Well, we lost all 7 at Cheap League last night. We played a team of two couples where both the husbands are superb bowlers who can throw whatever scores they want at any time, and use this league to practice their sandbagging. So no matter how we bowled, they managed to beat us by the smallest handful of points each game. 2. 7. 19. On the other hand, we didn’t always bowl our best, and two of our members bowled well below average 5 games out of 6. Rats. That’s how it goes sometimes.
But here’s the odd thing. The other couple on our team, a young couple recently married and nearly half our age, was giving us the silent treatment. Seriously. They completely ignored us the entire night, and wouldn’t even make eye contact. WTH??
I’m sure it’s all my fault. Yeah right. I am a competitive person. I like to win, and I like the challenge of going all out, doing my very best, to get there. I cheer on my teammates when they do well, and commiserate with them when they don’t. I know that this is just “fun league”, so I try to keep my emotional involvement as limited as possible, but it is still a competitive situation. I pay attention to the flow of the score, I watch the lanes to see how the oil conditions change, I watch my teammates bowl and I have ideas about how they can adapt (league bowling is a matter of constant adaptation), but I keep those ideas to myself almost all the time unless asked, because it can be really annoying having someone telling what to do all the time. Sure, all the time, I’ll grant you that. But if you throw 5 frames in a row and leave the 6 and 10 pins every time, I’ll probably tell you at that point that you might want to move a couple boards right on your setup, or maybe half a foot further back. They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results; I’m an attentive member of my team watching everyone bowl, and discussing the lane conditions and how to adapt to them is part of the normal league interaction. Duh. Go to bowling league, talk about bowling. See how things are, and talk about how to overcome them. It’s part of being on a team. One comment gently offered once in five frames isn’t meddling or being bossy or having unrealistic expectations or putting undue pressure on others demanding that they perform.
We lost 5 out of 7 last week. What made it really bad is that we only played half a team; one of theirs was absent, so we used his absentee score (average minus ten pins). Another one had prebowled, and had done poorly, and progressively worse every game. And the two that were there were rolling on average or barely above. So we should have had a 60 pin advantage, and my wife and I were bowling really well. Pretty sure I was throwing 25-40 pins over average each game. And we lost anyway.
The couple we were paired up with to form this team aren’t very social. They spend most of the night texting on their phones. Every week the wife whines how she’s so tired, how she doesn’t want to be there, how she wishes it was over so she could go home - and this by the halfway point of the first game. Then they go through their own peculiar mating ritual it seems ... she’ll get all uppity over some perceived slight, and pretend to be mad at him. He’ll make some wise remark to get her steamed even further, but after she pouts around for ten or fifteen minutes he’ll get back in her good graces by buying her a candy bar or ice cream or other junk to eat. Then they’ll be all cuddly for a bit, and playfully smack each other on their ample bottoms in passing (I’m overweight at 52, but the two of them are just as large or larger than I am, and in their early mid 20s. When I was 24 I was a young god. Well, I like to think so.). Whatever. People are strange, and every couple has it’s own unique ways.
But - bad Drew!! When we lost the 2nd game last week by a mile, one that ought to have been an easy win, and we lost it when I’d bowled 40 over and my wife had bowled 30 over, I made a face. A face!! And I was annoyed and downcast for about ... 7 seconds. Then I got over it and tried to get everyone amped up for the 3rd game. “ok, they got this one. Let’s rally and get game 3” kind of thing. That must have been insane crazy talk that frightened everyone. Or made them “uncomfortable”. Or I was putting far too much pressure on people. Beats me, but I’ve gone over it a bunch of times in my head, and analyzed how these two have been increasingly less social week after week - when the wife was out sick a few weeks ago, the husband just sat there like a lump. He never initiated a single sentence our way, and when we asked after her health or said other things to him his responses were barely more than grunts, just one or two words. So now we’re getting the silent treatment. With extra snotty. Like they’re 3 years old.
I want to fight. I want to confront them in public and call them pussy titty babies, and tell them to put on their triple XL big girl panties and come to us if they have a problem with us. I’ll chew them up and spit them out and grind them to bloody dust under my heels and laugh the whole damn time at their bathos. They want to throw around passive aggressive behavior in my direction, I’ll throw straight up aggressive behavior back. And I’ll take it as far as it goes. On the other hand, if they can discuss what their issue is, and listen to ours that we find their asocial texting, argumentative flirtation, and her constant bad attitude annoying, them maybe we can resolve our differences.
My wife says it’s not worth it. She thinks we’d be better off just breaking the team in two and trying to find another couple, or just going it alone for the rest of the season. She’s spotted the disdain coming our way, and figures there’s no way to overcome that.
I feel your pain Drew, let me give some advise you don’t want to take.
I love a good argument with some shouting, red faces, maybe even a few items thrown. While I’ve not run into such a pair as you describe, I’ve run into a few who were close. My solution is to listen for their next argument, slight, or whatever seems to get them going - then push it all night long.
It usually makes me think (which I feel is the whole reason to argue - get the gray matter churning) and once in a while works on the other party too.
I’m with your wife - it is no longer worth it to attempt to fix things with certain people.
Just after we got here (2004), I stopped into my non-union grocery [OT - not important -we used it always until they got sold and cut their products by 2/3rds into crap, doubled their prices and the union store connected their tracking your shopping habits card to their gas - the one the non-union store gas outlet used also has habit of jacking up prices, alas the union store’s gas is the cheapest going - so until a job/employment happens here, we shop the union thug store] to pick up a few items I needed to make dinner better. Since it was a small, mostly fruit and veggie order, apparently the young turk behind me thought I was a liberal loon. Now, the set up - it had been a terrible day - one of the reasons that late in the day, I was still shopping for groceries and it was still in the midst of evil bushitlerburtonco endless illegal immoral wars (which btw, are still going on - don’t forget we still have Army family, they are still getting deployed, even to Kosovo (home by Christmas), Kuwait and Irag - don’t believe the state media bs).
So stellar liberal that he is points to The Globe which has a massive front page ‘scoop’ that Laura Bush claims W is drinking again - which (yes, you guessed it) led to the Iraq War (kindly forget about those 22 reasons Bush laid out to the UN and Congress) and he asks me how I feel, now that the reason for the Iraq War is explained.
I pondered (in this order) - punching him out until bloody on the floor, asking if alcoholics ever get sober in his world (I’m a sober alcoholic, it’s personal that some think addicts can never recover, most especially if they are conservatives), asking if the fact that my son, my 3 nephews and a son-in-law were on active duty and my husband and daughter just got off active duty was an implication that they are mindless bots who are too stupid to realize that the wars they are fighting are the result of a drunken alky or if he really thought that The Globe was a worthwhile news media to get solid, factual information from.
Then I realized, if I said anything at all he’d go back to his liberal loon friends and bemoan being attacked by a vile conservative and still not even think about what a single thing I said at all. Ever. So I smiled at the cashier and said, I hope your day hasn’t been as bad as mine. Never even acknowledged he said a damn thing or even existed.
There are people who matter to try and you should work with, there are people who aren’t even worth a second of concern.
You and your wife model what you believe in and go look for someone else to bowl with.