When I got back from golf today Kish asked me, brightly, “How was golf today?” “I sucked, but it was okay,” I replied . . . and it actually was true. I really did suck — horribly, completely, irrefutably, from tee to green and every hazard in between — but it was okay.
That’s a big change for me. I think I may have reached the fabled Day of Golfing Acceptance.
When I was younger, I hoped that one day I would be a good golfer who could regularly shoot rounds in the low 80s. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened, and I realize I have neither the time, nor the talent, nor the temperament to devote the hours of practice needed to make a significant improvement in my game. The difference now is that I’m not going to become infuriated at myself and the Golf Gods about the bad shots and the bad scores. So I suck. So what? I’m reconciled to the fact that I’m always going to be a mediocre player who shoots in the 90s.
That doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the game. In fact, I’d argue that it’s more enjoyable when you’re not blurting out awful curses at shots into the weeds or bad bounces on the green. And who knows? Maybe some day I’ll decide I do want to try to be a better player — but that day is not today. Today I was awful, but I liked getting the exercise and sharing a few laughs with my golfing companions. I’ll take it.
The weather’s not bad right now, as we wait expectantly for the next Midwestern exposure to the dreaded Polar Vortex. That means it’s the season of the hand-out-the-window drivers — that small fraction of motorists who like tooling down the road with their forearms and hands flapping in the breeze.
Of course, the HOTW drivers flout standard driving conventions. Obviously, they aren’t keeping both hands on the steering wheel at 10 and 2 o’clock, as we were taught to do by our hectoring drivers’ ed instructors. And there has been no need for a driver’s hand to be out of the car since the hand-signaling Model T era, before automakers made the turn signal standard equipment. In fact, air conditioning means there’s no need for the window to be open at all.
Yet still the HOTW drivers persist. Some use the elbow on the door frame, hand clutching the edge of the roof approach, others extend the arm outward and hold the side-view mirror, and still others just let their hands wander free in the air stream, like a happy, tongue-lolling dog with its head outside the car. But, why? Why expose the arm to the outer elements? Why have the forearm skin battered by the random insects that meet their fates mashed against a car windshield? Why not experience the pristine wonder of the completely enclosed, carefully climate-controlled, fully interior driving experience?
I’m guessing the HOTWers have a bit of rebel in them.
Last night Kish and I went to the lovely home of the Rhyming Scots for a celebration of All Things Scottish. Mr. Rhyming Scot, who combines the qualities of fierceness and intellectual firepower that you would expect from the son of a country that produced William Wallace and Adam Smith, sported a kilt and other traditional Scottish garb. Scottish flags were proudly flying, and tartan ruled the day. A bagpiper was present, skreeling off favorite bagpipe selections. Scotch, Scottish ale, and Scottish food were to be had in abundance.