I’d love to be a golfer. Oh, I have clubs. I did have shoes, but they mildewed due to their lengthy exile in the basement. It isn’t the lack of shoes that is the problem. It’s the lack of. . . oh, I don’t know. . . desire? I’ve said before that if it involved four or five holes, I might be a player.
For Dearly Beloved, 18 holes is not enough. The man loves a good golf course and he’s a very good golfer. Before we married he had a handicap of two and would play 36, even 54 holes. It was not a marriage-friendly hobby and to his credit, he realized that quickly. I was happy to help him reach that conclusion.
He’s often been invited by friends and acquaintances to play other courses. He is very good about checking with me, not because he has to ask permission, but because I have an uncanny knack of screwing it up and he figures the odds are better if he checks my calendar, too. My emergencies have often occurred when he was on a golf course.
In self-defense I must say that he was often on a golf course, so the odds were with me on that one. The day before the city amateur championship I went into labor. My water had broken just before midnight and since this was child number three, he felt sure he’d still be able to make his tee time. Not so. Pogo held out for 15 hours.
Then there was the time the neighborhood guys took him out to play golf the day before the movers were coming to load us for an out-of-state move. It’s a long story, but briefly, by mutual agreement I had been the one to talk with the movers during all of the preliminaries, but when I called them that afternoon to make sure that everything was set up for the next day, they told me that the move had been cancelled. Silly me–I thought that would be worth mentioning. We needed to find out what was going on before everything closed for the day. Had he decided not to take the job? Had the company cancelled their offer?
That was before cell phones, so I called the club and they sent the assistant pro out in a cart to get him. When he called me, it turned out he and his company had postponed the move for a valid reason but no one had told ME. Oh yes, he’d intended to tell me just as soon as they finished playing. First things first. There was some discussion about that one. . . about ten years worth, I think.
The time he was winning the club championship on Saturday but his tee time for the next day turned out to be the exact hour that Pogo was being confirmed? Not my fault as I see it, although he thinks if he’d never joined MY denomination, he’d have that trophy now.
The time the pencil lead broke off in my foot happened to be the night before DB had been invited to play at a country club in Wisconsin. The golf season is short up there (now there’s an understatement!) and this was the only time he could play that year, so this was a big deal to him. When I tried to get up that morning and found my foot the size of a tree stump I hopped to the phone and called a neighbor to ask her to take me to the doctor. An x-ray showed the lead was deeply imbedded in my arch, so that doctor sent me to the hospital to a surgeon. The poor neighbor hadn’t realized she was signing on for all-day ambulance duty and had another obligation later that afternoon. The surgeon said I’d need someone to drive me home, so I, knowing that my dear husband would want to be by my side, called the club to summon him. He told me later, “…as soon as I saw that cart bumping over the hill, I knew it was coming for me….” Yes, he knew for whom the pro trolled.
So picture this…I was sitting in the hospital waiting room, my throbbing, super-sized foot elevated as I waited with my neighbor, when the double doors of the waiting room swung wide, banging against the walls. Everyone turned, probably expecting to see Wyatt Earp entering the building. It was, of course, Dearly Beloved, wearing golf attire and a crazed expression. I won’t say he stomped over… let’s call it “striding with purpose” …but I will say that the neighbor fled without a word before the doors had time to close.
When the surgeon came out to get me for surgery he noted DB’s golf attire and asked, “You played golf today? “
DB, with his charming rueful smile, answered, “Five holes. I was putting for birdie when she called.”
Then. . . and I will never forget that traitor sonofagun surgeon’s words. . . “No! You didn’t leave a golf game to come here, did you?”
Forget that the wife had her foot cut open with the doctor calling for surgical tools like “rake” to excise a chunk of lead from the arch of her foot. Forget that she was drunk with medication and couldn’t drive home. What is a wife’s mobility compared to a possible birdie?
Golfers! I’ve come to believe that if you can’t be ’em, join ’em. Four holes, anyone?