A favorite past-time in Casa de Pants is to go bowling. We all own our own bowling balls, bags and shoes. Well, two out of three have bowling shoes. (Side note: Owning your own bowling ball does not necessarily make your bowling average go up.) It’s always a lot of fun and something we can do as a family. There is a little trash talking, a lot of big talk and a lot more fun.
The best line from my crew tonight was when the the light flickered and lane sweeper stopped for a second too long: “Why does that thing keep glitching? I feel like we’re playing Halo.”
But we also took the time to teach BAD Boy appropriate bowling etiquette. Simple things like:
- Be mindful of the bowlers around you.
- If someone in the lane next to you is bowling, wait for them to finish before you take your turn. Either lane.
- Stay in your own lane.
- Keep your celebrating (or despair) short and sweet and don’t impeded the game you’re playing or the games around you.
Apparently we are in the minority here. It seems that no one teaches bowling etiquette anymore. And this makes me sad. Because it’s not just about bowling etiquette. It’s about being a decent human being and being respectful of the people around you. Or, in the wise words of one of my all-time favorite geeks, Wil Wheaton: “Don’t be a dick!”
And this is where I pull out my soap box, stomp up on it and rant:
After repeatedly asking nicely for the kids in the lane next to us to stay out of our lane tonight, I ended up raising my voice at a group of 7th graders to get off the lane if they weren’t bowling and to go sit down. Being polite = fail. Grrrr. But that’s not the worst of it. I get that kids will be rambunctious and rowdy at times when they’re having a good time. I really do.
No. What really pissed me off is that I turned around and saw the mom that was with that group of boys totally ignoring the situation. I don’t know if she had just shown up to pick them up or if she’d been there the whole time. Either way, bad form on her that she didn’t do ONE SINGLE THING to let those kids know that they were behaving like jerks. No, she just gave me that, “Boys will be boys!” look.
That right there? That made me see red and go into automatic HULK SMASH mode.
It wasn’t a one time thing that made me raise my voice. It was the repeated actions of the whole group. Standing, STANDING in our lane when were trying to bowl. ALL OF THEM standing around in our lane and theirs while trying to bowl AT THE SAME TIME. One of the bowling lane employees had to walk over and tell them to stop what they were doing.
So for her to give me that look after all of that? UNACCEPTABLE.
I shouldn’t have to discipline your kid or his friends, lady. I’ve got my own to keep my hands full. BE A FUCKING PARENT AND TEACH YOUR KID(S) SOME MANNERS.
If the tables had been turned and it was my kid acting like that? I would have read him the riot act and then made him go over and apologize to everyone he disrespected. Because that’s how kids learn right from wrong and what is acceptable and what is not. That actions always have consequences, both good and bad. And most importantly:
EVERYONE IS NOT ENTITLED TO EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME.
It took every ounce of self control I had to not walk over there and rip that look right off her face. And it is shark week over here. Bat country. My fuse is shorter than short. I’m fairly certain I gave her the look of death. And then I had to turn around and count to ten.
I know that nothing good is accomplished in anger. So I did what I could in that situation. I calmed down and used it as a teaching tool to reinforce what we’ve already taught BAD Boy about bowling etiquette. And then took it one small step further. I told BAD Boy and his friend that while we want him to have fun and have a good time with his friends, it is just as important that their fun should never ruin other people’s fun. That he (and his friends) should always try to be mindful of the people around them and respectful of their space, property and their persons.
In a nutshell, don’t be a dick.
[end soapbox rant]