Hey – we may as well have fun as we go sliding into old age, right?

Posts tagged ‘golf’

Stupid Things I’ve Done While Driving

Driving home from the gym this morning, I heard the radio DJ talking about an accident somewhere in Pennsylvania, caused when the driver tried to change his shoes while driving.  Basically, anything one does while driving a vehicle, other than the actual driving of said vehicle, is stupid.  Propelling a several-thousand-pound hunk of steel down a highway at 70 mph is a pretty serious responsibility, and it deserves more than a fleeting amount of attention. 

But we’ve all done it – we’ve all “multi-tasked” while driving, putting ourselves and everyone else on the road at risk.  Here’s my list of transgressions.  It should be noted that most of these were done well in my past, and I’ve learned a thing or two with age.  Or maybe I just can’t multi-task as well as I used to.  Can you add any tasks I haven’t thought of trying?  Hey – keep your mind out of the gutter – I’m not THAT stupid, and hopefully neither are you!

  1.  EATING:  I know, this one’s a no-brainer.  Is there anyone who hasn’t eaten while driving?  That’s why they have drive-through windows, right?  I’ll admit, this is one I haven’t given up, especially on long trips.  The key is to find something neat and well-contained to eat while driving.  Keep the wrapper on half the burger, and start eating on the side where the ketchup is already over-flowing to avoid having a lapful.  Try to find something that doesn’t require a lot of eye contact – I’ve never thought that ice cream cones were a good choice, because you have to watch what you’re doing. 
  2. MAP-READING:  It’s always a better idea to stop the car to read the maps, assuming you don’t have a passenger that can handle being the navigator for your trip.  Generally, my husband drives and I tackle the maps.  This task may be going the way of the Dodo bird though, as everyone embraces GPS technology and paper maps start becoming obsolete.  I’ll miss them.  There’s something very comforting about unfolding a map and seeing your entire journey laid out before you, rather than seeing it in small bites of data.
  3. MAKE-UP APPLICATION:   Ladies, if you’re a non-morning person like me, applying make-up in the car can become a flat-out necessity.  There have been times when I habitually put all my make-up on during my morning commute.  I’ve never worn a ton of make-up, but it was still quite a process.  I’d try to focus on maximizing my time at stop lights, frantically brushing on blush and mascara.  As long as I wasn’t the first car in line, I didn’t need to watch the actual traffic light.  I just had to keep the brake lights of the car in front of me in my line of sight.  When their brake lights went off, it was usually a signal that the light had changed and I needed to apply at least a little of my attention to the road.  And on mornings when the traffic lights didn’t cooperate?  Yes, I confess…I drove down the road while watching the rearview mirror or vanity mirror on the back of the visor, and I applied blush, mascara and lipstick at 50 mph or more.  The biggest risk of harm (disregarding the risk of causing an accident) was mascara – one little bump and the mascara brush is in my eye – ouch.  The biggest risk of comical disaster was lipstick.  A good-sized pot hole could leave my lipstick running right up the side of my face.  I retired from make-up-while-driving a while ago, with the exception of lipstick.  But after all these years, I don’t even need a mirror for lipstick, unless I’m wearing something uncharacteristically dark or bright.  I can generally put on my lipstick without a glance in the mirror, and then, when I finally get to a light or my destination, I just check to make sure I haven’t done anything too embarrassing. 
  4. CHANGING SHOES/CLOTHING :   I don’t think I’ve ever tackled changing my clothes while driving, with the exception of shedding a coat or jacket.  But I have to admit I’ve changed shoes while driving.  For a couple of summers, I did it regularly.  My husband and I were in a couples golf league on Friday nights, and the course was over 30 miles from my place of employment.  The highways were always busy on summer Friday nights, with everyone headed north (the direction I was headed) to camp and boat for the weekend.  I was always the last person to get to the golf course (does this sound like a list of excuses?).  My husband would often be waiting in the parking lot with the golf cart fully loaded, barking at me to “get in!”  So yes, I changed shoes while I drove.  How?  Well, I’d remove the right shoe quickly, and drive with a sock, then quickly slip on the right shoe.  Then do the same with the left foot.  Could I tie them as I drove?  Uh, no.  As foolish as I was, I wasn’t that crazy.  But, if I caught a long traffic light along the way, I would certainly take advantage of it to tie my golf shoes!  That long, hectic, stressful commute was the primary reason we dropped out of the league after two summers.  It generally took me three holes just to settle my nerves from the mad rush to get there. 
  5. CELL PHONES:  Ah, the bane of the 21st century.  How did we live without them?  And how can we get back there again?  Today we are forever tethered to the world at large through our cell phones.  Don’t get me wrong – I adore my Blackberry(s).  I love having email and internet access while I’m traveling.  But I do seriously try to avoid using it in any way while driving.  For one thing, it’s illegal in New York.  For another, it’s really irresponsible to think you can look at a phone screen and drive a car at the same time.  Far too many people have died trying.  I’ve been behind the wandering vehicles of people who are clearly looking down at their phones instead of up at the road.  With all that said, I have, on rare occasions, used my phone while driving.  I use a hands-free device to  talk, and I don’t think I’ve ever typed a message while driving.  But I have read messages while driving (I know, I know).  And I have pulled up internet weather maps and GPS maps on occasion as I drove.  There’s just something so compelling about smart phones, and we convince ourselves that we MUST have access to information immediately.  But is there really anything that can’t wait until we reach our destination?  Or that we couldn’t have done before we got behind the wheel?

The older we get, the smarter we get, right?  Which means we should be smart enough by now to just drive, and pay attention to what we’re doing.  I’m going to really, really try to cut back even more on distractions while I drive.  Lately, I’ve been leaving the Blackberry in my purse, instead of pulling it out where it’s handy, “just in case”.  I want to go sliding into old having fun, but not on a hospital gurney!  Let’s all try to be more careful out there, okay? 

If you can think of anything silly you’ve done while driving that I haven’t mentioned, please share!

NOTE TO MY SUBSCRIBERS:  You may have noticed I skipped nearly an entire week of posting.  Sorry, but I’m slowly moving my normal posting day to Sunday/Monday.  Trying to publish a post mid-week proved to be a bit challenging with a full-time job.  The natural solution, of course, would be to write them ahead of time, but I’m a deadline-driven gal, and I’ve spent too many bleary-eyed Tuesday nights frantically finishing a blog.  Thanks for understanding!

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Why Women Can’t Golf With Their Husbands

Golfing In Tullamore, Co. Offaly, Ireland (note sheep in background!)

Okay – this one is for the guys.  Ladies – feel free to forward and share it with your husbands or significant others.  This is for all those guys who are out there dreaming of retiring to a golf community in central Florida somewhere, thinking that they and their wives will join the couples’ leagues and enjoy all kinds of activities revolving around the game of golf.    

It’s sad really, because so many of them will never achieve those retirement life dreams, and they won’t even know why.   But really, it’s their own fault.  Men make it nearly impossible for many women to enjoy the golf course, at least when their husbands are on the same links.

Don’t golf?  Feel free to apply the same general principles outlined here to any activity which, if done with your spouse, is bound to lead to tension – bowling, tennis, wallpapering, etc.

It’s not too late, fellas, but there are a few things you really need to understand.  If you can figure out why we won’t golf with you now, you can make a few “adjustments” and try again.  We’re always willing to give you a mulligan or two.

 THREE REASONS WE WON’T GOLF WITH YOU

 1.        You can’t stop “helping” us. 

We know you mean well – really we do. And we try to keep that in mind…But. You. Are. Driving. Us. Crazy. 

I know it’s because of that whole Mars/Venus thing – you really can’t help yourselves.  Men want to fix things.  The end of the race is the whole point of running.  Women want to connect emotionally to everything we do.  We want to enjoy our journey to the finish line.  That means women have totally differently approaches to something like golf than men do. 

We want to think, practice, and feel our way to a better game.  To you, it’s all science.  “Flex your knees.”  “Turn your hands over.”  “Keep your elbows in.”  “Follow through.”  “Not so far back.”  “Not so far forward.”  “Don’t chop it.”  “Stop trying to kill it.”  And my personal favorite – “Keep your head down!”

By the time we get to the third or fourth hole, you’ve filled us with so many instructions that we can’t even think straight, much less hit straight.  Then you yell at us to stop “thinking so much” before we swing, when you’re the one that paralyzed us in the first place! 

And if we do hit a terrific shot, what’s your response?  “Nice!  Now swing just like that every time!”  Um, if we could do that, we’d be on the LPGA tour.

SOLUTION:  Shut up and stay out of our heads!  We’re golfing with you because we want to be with you and have fun.  Give us advice when we ask for it, but keep your lips sealed when we’re standing at the tee.  If we really need that much help, send us to a pro for lessons.  We won’t take feedback so personally when it’s coming from a professional teacher.  And if we hit a shot anywhere in or near the fairway, tell us it was a great shot.  Even if it’s in the wrong fairway.  Practice the words right now – “great shot, honey!” 

2.        You think we’re much better than we really are (or want to be).

It’s amusing sometimes, the confidence you have in us.  One minute you’re scolding us for “topping” the ball and blowing our approach to the green.  The next minute, you’re strolling across the same green and tapping a spot with your golf club – “Chip it right here, honey!”  Yeah, okay.  Do I look like Annika Sorenstam to you?  “Aim it just to the left of that pine tree out there.”  Uh-huh.  We’re happy if we’re more than 60 yards off the tee and still in view of the fairway, and now you want to confine us to a specific ten foot diameter target? 

SOLUTION:  It’s okay to give us advice, but keep it attainable.  “Try to keep it to the left” is much more acceptable than “Hit it ten yards to the left of the third pine tree and make sure you get it past that little ridge on the right.” 

3.       You can’t stop taking golf seriously.

We’re beating little white balls around a golf course with sticks, not creating world peace.   Yes, the game has to move along, and we can’t be too silly on the golf course.  But it really is acceptable to look around and enjoy the scenery once in while.  When we say “look, an eagle!,” we’re not talking about the play of the foursome on the next green.  We’re probably talking about the flying kind of eagle with feathers, up in the sky.  If we completely whiff a ball (swing and miss it), it’s okay to laugh, as long as we laugh first.  It is NOT okay to launch into a diatribe about keeping our head down, watching the ball, concentrating, and getting serious.  If a par 5 hole is frustrating us, and we’re not in a tournament, it’s okay for us to pick up our ball and just watch you play.  There are no golf gods who will strike us dead for doing so (trust me, I know this).

SOLUTION:  Lighten up.  We know golf is your life, but it’s our hobby (and sometimes barely that).  Save your competitive nature and testosterone for your leagues and tournaments, and enjoy a relaxing round of golf with your wife.  Hold our hand when we’re riding in the cart.  Smile once in a while.  Tell us how sweet our swing is.  Don’t act frustrated, even if you are.    

You may not have a wife with a 12 handicap (and if you do, congrats!).  But if someone forwarded this to you, it means you have a woman who WANTS to golf with you.  There are a lot of guys out there (and I mean A LOT) who would give their left arm to have a woman who wanted to golf and was willing to consider that golf community for a retirement destination.  Once my husband learned to lighten up (I think it was shortly after he realized that he was pushing my last button while I was carrying a long metal club), we started to actually have fun golfing together.  We’ve golfed on the South Carolina coast, watching dolphins and eagles from the course.  We’ve golfed in the Adirondack mountains, with deer strolling across the fairways.  We’ve golfed in Ireland, on the breathtaking western cliffs (in bitter cold weather!) and in beautiful Tullamore in the heart of the country. 

Come on, gents – that’s pretty cool stuff.  So…lighten up, shut up, and stop ‘helping’.  Send us to a pro, help us relax, and have fun golfing with us.

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