“Curling! That seems like my kind of sport,” Frank said. “It’s more like a board game. Hey, Kid, this might be how I finally check ‘Olympics’ off my bucket list.”
“Frank Hampshire” might have been the most nonathletic man I had ever dated, but he was certainly among the most endearing. I like that he called me “Kid” instead of “baby” or “sweetie” (Big called Carrie “Kid,” after all.) But more than that, I liked that Frank saw dating as an opportunity for an outing, for an activity, for an adventure. Dating Frank was like real dating. Where my Ex before him was mostly into dinner and the bedroom, Frank was keen to organize doing something (other than each other…)
Our first date was a ramble around the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Our second: The Jazz Age Lawn Party. Our third: the US Open. We ventured to craft fairs and on hikes. We went to concerts from alt-punk to classical piano. We saw movies in theaters rather than on Netflix. Eating was about finding or attempting to make a new ethnic cuisine. Our final date was a college basketball game. My Alma vs. his. Mine won. We broke up three days later. I don’t think the game had anything to do with it, though it was perhaps an apt metaphor — in our relationship, I always needed to win.
With that in mind, one of my favorite dates with Frank Hampshire was something of a competition: I suggested we try curling.
For those that didn’t get addicted to the sport during the last two winter Olympics (thank you, MSNBC for airing something other than figure skating), this is curling:
My home town is home to one of the few curling clubs in the NYC Metro Area, and it was open house season. I signed us up.
Curling may not seem all that hard, but when you’re 6’3, can barely touch your toes, and have questionable balance just walking, throwing a 40 pound stone down a sheet of ice, from a ground-skimming Warrior 1 pose is nearly impossible. Whereas I had spent more than half of my 28 years in a lunge thanks to fencing, Frank’s primary sport was Fantasy Football. Once our instructor had explained the mechanics, I was throwing stones with some competency. But then it was Frank’s turn, and I threw the worst stone of all. As I watched Frank fumble around in the “House,” all the aforementioned strikes against him, I started laughing… uncontrollably. Doubled over. No words of encouragement, just sheer laughter. #WorstTeammateEver
After several hours, we called it quits and headed out for some curry.
“I take it back, Kid.” He said. “I don’t think an Olympic curling medal is in my future. How about next week I just let you win at ‘Scattergories.'”