enjoys chamber music and tenpin bowling.

Until Friday, Mike and I had never been bowling together. Isn’t that weird? One time at a conference, he went bowling and I watched because I didn’t bring any socks with me. That’s the only time I’ve seen him bowl. I hadn’t bowled since . . . high school, maybe middle school.

There’s no real reason we hadn’t been bowling. I mean, lots of people don’t bowl regularly. It’s something you tend to do more of when you are younger, right? Birthday parties and the like? Unless you are in a bowling league, you probably don’t bowl much either. Are you in a bowling league? I did not know that about you.

Plus, I broke my right wrist when I was in elementary school, and, frankly, bowling hurts. I always try to turn my hand around at the last second so that I don’t have to support the ball with my wrist. This not only hurts, it makes me a terrible bowler. This time, however, I was resolved to be a good sport about it, so I wore a brace on my wrist. The good thing about bowling with a brace is that it helps a whole lot with the pain. The bad thing is that wearing a brace makes it look like you know what you are doing. I do not know what I am doing.

Everyone we were with knew my tale of woe, and I was prepared for them to make fun of me anyway, because that’s how we roll. But they also cheered me on, because they knew that just getting the ball down the lane is quite an accomplishment for me. What I did not expect was to bowl two strikes in a row. Two strikes in a row! What in the world?! My brace was magical! Or perhaps the yellow bracelet that my friends purchased from a vending machine in honor of my birthday was what was magical. I wore it over the brace to give me some extra flair. It went well with the shoes.

So, in the first game, I bowled a 91! A 91! I know! I can’t believe it either! Even better, I beat Mike! He definitely beat me in the other two games (I did break 50 in both of those games, which is something, at least), but I can always hold on to the fact that I beat him in the first game of bowling we ever played.

It’s still new for me to be willing to put myself in situations where I suck, and to be okay with my friends teasing me about it. I attribute the willingness to the fact that I am so much more comfortable with who I am, which makes me more comfortable with my friends. I was prepared to suck, and that would have been hard. It was such a grace to find that I didn’t suck quite as much as I thought, a silly thing that made the evening even more fun.

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