Reader, this is my library (where I read poetry--like Coffeehouse Meditations which you can enter to win with a $5 Starbucks card if you leave a comment!).
What is Jan doing in Green Girl's library? Good question. Last Friday night at league Mr. D surprised me with a brand new bowling ball. Right there on the spot we had it custom drilled to the size of my hand (small) and fingers (stout with large chapped knuckles). I wasn't very excited or gracious at first because Jan and I've been through a lot over the years. We had a 139 average going. But I didn't want Mr. D to feel unappreciated. Chin up, I took a swig of my Spotted Cow and I bowled with the new ball.
It wasn't my best night at the bowling alley. I'd sprained my left foot slightly at karate class (my weight-bearing foot as a right-handed bowler) and I kept missing my mark. The new ball fit my hand better so I had to break my habit of gripping with my thumb. Even with all of my "technical problems" the new ball kept knocking down pins. "It's a magic ball!" I kept exclaiming every time I got a strike. The new ball and I bowled a 152 average our first night together. Apparently, in bowling, as in many other activities, equipment matters. It's the size of your ball that counts. Ahem.
At the end of our series I picked up the new ball. Jan had sat in her bag all night and Mr. D suggested I leave her behind to become an alley ball.
"It's what she'd want," he soothed, "she'd still be bowling, she'd still be having fun!"
I wasn't ready to let her go, though. My emotional attachment to a 50-cent thrift shop Columbia 300 emblazoned with the name "Jan" had grown deep over the years. I held her in my hands, torn because I'd tasted the sweet success of a new average. I could be the best woman bowler in our couples league with the new ball. There was no reason to keep Jan. She could be put out to pasture.
Our friend Beth broke in, "I think Green Girl needs some time, D. She doesn't need to decide tonight. Let her bring Jan home and think on it."
I smiled at Beth with relief. The new ball went in the bowling bag and I carried Jan home in my arms. She's resting now in the library. The Bumble Book club suggested I put Jan out in the garden like a gazing ball during the summer months.
Reader, what do you do with an old bowling ball? I kind of like her sitting there in my library. It's companionable and she matches the paint and carpeting so well. But the Bumble gals gently hinted that this might become dysfunctional--like Tom Hanks and his volleyball friend Wilson in Castaway.
And there's the question of what to name the new ball. I'm leaning towards "Jan II." It has to be a 3-letter bowling name, suitable for a broad shouldered gal who smokes cigarettes, gets her hair set in pin-curlers every week, wears polyester because it's wash & wear, and can whip up a mean Jell-O salad. A name like "Peg" or "Flo" or "Roz." It might help to know my bowling bag (a gift I received years ago from the generous Mr. D) is embroidered "Jan" with hot pink thread.
Spill it, reader. I want your advice. And tell me, what old thing have you clung to despite getting a better replacement?