The Drama of Candlepin Bowling
by Morgan McKenney (NC)
It all began innocently enough. My roommate recounted a story whereby a section was asked to reveal their relative state of singledom. She shuddered at the thought but promptly forwarded me the email thinking I might be game. Does that say something?am I weird?
The only reason I agreed to throw my name AuntieGoldie?s way is that I am a closeted fan of the television show Blind Date. The show sets people up and then videotapes the date. I figured what?s fair is fair?if I am rolling on the ground laughing at the things people do and say in these types of situations, I should subject myself to the same scrutiny. I also promised myself that I would take risks during my time at HBS. Willingly entering into an opportunity where I can potentially not only humiliate myself, but then be required to recount it to 1,789 folks ranks fairly high on the riskometer.
To my surprise and trepidation, a few days later I received an email from AuntieGoldie proposing that I participate in a blind date. The man who had the power to reveal all of my sketchy social skills in print: Mr. Teddy Cho (OD). Commonalities? Apparently we both liked sports?but so does 85% of the population. Potential topics of conversation? I?ve never met anyone from Mississippi before.
The date started with a bang, literally, as our vehicle managed to more than bumper-test one of the very stable gigantic concrete pillars in the SFP parking lot. But we would not be deterred! In keeping with a sports theme, we headed off to Davis Square to play a few vigorous rounds of candlepin bowling. I was unable to obtain the distinction between the two sports, but either way, you still get to wear the spiffy shoes, which was one of my primary criteria. Some of his friends, a group of ODs, plus a few non-HBSers to make the crowd lively, met up with us at the bowling alley. We split into three teams of four and bowled the night away. His friends were kind enough to pretend that this was a typical Monday night. Candlepin bowling. At a place playing Christopher Cross?s “Sailing.”
In terms of raw talent, candlepin bowling remains well behind my archery, badminton, and cricket skills, so my first round was definitely a bit sketchy, but Teddy?s focus pulled us to victory. In true HBS fashion, the average score for each team was calculated to two decimal places, as well as the variance and standard deviation, resulting in cash exchanging hands and odds set for the next outing?on this point, I do not jest.
The pace of the evening?between resets and gutterballs?provided an excellent opportunity to get to know Teddy?squash fiend, fan of Chicago, and equal-opportunity music man, without the “except for country” disclaimer. He was very original on the get-to-know-me questions, including “What?s your favorite Morphine song?” There were many laughs all around. In the end, life?or at least my life?is about enjoying yourself and having fun, which certainly characterized the evening with Teddy.
Romance Strikes at Sacco?s Bowl-Haven?
by Teddy Cho (OD)
“Okay, so maybe it?s time to change the classcard picture,” I thought to myself as I read Morgan?s e-mail. Due to a hectic schedule, she asked that we “not have a marathon outing.” Bowling with friends seemed like a safe option.
I replied to Morgan with the bowling idea. She liked it. I then suggested that we go into the Square for dinner beforehand so that we could have a little time to talk without the noise of crashing pins, but she declined. Her busy schedule wouldn?t allow it. First the time constraint and then the rebuff for dinner? Where do I go to get that classcard picture redone?
Prior to bowling, I ran to Spangler to grab a bite. I saw someone who looked like Morgan?s classcard. She was eating with some people. Wait?wasn?t she supposed to be in some presentation or review session? Anyway, not knowing for sure, I make a timid attempt at waving. No response. Probably wasn?t her.
At 8:45, Morgan and I met to go to Sacco?s Bowl-Haven in Somerville. She was the same person I saw moments before in Spangler. Uhh?awkward. I was with friends at this point. I made introductions, and then we headed to my car.
In the SFP parking garage, I managed to plow into a stationary object. I blamed it on pre-game jitters. Other than the run-in with one of the garage columns, we left the garage safely.
I didn?t know the exact location of the alley. My friends claimed to know. So, I followed them. Getting to Somerville proved uneventful. However, once in Somerville, the maze-like streets of Boston confounded the lead car. We circled Davis Square several times. The person in the back seat (not Morgan) kept pointing out on-coming cars and stop signs and lights. I was thankful when we finally pulled into Sacco?s parking lot.
Upon entering the bowling alley, I noticed two rather large, bearded men trading stacks of what appeared to be Dungeons and Dragons cards. Interesting. I went to get both Morgan?s and my shoes.
I looked around the alley and noticed that there wasn?t a bar or kitchen. Instead, the place had two vending machines: one soda, the other candy. Doh! I asked Morgan if she wanted anything. She politely declined.
During the first game, Morgan turned and asked, “Was that you in Spangler earlier tonight?”
“Um, I think so,” I responded. She went on to say how her presentation ended earlier than anticipated and that she saw me but didn?t think that it was me, but her roommate told her that it was me. We laughed. I definitely need to change my classcard picture.
In the first game, we crushed our competition. Our average score was five points higher than the other team. Feeling cocky, I made a couple of bets on the second game. Morgan proceeded to bowl an outstanding game?improving on her first game score by 30%. However, my score dropped by 25%. We lost by one point. I lost $20.
In between throws, I learned that Morgan is an amazing soccer player. She also has a great sense of humor and an infectious laugh.
Arms tired and my ego and wallet slightly deflated, we decided to call it a night after the second game. We said goodbye to the shoe guy and the two bearded men trading cards by the entrance and walked out into the crisp autumn night.