Life lessons

I had a couple of beers with The Guys last night. When I say “The Guys”, I’m referring, of course, to that group of guys nearly every dude has; the fellas that had your back, back in The Day, that laughed at you when you threw up on that poor girl’s shoes at that party in college, and laughed with you when you remembered it, fondly, five years later.

We’re all old now, though, and most of us have gone about our lives. In some cases, that means someone moved away. Luckily, that has benefits – they occasionally come back to visit. This week is one of those times; the guy with whom I spent my senior year in college playing Go Fish: The Drinking Game* is in town.

So, as responsibly consumed our beer, the possibility of playing 18 holes of golf today was suggested. The other three guys were all about the idea, but I politely declined because:

  1. I’m the world’s worst golfer, and that’s fact , not subjective observation – seriously, I have a certificate from the Guinness Book of World’s Records**
  2. I have a job with pressing tasks that someone needs to do, and there’s really no one else to do them
  3. Taking half a day of vacation to play golf seems wrong somehow. Isn’t my vacation supposed to be, you know, used for taking my family someplace Clark Griswold would have broken into and/or destroyed?

So I dutifully went to work this morning, still considering the possibility that I might have made the wrong decision. I mean, surely I’m supposed to have some fun every now and again, right? Also, perhaps this was to day to get clubs. I’d been meaning to acquire a new (inexpensive second hand) set of golf clubs as a belated birthday present because the set I’ve been using is three generations old. Yes, that means each club was manufactured during Babe Ruth’s rookie year, weighs roughly the same as a Hyundai, and are made of the material by which they are named (woods made of, you know, wood).

When I got to the office today, though, the Fates spoke to me. Through the shimmering heat of a broken air conditioning system, voices told me that I should be playing golf. Since it was warmer in my office than outside, I could not, in good conscience, disagree.

Wiping sweat from my brow, I decided to spend this one day enjoying my life rather than pursuing my livelihood, and traded in a precious half day of vacation for an afternoon of 18 holes. It was a constructive, educational experience. I learned several important lessons:

  • Wives get way less irked that you’re pissing time away playing golf in the middle of the afternoon if you were just going to be at work anyway and aren’t wasting perfectly good home project time.
  • Just because I’m older than my new (used) set of clubs, doesn’t mean I’m wiser, smarter, or skilled enough to use them properly.
  • If I try to hit the ball forcefully with my driver, the ball will go WAY to the right
  • Focusing with laser-like precision on the exact point where I want to make contact with the ball really, really helps with my irons
  • Apparently, if you chip onto the green and your ball sticks hard enough to make a divot in the turf, you’re supposed to fix the grass; who knew?!
  • There’s no substitute for an afternoon with guys you’ve known since you were a pimply-faced smart-ass stocking retail store shelves part time

So, I made a bold choice today, and I don’t for one second regret it. That’s the real lesson of the day: when it comes down to making a choice between taking a life day or sticking to your work schedule, well, odds are you’ll never regret the life day. How many people have you ever heard say that they regret missing an afternoon of work?

Pud’n

*No drinking games were played in the making of this post; I’m much too old and fearful of foolishness and hangovers for such chicanery

** Not really