Yesterday was the "Just 4 Fun" bowling league's banquet. My team and 17 others had a nice luncheon at La Caille in Sandy. At the end of the luncheon is when the awards are presented. My team took 1st place, which should have been an exciting moment, but I was really rather tense. And as Paul Harvey would say, "this is the rest of the story"
When Dayna and I started bowling 3 years ago, a fellow bowler told us that for our 1st game of the season, you should not try to bowl your VERY best game. She did not say to tank it, which we don't, just that if you start with an awesome average, it is hard to maintain or surpass it. So for the last 3 years on our 1st game, Dayna, Stacey(former teammate) and I would bowl a mediocre game. Which really wasn't too hard, since it had been 3 months since we had bowled anyway. So the thought of having our best game being in game 1 was pretty silly anyway.
Well, this season we started the same. Then game 2 came. We played a team, their name isn't important, and after having played our 3 games two of the members began to accuse us of cheating. I had a lot going on in my personal life, so quite honestly it did not phase me. I just chalked it up to "poor sportsmanship" and went on with my life. Figuring they would get over it and all would be fine. Well, my teammate Stacey, was quite angry having her integrity in question. So she went to the home of one these women and spoke to her. The woman apologized and we thought that would be it. Well fast forward 3 months, we are scheduled to play the same team and now I have a new teammate, Suzanne, who has heard that the opposing team has pre-bowled because they did not want to play us. I tried not to let this bother me again. I was a little disappointed because I was somewhat friendly, previously, with this woman and that she would "judge" me and not even discuss it with me was very bothersome. So after that January game, I began to pay attention to the ladies on that team. They were so cold to us; no smiles or hellos. They were still angry. I was floored, but I continued to play through the season. Well, we played them one final time about 4 weeks ago and they were just as cold and immature. Not making eye contact, no small talk and I got angry. Seriously, it was bothering me.
Which leads us to the night before the banquet. I was laying in bed, unable to sleep. The thought of going to the banquet and those ladies being there was really bothering me. Who had they told in the league that they felt we were cheaters...how would they react when it was announced that we had won...what would they be whispering as we opened our envelope. Then I found myself wondering, "...did we cheat?" Their behavior this season had made me question my OWN integrity. What if we had, without knowing it. So after the banquet had concluded, I pulled aside one of the ladies that sits on our league's board and told her what we had done and asked if she felt what had done was cheating. She said no. She also said that someone had accused a member of her team of doing the same thing last year. This meant a lot to me. I don't go bowling on Mondays to win (although I will admit it is pretty neat). Of course I want to do well, but I am there for the girlfriend therapy and my large diet coke. I went to bed last night secure with the fact that we had not done anything wrong. I can look those women in the eyes and know that I have not done anything wrong. So the biggest prize for me after the banquet was a confirmation of my integrity and that is PRICELESS.