53. Night Bowling

braised mushrooms and shrimp from Monday's dinner

braised mushrooms and shrimp from Monday’s dinner

My cousins (on Mom’s side) came to dinner on Monday night.  To be more accurate it was a whole bunch of family that came over:  12 adults and two gorgeous children.  It was especially nice since several family members were visiting from Malaysia, and we were celebrating the arrival of my cousin H and his girlfriend.  We weren’t able to have an eating party sooner with my Aunt/Uncle and Uncle F since we were taking care of that thing on Tanpo’s vocal chord, but now we had a post-Thanksgiving bash and CT’s parents and youngest brother were able to join us, which was special.

The dinner was a stamina test for me since I was ill last week and just resumed my Therapy duties on Monday in my somewhat diminished physical capacity.  Actually, hanging with my cousins has always been somewhat of a stamina test for me, but they’re so much fun you don’t notice while all the craziness of family chattering and eating is happening.  I’m thinking specifically of a visit my parents and I made to NY in 2008 after I came home from Intel Summer Camp.

We went up to surprise my little cousin (on Dad’s side) who had travelled here from the UK to do a fashion internship with a famous designer.  FYI I think she got her degree on the business/merchandising side, not the designing side of fashion.  I think she’s graduated now, as has my other little cousin who is doing her residency in dentistry in England (she’s from Malaysia).  I am still appalled that these children are old enough to have professions, but anyway…

We succeeded in surprising my cousin (to the amusement of some guys who were fixing the elevator in the building) and then whisked off to dinner with NonyaJ (my cousin-in-law, one of the attendees on Monday) and her Mommy, Aunty F, at Tavern on the Green.  Of course the evening was delicious and hysterically funny.  The plan was that NonyaJ was supposed to take my cousin and me out to paint the town red after dinner.   NonyaJ told me, however, that L (her husband, actually related to me) had cautioned her regarding taking me out on the town.  Apparently L has observed me long enough to know that I prefer more sedentary pursuits.  So NonyaJ told me L had essentially been like, How about some nice night bowling?  (Go google “night bowling” if you are unfamiliar with this glow in the dark/blacklight spectacle.)

It turned out that we had so much fun at dinner it was late enough for me to reasonably excuse myself and fall asleep in our hotel room.  NonyaJ and my little cousin went out, though, and came back to crash in our room at some later hour I was not conscious of.  As the most awake person in the morning I happily ran out to Starbucks to get us coffee/tea.  Coffee gopher was a more suitable role for me than late night partyer.  I enjoyed the entire weekend, but it’s L’s suggestion of “night bowling” that has cracked me up the most over the last several years.  He intuited my preferences and tried to grease the wheel to accommodate me.  Thanks, Cousin!

“Reasonable accommodation” is an important phrase in my world right now.  The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that employers make “reasonable accommodations” for people if it will help them get back to work.  (I’m working from memory here, so forgive me for my loose interpretation.)  In my case the accommodations you immediately think of (e.g. adjusting the desk to make room for a wheelchair, special computer equipment etc.) won’t work for me.  Even if I sat in a wheelchair at my desk I lack the vision/motor skills for proper computering.  And voice recognition software would not help me build a spreadsheet or stay awake.  So these deficits are why I’m in therapy.  On Tuesday PT37 told me to do tandem walking (heel to toe in a straight line like a bike’s wheels) without holding on to the bar.  I was like, ummmm… She put out her palm and told me I could put one finger on it.  When I was still like, ummmm…she gave in and said I could hold on.  I was glad because I was supposed to shake my head from side to side (I think this helps with gaze stabilization) so I definitely needed some accommodation of some kind since I can’t even do tandem walking without head-shakes.

Given my inability to carry anything beyond a manila folder, bowling of any kind would be a horrible idea for me, even if I could wear my own shoes.  Now, L probably has no recollection of suggesting night bowling, but I remember.  I don’t assume that people remember the things I think are funny.  Example:  I found out on Monday that JE (L’s sister) is exactly like Ai Ai and Ruth in that she has zero recollection of stuff that happens in her life that I think is so amusing because so many funny things are happening in her life with the kids.  I retold her the story of CT taking their son to his 5-year old checkup, and she didn’t remember – I was like, “I’ve been laughing about this for a year and you don’t remember!”  I guess it might not be as funny to her since she’s living it.

Now L and NonyaJ are expecting their first baby, and I am SO excited.  When the child is old enough I’ll tell him/her the “night bowling” story.