Everyone loves bowling. I decided that working at a bowling alley would be fun for the summer, mostly since I'd grown up in this place. After all, I know a lot of the employees and patrons that came in. It was hands-down one of my favorite jobs that I've had. I haven't had issues with it, but crazy, fun, scary and cute things can happen when you're a young woman working at a bowling alley. Some of these stories are scary to think about because I am a young woman. Just know that I am alright and strong enough to defend myself in these situations. As a society, I think we can take a look at many of these stories and learn a lesson as to how we should be treating young women. Some of the stories are just crazy and fun and seem to fit into my life because, according to my friends, I might as well have a soap opera based on my life.
The man who tried to score both me and my mom
The first story is about a man who had just come in to open bowl with his friends (or maybe family). He had come up to the counter and we put him onto a lane — we being me and my mother since she also worked there with me. He came up to the counter multiple times after that, seeming to chat my mother up and flirt with her. When she had walked away, he began to seemingly flirt with me as well. My mom had come back to the counter and, through conversation, this man found out I was her daughter, which left him dumbfounded. It's safe to say my mom and I were both very uncomfortable with the situation. But hey, at least we know we're attractive and she looks too young to have a 20-year-old daughter.
The old league bowler who did not understand "no means no"
The next story follows the same type of idea (sort of). We had league bowlers, which means that they have signed up to be on a team in our bowling league and come in every week. It was my last week of working there before I went back to school for the semester, and the league had only a few stragglers left.
I began to clean up the tables and lanes when, all of the sudden, one of the bowlers (I'm pretty sure a man around 50 years old) looked at me and said, "When am I gonna be able to take you out?"
Woah, woah, woah! Sir, I am way too young for you, so I just laughed it off and responded, "I don't know if that'll happen."
I thought that this would be the end of the conversation. However, when I passed him again, he asked where we were going to dinner. Nope, nah, we are not going to dinner, my guy. I am interested in men my own age but thank you. This went on a few more times of him trying and me turning him down. Finally, the bartender that was there looked at him and sternly said, "She is way too young for you, so please stop."
The town festival fiasco
The third story I have for you is longer. We closed the bowling alley down for the town festival because we used our parking lot for the festival parking. I was stationed toward the busy road, trying to get people to come park in our lot. It was just after sundown when people started walking back to their cars.
This man from across the street began yelling profanities at me trying to get my attention — and I was just not having it. I had to walk away toward the building before anything bad happened. When he had moved along, I went back to my post. I had this couple come up to me and yell at me for still letting people park in the lot because they had "canceled" the fireworks. I had to get my stern voice on to explain to him that we had not been notified about the cancelation as there was still a festival going on until 11, which might be why the people were still parking in our lot. I sent him back to the owner because I couldn't help him with any type of refund that he wanted.
At the tail end of the shift, a group of guys, who were about the age of 20, approached me and my godsister. They asked if we wanted to go to the fest with them, and we told them we were working. They asked if we would be there when the festival was over and my quick-thinking mind knew we would be gone before then but told them yes, so they would leave us alone.
The cute boy with the sweetest gesture
The last story I have for you is sweeter than the previous ones. There was a group of boys who were my age that I was helping (no issues whatsoever). One of them kept coming up to the counter to ask questions, play a song on the jukebox, and even to charge his phone. He was a really sweet and attractive guy. At the end of their games, that boy came up to grab his phone and, before walking away, he looked at me to tell me, "I just want you to know that you're beautiful and you should be told that every day."
I could not stop smiling because this was the sweetest interaction I had with a customer the entire time that I had worked there and I will never forget it.
I think it is remarkable that the young man was the most respectful out of this set of stories that I've shared with you. I can see that there is a shred of hope out there for my peers to develop into this generation that treats women properly, with kindness and respect. He told me I was beautiful, he didn't make any advances or approach me in a negative way, and I genuinely am glad I got that experience along with learning from the others.