Sunday was the day The Pony had been eagerly awaiting. Yearning for. The day Hick and I were going to meet his prom date’s parents. Oh, he was not so excited because we were meeting them, his little gal’s prom attendance pending on whether we passed the muster. He was excited because HE was going along, and SHE would be there, too. Let the record show that he has not seen his would-be paramour since November, at the reunion of HIS PEOPLE.
We decided to rendezvous at a bowling alley on neutral ground between our cities. It was about a 30-minute drive for us. I had no interest in bowling, having peaked when the boys were younger and we were in a family league. The best average I attained was 112, what with bowling once a week. I’m sure it’s not that good now. The Pony and Hick were all fired up to bowl, though. They each took their own bag with shoes and balls. Heh, heh. You know what I said.
Girlie and her family all participated. We had two lanes. Hick, The Pony, and Girlie were on one lane, with a sister joining them. The rest of her family was on the other. The Pony is a decent bowler, with an average of around 124. So every now and then he rolled a strike. The significance being that Girlie gave him a high five. And that’s where it gets interesting.
You know that The Pony lives in his own world. Not really caring about helping other people, or the social ways of the world. It was an awkward kind of high five. She DID sit right beside him after they each got up and took a turn. The Pony chatted with her. I could almost feel the concussion of air against my face, all the way up on the spectator level, as his heart thumped with excitement each time they spoke. He spent the first half hour glancing nervously at the soundless TV up on the wall near me as he conversed. Then he loosened up and looked her in the eyes. Ah. Young
The evening was a great success. After bowling two games, we put two round tables together to enjoy a meal of bowling alley burgers. Except Girlie had a BLT, because she doesn’t like burgers. And her parents had a salad, I guess because they’re healthy. Hick made sure that if we didn’t pass the muster, we could at least say we passed the mustard. He brought several packets to the table, even though The Pony and I don’t use mustard on our burgers. When it was all eaten and done, we walked to the parking lot. Hick got right to it.
“So…did we pass?”
They agreed that we did. Goodbyes were exchanged as The Pony herded Girlie to the back seat of T-Hoe. STOP THAT! She’s not that kind of girl. And while he may wish to be, The Pony’s not that kind of guy. He had her standing on the pavement, leaning into the back passenger seat, filling out his Outside Date form to file with the school so she can attend prom. And he gave her the prom ticket, a cute laminated "bookmark," that will have to suffice until the fancy invitations come out.
Later, I asked The Pony if he was trying especially hard to get strikes, so he could be rewarded with a high five. He said, “What do YOU think?” Then he went on. “She gives a really strange kind of high five, though.” Yeah. I had noticed. It wasn’t strange at all. After the high five, she closed her hand over his, kind of sideways, like a brief moment of hand-holding.
Yes. Now I feel like Frankie Heck on The Middle, explaining to her daughter Sue that her wrestler boyfriend was not jabbing his eel-like tongue into her mouth because he had forgotten how to kiss.