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Back in the day (it must be almost ten years ago I started going, now), I was in the Young Bowler's Club at the local bowling alley. I started going because it counted as a sport for Duke of Edinburgh Award purposes. I kept going because I discovered that (a) I like bowling, and (b) I'm not terrible at it. I had - still have, although I've not bowled for a while - my own shoes and my own ball and everything.

The social dynamics were, in retrospect, odd. On the one hand, you had a bunch of kids who didn't want to be on the proper sports teams, and you had the fact that the thirty or so members of the club ranged in age from 6 to 18. And yet on the other hand, after a fashion there was still a sports team mentality. As you might expect, I was fairly low down the pecking order, although it didn't bother me much. I wouldn't say I was really friends with anyone who went, but for the most part we all got on well enough.

Various of the guys and gals inevitably got it on, and one of the couples around my age was Zoe and Ollie. I'd say I was mostly as friendly with them as I was with anyone else there. Ollie is my age, Zoe a couple of years younger, and sometime in my last year at the club - so she would have been around sixteen - she got pregnant. I know she kept the baby, but I didn't know much else. I largely lost touch with everyone from the club when I left, if nothing else because university took over.

The other day, I went to the newsagent because I needed some milk, and Ollie was working behind the counter. It took us a couple of seconds to recognise each other, and then we felt obliged to update each other on our lives. He's working as a management accountant; the newsagent job is just to bring in some extra money, because it turns out that he and Zoe not only stayed together, but recently bought a house together. In fact, they've had another child - and a third is on the way at the moment. It made me feel a little ashamed, because naturally I'd made sceptical assumptions (teen pregnancy, big mistake, irresponsible, blah blah) and here they are, five or six years later, proving me wrong. Sure, so money's a little tight, but - the pride and the love in his voice when he talked about his family were unmistakeable, and honestly, a pleasure to hear. It's nice to see that sometimes, things work out.
 
 
 
 
 
 
I think that any trauma can be dealt with and not ruin your life - it is how you deal with it that matters. Life has this habit of trying to trip you up - you just have to make the most of the cards you are dealt.
*thinks on this for a good while*
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That's sweet. And unusual!

I watched The Big Lebowski again last night...
I know a couple, and they met when they were both 16. They got married at 18, had a child, and bought a house. They're 2 of the happiest people I know and they still love each other as much as they did when they were 16.

Sometimes these "stereotypes" aren't applicable to everyone. And I'm glad they aren't.
that is a wonderful, heartening story.

signed, i got my gym credit in college by bowling
That one's natural negative expectations to be proven wrong.

There still is good news in the world.