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My Family Goes Golfing and I Return to a Personal Hell

June 2, 2011

My sister: “So we all went golfing today.”

Me:  “Really?  Wow, how did it go?”  Pause.  I am secretly hoping to hear that everyone hit their balls into the rough, broke flowerpots, and took out golf cart windows.  It would mean the family golf outings would end.

My sister: “It was really fun, actually.  I wasn’t half bad.”  Damn.  Damn.  Damn.

Me: “Well, did you miss any?  I mean, was anybody really bad?”  Maybe there is a chance to salvage this situation.

My sister: “Everybody played well.  I mean, if we completely shanked it, we just considered it a lost ball and moved on.  The course wasn’t that hard.”  And then the dreaded phrase.  The phrase I had been praying wouldn’t be spoken.  “You’ll have to play with us next time you’re home.”


Right when I am sitting comfortably in my role as the writer-thespian-teacher-bookworm, they try to reel me back in.  They pry my poetry books out of my hands and try to replace them with athletic equipment.  And not just any athletic equipment this time.  It’s not a simple soccer ball or volleyball or, Lord help me, a basketball; no, no – they want to give me a club AND a ball.  They want to give me a very long, very awkward club to swing at a very small, very devilish ball.  Family golfing will ruin what I have worked so hard to achieve for years – never having to participate in sporting events alongside members of my athletically-mutated gene pool.  And this gene pool conveniently skipped over the middle generation (me).  Yeah, it kind of works like twins.

Never mind the last time I was on a golf course with my family.  It wasn’t even for golfing.  It wasn’t even during the Spring or Summer.  The last time I was on a golf course with my family was in the dead of winter, in the mountains, and I was waste deep in fresh powder trudging desperately along on snowshoes.  You would think these were normal snowshoes, and I would not blame you for thinking that.  However, my parents do not buy normal snowshoes.  My parents buy mutant-athlete snowshoes; otherwise known as nordic snowshoes.  These are snowshoes that enable you to run in the snow.  Shoot.  Me.  Now.

I won’t have to write much to tell you where this story is going.  We were in the exact middle of the golf course.  All I could see around me was snow and trees that went on in every direction for miles.  I could not see my feet, and due to the nordic snowshoes, I could not see any other members of my family.  They decided to run the rest of the distance of the golf course.  Together.  And I was left alone, standing somewhere between Personal Hell and Middle Child Identity Crisis.  I don’t even remember how, but I did finally manage to find my way off the golf course, back to the main street, and up to our log cabin.  The nordic runners eventually returned home within an hour, and my parents would go on to pay for this experience in the form of my therapy appointments later on.

So now as I am listening to my sister on the phone, I am having flashbacks to my last memory of Family Golf Course Outing.  And I am panicking.  I can picture myself this summer, all suited up in a polo and little golfing skirt with clubs in tow.  I can see myself stepping up to the tee, attempting to complete my best golf swing, and touching nothing but air every time my club swoops down to make contact with the ball.  I can picture my family smiling encouragingly for a little while.  I can picture them even giving me kind pointers for the first few tries.  But eventually, one by one, they start to mutate.  Eventually, the athletically-engineered machine in each of them takes over, and they must leave me.  We all know mutants and real people don’t go together.  And then I will be left again, on the stinking golf course.

On the phone, my sister changes the topic and snaps me back into reality.  I don’t remember the rest of our conversation.  I am already making plans for avoiding this golfing scenario this summer.  Maybe I will be ill for quite some time.  Maybe I could break an arm.  Or maybe I would golf only on a conditional basis.  One evening at a poetry slam, in exchange for one day of golfing.  This is a guaranteed ticket out, and it’s brilliant.  Not one person in my family would go with me to a poetry slam.  Everyone has their kryptonite.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. mom permalink
    June 2, 2011 7:43 pm

    this is the funniest thing you have ever written…i couldn’t stop laughing!!!! i SO remember that day on the snowshoes too…love you honey!

  2. Aunt Sally permalink
    June 3, 2011 4:50 pm

    Don’t worry- you’re not the only one in the family without the athlete gene. Ever seen me with a ball and a stick- scary! If I recall you are pretty darn good at whiffle ball! XXOO

  3. June 3, 2011 4:57 pm

    I am totally laughing! I would be the same way….my family isn’t that athletic, but my husband is THE outdoorsman. He’d be the happiest man on the planet if I would hunt with him, and live in a lean-to in the wilderness. (He already managed to get me on 30 acres in the middle of NOWHERE!!) You’re a very gifted writer and story teller. Love it!

  4. Erika permalink
    June 9, 2011 11:02 pm

    You are hilarious!! I can totally picture that happening with your family!! You are such a talented writer. You crack me up!!

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