1. A game in which a player using special clubs attempts to sink a ball with as few strokes as possible into each of the 9 or 18 successive holes on a course . – Merriam-Webster1
2. A sport which appears in prophetic dreams leading up to teenage marriage proposals. – The Nut
I dated a golfer in eleventh grade. He was blond, blue-eyed, just tall enough without being too tall, and completely adorable.
He was also in the graduating class. But I was a year ahead in French, one of the only good things about having previously endured ten years of catty, tartan skirt-wearing hell at a private school for girls, so every second day, there we were in the same salle de classe, writing and speaking idiotic phrases in the subjonctif under the watchful eye of Mme Rigault.
We never talked, but apparently The Golfer had a stellar view of my desk from his preferred spot in the back corner of the room and had taken notice of me early on. I would later learn that his classwork suffered somewhat on the days I wore a favorite maxi skirt of mine with a scandalously high slit up the side.
I noticed him mainly because he liked to wear his golf visor to school, and anyone sporting golf gear in a place crowded with teenagers kind of stands out.
We were finally introduced when the school’s choir and band went on a joint retreat in the mountains. As befitting your average young people, the first thing everyone had done after dinner was completely take over the hotel’s outdoor pool facilities. I enjoyed the raucous atmosphere for a while, but being the new girl in school and not entirely unattractive, I was getting more attention than I was comfortable with in the hot tub and escaped to the sauna, where I found The Golfer relaxing alone.
As all such stories are required to go, we hit it off immediately and ended up exceeding the recommended sauna stay a good three times over because we got so carried away talking. When the pool closed for the night, he asked me back to his room for a late night bowl of cereal and I said yes, because when a cute blond boy asks you to share a box of Lucky Charms with him at a romantic alpine lodge, yes is the only acceptable answer unless you hate either marshmallows or yourself.
By the time his roommates politely kicked me out several hours later, we were already well on our way to becoming one of Those Couples.
And for a while, things were great. Mme Rigault sniffed disapprovingly when I moved out of “good student” desk territory and began sitting in the back corner with The Golfer and his friends, but became more amiable when she realized it actually made her life easier to have me next to The Golfer as a tutor rather than as a distraction across the room.
He took me to prom, which consisted of approximately 1% awkwardly pinning on boutonnieres, 18% scarfing down as much buffet dinner as our formal clothes would allow, 31% dancing, and 50% sucking face like the hormone-crazed teenagers we were, as immortalized in a photo that made it onto the last page of the yearbook, captioned “The Golfer making a hole in one.”
Graduation came and went, and then we had the freedom of summer before us. I met The Golfer’s mother and his dog. He gave me a garnet ring that was so flatteringly tiny it would only fit on my pinky finger. I stole one of his sweatshirts to sleep in.
That summer, golf and I were the two inseparable constants in his life. Inseparable because the course he trained at happened to be the very same one whose driving range my hilltop house overlooked. It didn’t take us long to realize that if I went out on my balcony, we were able to wave to each other while he was hitting a bucket of balls to warm up.
How adorably Romeo and Juliet-like.
Except we all know how that ended.
When September came, back to school I went to take my own turn in the graduating class. And The Golfer, still weighing his options for the future, was left with golf and a whole lot of nothing else to occupy his time.
Boredom is a breeding ground for speculation.
I had an awful lot of friends who were guys. Maybe too many. Definitely too many. Was I getting too close with any of them? What was I doing during my free blocks, and more importantly, who was I with?
Slowly but surely, the hallmarks of jealousy and controlling behavior began rearing their ugly heads. Suddenly I found myself having to explain phone calls I received, provide justification for how I spent my time away from The Golfer. He was alternatingly accusatory and overly clingy and affectionate.
In case you hadn’t already guessed this about me, I don’t put up with that kind of bullshit.
I began planning my exit strategy.
In fact I had just worked out all the finer details of how best to let him down easily, when he showed up at the Starbucks where I was enjoying a latte and scone during my second period spare block and demanded to know why I wasn’t picking up my phone.
I hadn’t told anyone where I was going. Which meant he had basically stalked me there.
Oh dear me no. No no no no no, I don’t think so.
I ditched my carefully strategized dissolution plan for our relationship and broke up with him on the fly right in the middle of Starbucks. He cried. People stared. I didn’t care; I made my heart stone. I’d seen where this behavior went with my friends, and I was not going to let him take this bullshit one fucking step further.
When he finally realized I meant business, he left. Ignoring the lingering looks of nearby patrons, I returned to my latte.
The following days were filled with tearful phone calls from The Golfer begging me to see him, pleading with me to take him back. By the third marathon rehashing of why I wouldn’t be giving him a second chance, my patience was wearing thin.
“You’re being awfully mean,” my mother remarked after overhearing my side of one of these exchanges.
“Mean is all he understands,” I replied. “I tried kindness. It only makes him think there’s still hope for us.”
Finally I agreed he could stop by the house, but only so I could give him back his stuff and be done with it.
I met him out in the driveway. It was drizzling slightly, but I knew if I let him in the house, he’d never leave. He was clutching a white three ring binder as he got out of his truck. Before I could say anything, he held it out and said, “This is for you.”
I had no idea what it was, but I knew I really, really didn’t want it.
“Can we just get this over with?”
“Please. Just read it.”
Fine. Whatever will make you go away.
I reluctantly took the binder and opened it to the first page. And froze.
“Once upon a time, there was a golfer and a nut…”
You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.
He had storified our relationship into some kind of Disney-esque fairy tale, complete with drawings and photos. The entire collected works of our 11-month history. And it was very clear from the start that in his version, there could only be one ending.
I turned to the next page, and then the next, growing increasingly more horrified with every word, knowing exactly what was coming. And then there it was, staring at me from the last page.
Cartoon Golfer married cartoon Nut, and they lived happily ever after.
I slammed the binder shut. “I’m sorry, but no. Just no. I’m done.”
“But look! See how happy we were?”
“Were. Key word. I’m not keeping this, by the way. Please take it back.”
He crossed his arms like a petulant child and refused to touch the binder. So I set it on the hood of his truck, and added his freshly laundered sweatshirt and the garnet ring to the pile.
The sight of the ring was too much. “That was a gift. I gave that to you.”
“I don’t feel right keeping it. You might as well take it.”
“You can take it or I can throw it in the ocean. Your choice.”
“Throw it in the fucking trash then, just like you’re throwing away our relationship.”
“Okay, yeah, I’m done now.” I began to walk back inside.
“I WAS SAVING UP FOR AN ENGAGEMENT RING,” he screamed after me.
I turned around. “I’m sorry, what?”
“I had a dream about us. I was down on the golf course, looking up at your house. It was a beautiful sunny day. You came out on the balcony, and you were wearing a white dress. A wedding dress. You smiled and you waved to me. And I knew it meant that I was going to marry you.” He looked at me hopefully.
“You had a dream that- I…I don’t even know how to respond to that. I’m gonna go inside now. Drive safely.”
“BUT YOU WAVED TO ME.” Waving in a dream: the universal signal of acceptance of a marriage proposal. The more you know.
“Maybe I was waving goodbye. Just like I’m about to do now. I’m sorry, but I am not getting back together with you because of a dream you had. It’s just more manipulative bullshit. This is it, okay? This is goodbye.”
Choking back a sob, The Golfer turned away and slammed his hands down hard on the hood of the truck. He stayed there a moment, leaning against the truck and collecting himself, before tossing the pile of things on it into the passenger seat and driving off.
And I walked back to the house, exhausted and slightly bewildered, but free.
Today’s blog post was brought to you by the letter G, the number 18, and the PleaseStopCryingInMyDriveway Challenge, AKA the Blogging A to Z Challenge.
1 “golf.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, 2015. Web. 8 April 2015.