“I’d love you to come golfing with me,” Victor’s gentle pleas persisted.
“You know I don’t care for golf. You go and enjoy yourself,” I said, hoping Victor would drop the idea. He discovered that he not only enjoyed the game a great deal, he excelled at it. “Besides, don’t you prefer playing with people who give you a good challenge?”
“I could play by myself and be challenged.” Victor’s tenacity added a little tension in our fairly casual relationship. He said, “I was talking to the Pro and there’s a set of beautiful clubs that he’s willing to sell you at a discount. They really are deluxe. I bet using good clubs instead of rentals would really change your play and your attitude about the game.”
In this north central location of British Columbia, Victor played voraciously throughout summer and fall because once the snow fell, he would have to put away the clubs until next spring. On the other hand, I was heading back home to my island where golfing happened year round. Because I love being outdoors, I decided I could perhaps learn to play well and enjoy the game.
I bought the clubs.
Hacking, whacking and chopping my way around the course did little for my confidence or enthusiasm. Victor continuously offered suggestions. His attempts to turn me into a golfer worsened my ability to put even a minority of balls down any one of the fairways.
We were at the frustrating ninth hole that was entertainment for those sitting in the dining room in the Clubhouse. “Victor,” I said, “I’m going to find some women to golf with. I’ll find someone who is at my level. Maybe I’ll be more relaxed and can play better.” With that, I left to find my ball and quietly neglected to play the hole.
“I understand,” he later said with a gentle smile. I wanted to swing the five iron at his sweetness that felt too much like condescension.
After golfing a number of times with Marion, I realized golf simply was not my game. I wanted to swing the club like a bat. That was only one of my golfing guffaws.
With my contract finished, I was preparing to come back to my island. Victor asked if I was sorry for buying the clubs. “No. I’ll take some golf lessons when I get home and see if that changes my attitude.”
Once home, the golf pro repeatedly talked about muscle memory during my lessons. He assured me that after a few good swings, I would have the ‘feel’ and my muscles would know what to do. Turned out my muscles kept wanting to play baseball.
Victor came for a visit in November and headed for the golf course with passion and weather envy. He golfed three days in a row. I felt used. “Victor, if you want a golfing holiday, go somewhere else. I’m not willing to be your accommodation service.” He packed with plans to go golfing on one of the larger islands.
After I saw the tail lights of his car leaving the driveway, the phone rang. “Is Mr. S. there, please.”
“No, he’s just left”
“Oh, well…I’ll just leave a message for him, then.”
“He won’t be back. This is not his home number.” Cell phones were not yet in use.
“How can I reach him? He’s won a free night of theater, hotel and dinner for two in Victoria.”
“Who is this?”
“Sorry, this it the Golf and Country Club. He played in a tournament the last two days and this is his prize.”
“I’ll give you his home number. He’ll be there in a week.” Drat, I thought. However, maybe I would still benefit.
Two weeks later, Vincent called. “So you heard about my prize.”
“Yeah. Why didn’t you tell me that you won?”
“I didn’t know. I left early to spend time with you. I didn’t worry about it because I knew they’d call. Then I forgot when I left.”
“So are you coming down to use that prize?”
“No. I told them to give it to the next player in line.” I felt crushed that he didn’t ask them to give the prize to me. Surprisingly, I also felt crushed that Victor obviously had no plan for a return visit. My disappointment made me determined to forget this man.
Many months went by with no further communication.
In June, I came home to a message on my answering machine, “Hi Amy, Victor here. Give me a call when you have a minute.” Typical, I thought. No indication of why he’s calling. No please or thank you. I really had nothing to say to this man. I ignored the call.
On a September evening, the phone rang and it was Victor. “Hi. What have you been up to,” I asked. It really was good to hear his voice.
“I just got back from Hong Kong. Well, Emily and I just got back.”
Even though I had pushed Victor away, it hurt that he had been to Hong Kong with his old girlfriend. Masking my feelings, I said, “Hong Kong? What on earth were you doing there?”
“I won the trip at the Spring Golf Tournament up here.”
“You’re kidding! And you took Emily?”
“Yeah, I did. I tried to get ahold of you in June, but you didn’t answer my call. I was going to ask you.”
Double slippage. And this time, Victor’s laugh had an edge.
I don’t do slippage in threes.
My Guides, I wonder what are you going to lay on my conscience this time.
We prefer to ask you your prediction.
Is it about being impatient and self centered?
What would you expect us to say about those?
That I practice both with finesse?
We like the word “finesse”. Would you say you were finessed?
Oh Oh. Yes. I was finessed. Victor loved being a strategist. He could beat me at Scrabble, not because he knew a lot of words and not because he was a good speller. He beat me because he used the high scores to his advantage all the time. I don’t think he did it maliciously, at all, but he loved to win.
Did his love of winning add to the relationship?
Although Victor could compete with gentleness and seeming teamwork, he needed to win.
He did not win you.
No, he did not.
Hopefully his winnings have given him fulfillment in life.
Is that your message?
Wow. Thank you. See? You fooled me again.