because: balls 

I’m not good with balls. I’m not good at throwing balls, I’m not good at catching them or keeping them a safe distance from my face. I think it’s a lack of hand-eye coordination, fear of failure and inexperience.

When I was 12, I volunteered to fill in for my brother’s cricket team as a LOL and it was almost the worst day of my life. It’s so boring just standing out on an oval covered in zinc and dread, waiting for a cricket ball to come in your direction. Then once it does you’re so deep in a daydream about sticking your head in the freezer and licking the ice cream straight from the punnet that you miss the chance to make a wicket and you’ve prolonged your shithouse afternoon yet another 20 minutes. Since then, I have had a go at tennis but nobody will play more than one set with me without informing me that they are suddenly busy, working and or sick for the rest of the day. And I was never invited back to play netball, when I decided to take it up a few years ago, due to my lack of understanding of the rules! … I simply asked the umpire to please clarify the term ’travelling’… 🙄

Last week my entire fam bam jumped on a plane and headed west side to attended my cousin Adam’s wedding. This is my mum’s side of the family, so we all love our food and stick to the firm rule of swearing only when quoting or enhancing the comedic value of a story. Oh, and you can barrack for whatever AFL team you like. I wouldn’t exactly say this was a whirlwind romance as Adam had been dating this girl for 10 years before he proposed, so like the rest of the guests we were pretty happy to see them finally tie the knot… also she is half Italian so there was bound to be some good catering involved. The bride was late but not too late and as she walked down the aisle I noticed that her bridal bouquet was quite large. Sizeable enough to catch even with my lack of ball skills, I turned to my other cousin’s wife and said: ‘I can’t wait to catch that later!’

After a discussed game plan involving moves akin to a rugby line-out, a quick stretch and couple of practices in the car park I walked into the reception quietly confident. I remembered catching the bouquet at my friend’s wedding a few years earlier after another girl, who was also keen to participate in the lottery of next to marry, stumbled slightly and lost her footing. I took my opportunity and slid into to take the catch while aggressively shouting something to the effect of: ‘MINE!’. I recall seeing the mother of the bride watching on with a look of, equal parts, fear and pride in her eyes.

Once the ceremony is done the bridal party knick off to get photos and everyone else gets stuck into the bar tab and the canapés. I wait patiently through all the traditional proceedings: cutting of the cake, large Italian antipasto buffet, first dance, father daughter dance, scrotum race, garter removal, Italian version of the Zorba, then finally the speeches. As always they were very entertaining and there was no swearing or sledging of Fremantle FC. The bride said a lot of nice things about her parents and her new husband and everyone listened intently. Some people shed a tear and others head to the bar while the line is minimal…

I may have been one of those people who went to the bar. Only because I was under the impression my wine allergy wouldn’t follow me to Perth and it was Adam’s shout. Then just as the bride is wrapping up her speech she thanks her mother again for the guidance, support and all the help in planning the wedding… and that she will also be gifting her the bridal bouquet. Among the refilling of wine glasses and sniffling I can be heard audibly, equal parts shocked and disappointed:

‘WHAT!?’

I received confirmation from the bride that there was nothing else being thrown in lieu of the bouquet.

I refill my wine glass and pretend to catch a bunch of flowers being used as a table arrangement.

I remain confident that my ball skills will not continue to contribute to my marital status

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