golf with dad

So I sort of had a melt down today.

Dad dragged me out to the golf course after I got off work. He knows I don’t like golf but he’s always suggesting I go play with him, talking about all the money he spent on my lessons and the nice set of golf clubs he bought me for my birthday that I’ve hardly used and yadda yadda yadda. Something about father-son bonding time too. Since I’m leaving for college in like less than three weeks I couldn’t make an excuse to put it off anymore this time, so I went.

We drove in Dad’s car with the top down the whole way there, and he played his music really loud, singing along sometimes and tapping his hands on the wheel, and he still wanted to try to have a conversation, so he would shout a question and I would shout something back. The questions are always the same with my dad, the basic ones you ask without really caring about how the other person will answer it. How’s Elizabeth? How’s work? How’s Kelly? Fine, fine, fine. I could’ve said Kelly is having a rough time with his mom right now and that we’re not getting along as well as we used to for some reason, but knowing my dad he would have just said something like “Oh that’s too bad” and then gone on to the next question on the fucking Father Son Questionnaire for Dummies. Or pointing out nice cars we pass on the road. My dad’s really into cars, it’s hard to believe that someone can actually go on talking for like an hour about cars, but my dad can.

When we got to the golf course and there was no more noise, he’d already run out of questions so he just awkwardly hummed to himself and gave me pointers on my golf game. Bend your knees more, keep your elbows looser, spread your legs 2.2 inches wider, etc. etc. That’s the thing I hate about golf. You always fixate on the million little things you’re doing wrong, and you end up doing nothing right. I kept hitting my drives into the rough, and sometimes I couldn’t even get them up in the air, and I know my dad is silently judging me whenever that happens because it keeps proving that all those lessons have been worth shit. At hole 8 (another thing I hate about golf, it never ends, and when you start thinking you can’t take anymore it’s not even half way over) I quit trying, and it almost made me feel better to know that my bad golfing was annoying him. But not better enough. We said less and less to each other and the worse I played the harder I knew it was for my dad to keep up this fake happy father son bonding routine.

I think it was on the 13th hole, I hit a really horrible drive and he told me to hit it over. When I told him “No thanks I’ll keep playing this ball,” he said “You know it will be over quicker if you stop hitting it into the woods,” and I got so angry I could barely hold it in and said that maybe I just can’t hit it right, and he told me that I could when I was 14, and I said that that was then and if HE wanted it to be over quicker we should just go home right now instead of playing the rest of the holes. That made him put on his tough-guy dad attitude which is even worse than his normal fake nice dad attitude, and he said “Don’t be pouty, just hit the damn ball.”

So I got out another ball and teed up and hit a drive that was even worse than the last one, and then he said “Nice,” like, sarcastically, and that threw me over the edge and I walked back over to my golf bag without looking at his ugly face and held my driver like a baseball bat and whacked my bag of clubs so hard that it fell over to the ground and everything spilled out and I was left holding a broken driver.

I just stood there panting and didn’t even look back at my dad to see what his reaction was, I really couldn’t look at him, but I heard him say, “Okay, we’re going home. Got what you wanted after all.” He picked up his bag, all huffy, and walked away, making a show of apologizing to the old guys who were waiting behind us for the “scene” while I was putting my clubs back.

The ride back home was complete hell, I hate to even think about it right now. He didn’t play music this time. Every now and then he would say something like he was talking to himself, like I wasn’t even in the car… “that set of clubs cost blah blah” and “those lessons were all for nothing,” and he mumbled stuff like “complete disrespect” and “fucking disgraceful scene.”

I didn’t say anything but I wanted to scream. I wish I’d used the club on his face instead.

I left the car without looking at anybody and since then I’ve been in my room. Didn’t eat dinner. Nobody even bothered to tell me to come downstairs for it.

Just two more weeks, I’ll be out of here.

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5 thoughts on “golf with dad

  1. naturgesetz

    No doubt there’s plenty of blame on both sides for that bit of drama. But it occurs to me that lots of dads make the mistake of trying to bond with their sons by forcing the sons into something dad likes but son doesn’t. Ideally they can find something both enjoy, but dad is supposed to be the adult and should meet the son where he is.

    Of course, it’s all the worse if he’s slightly afraid you’re gay and this was his last chance to “make a man of you.”

    Reply
  2. KS

    maybe he’s angry at the fact that you’re leaving for college and he still doesn’t understand you. you might be angry too, but it’s just too difficult to stop caring about/loving each other.

    Reply
  3. jayinva

    Oh man, I can think of a few times my dad and I had melt downs like this. I kind of agree with KS, but at the same time, I think that he’s just trying so hard to make time for you, and perhaps he just doesn’t get that you’d prefer to do it differently. All dads (and moms) want time to stand still, and I think your dad has taken it to the extreme. I hope y’all patch it up before you leave. Be terrible to head off to college on a sour note with your dad.

    Peace ❤
    Jay

    Reply

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