Well, I’m in Florida today visiting the ol’ family. I’m ready for some sunshine, some shopping – who am I kidding? I’m ready to meet, examine, and then ruthlessly judge my sister’s new sucker boyfriend. The scene of the crime this weekend is half the fun.
My parents live in what can appropriately be described as Geriatric Disney World, but around these parts its called The Villages. The Villages is a retirement and golf community just north of Orlando. And though I make fun of it, it is all bitter jealousy really. I mean, who wouldn’t be jealous of living in a place where your main priorities are to get in your afternoon nap and make it to the bathroom on time. I jest. It is actually not what your picture a retirement community being at all. Its basically an entire town of really sweet, young, hip, golf cart driving grandparents (which my parents use as evidence that they should be grandparents).
90% of the reason that my parents moved here was because of the golfing. There are something like 1 million country clubs and 5 bajillion public courses here for residents only. Which brings me to my topic today. You can’t understand the happenings this weekend without understanding the role that golf plays in my family. Golf is like the third child in our family. The first-born third child. The first-born third child that would inherit everything.
When I was little, I played golf with my dad. He insisted that both my sister and I take lessons. He said he didn’t want us to miss out on any business in our lives because we weren’t able to keep up on the golf course. At the time, I really liked playing golf, but in all honesty I only liked it because I got to hang out with my dad. My sister didn’t like playing and my mom wouldn’t play because of an unfortunate incided 25 years earlier when my dad accidentally ran over her with a golf cart. So, golfing was just me and my dad. But I guess I realized that my dad would pretty much hang out with me doing whatever I was doing and that I didn’t necessarily have to be on the golf course, so at the age of 11 I hung up my golf shoes cleat thingys. Now, my sister is the one who plays golf. She plays socially with friends and with my parents when she comes to visit. And she’s pretty good. Or so she says.
I think the reason I don’t play golf is because I have this idea that all golfers are great golfers. The only person I’ve ever played with is my dad. And he’s like an old, white, beer-drinking Tiger Woods. He has something like a 4 handicap. (Lets be honest, I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about. I don’t know what a handicap is, but everytime I tell a golfer my dad’s they get all excited. I used to think his handicap had something to do with his being hard of hearing, but I’m sensing that is not the case…) Then my sister told me that she started playing with other people and they weren’t so great. But I can’t get behind that. For my entire life, every time I play golf, I will be trying to out drive/out put/out chip my dad and I will always come up short. Because my dad has a 4 handicap and I’m not talking about his hearing. So damn the sport! I will spend my time shoe shopping in the clubhouse.
For a while I pretended to like golfing with my family (side note: my mom has taken up the game since they moved to The Villages. I guess 25 years was enough time to bury the hatchet on the whole my-husband-ran-over-me-with-a-golf-cart deal). But then I just gave up pretending. They still drag me along anyway, which is a lot of fun actually, but I’m not really expected to perform much. Nothing like your family lowering their expectations of you.
This is the environment that Ginny is bringing her poor schmo into. Its make it or break it on the golf course. I hear he is actually a pretty decent golfer, but we’ll just see about that. Put him up against Big Dave and see how he does. If he’s a keeper, he’ll ask my dad for some guidance. If he’s a dope who will be sent back to Atlanta on the Greyhound, he’ll get mad that he’s not as good.
Oh. Man. Am I excited. I don’t know if I’ve ever looked forward to a game of golf as much!