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The daffodils are finally out in my crook of the country. This means only one thing. My spouse has taken up with his mistress again. She’s a real bitch and, most of the time, I resent her with a heady passion so intense that my vision gets all swimmy and green when I think about her. But she makes him so happy – on some levels she gives him a level of pleasure I could never hope to match – that it is hard to begrudge him his pleasure. Her name is Golf.

The seasons in upstate New York, where we now live after long stints in Knoxville and Austin, make my Hub’s rendezvous with his lover hard to arrange. Most of the year up here, Golf’s verdant hills and valleys are covered in either snow or mud, which makes their trysts infrequent and unsatisfying. It was easier in the southland, when clement weather made their affair easy, even during the steamiest months. Golf was so trampish, then, so frequent with her seductions, that the Hub neglected her, only getting out on her greens infrequently, secure in the knowledge that she’d always be available when he needed her. It’s different now. Once the weather hots up north of the Mason-Dixon line, so does the Hub. His lust for Golf is almost palatable come April. The first day that the mercury climbs above 40, he is polishing his clubs in anticipation. By May, he is back in Golf’s thrall, frantically squeezing in four months with her before the snow again starts to fly. While I can understand his need to see her as much as possible when we can, his choice of mistresses baffles me. 

When we met almost 14 years ago, I had no idea that this passion even existed. The Hub just isn’t the Golf type. He’s an artsy theatre geek who’d rather be dinking around with a lighting instrument or a welding torch. He has a ponytail. He lives in t-shirts and flannel. By appearance alone, you’d think his diversion of choice would be something odd and esoteric, like fencing or cricket. But deep within him beats the heart of a closet country clubber. When he confessed his love for Golf, that white bread siren who also lures CEOs, WASPs and other Republicans, I was stunned. He plays tennis, that other polo-shirted high-falutin’ sport, and taught me to play as well. He enjoys whacking the crap out of a racquetball. The politics of a country club don’t appeal to him, fortunately, but its trappings do. The Hub is just not the Biff and Miffy cocktail hour type, thankfully, otherwise we might have reasonable grounds for divorce. The Hub’s greens of choice are more of the municipal variety rather than Augusta or St. Andrews. The only dress code standard for his dates with the sultry G is a shirt with a collar, and even that is a rule upheld more in the breech than on the field. Where he plays, plaid pants are only worn ironically. 

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While I’m sure that he’d leap at the chance to thwack at a higher-priced patch of rough, it’s just not part of his daily routine d’ Golf. Still, he does dream of trips that center around his mistress and plans outings to exotic locales whenever he can. When we drive anywhere, he’s looking for pristine greens from the car windows, like a serial skirt-chaser eyeballing curvy young women. An infrequent overnight business trip frequently provides an excuse to set out for a virgin course. Some part of his brain is always thinking about her, no matter the season. And that may be why I hate her. Even on her worst days, Golf will always hold more sway over the Hub than I will. If forced to choose between an evening with me and the Diva and nine holes with his hussy, he will almost always choose the latter. I no longer hold an exotic sway over his inner thoughts. Instead he dreams of undulating expanses of grass in which to lose his balls. I am frumpy by comparison and dull. For his dates with that slut, he’ll spend a small fortune on clubs, books and video games.

It doesn’t help, of course, that his friends and he egg each other on. It gives them something to talk about and provides ample opportunity for bonding. Which is good, but disturbing sometimes. During the winter months, he and his theatre colleagues close the stage’s main curtain and practice chipping and putting on the empty stage. During the summer, a gang of them are in a league together and devote one day a week to trying to see who can convince Golf to give up her best score. In off hours, they call each other and whisper of schemes designed to give them more time on the course away from the wives and children and jobs. This amuses me, mostly, this plotting by the menfolk, like we were back in the 1960s or in a Dagwood comic strip. But there are days when I wish that his hussy weren’t so labor intensive, requiring hours walking around on lush green lawns. My jealousy is almost palatable, then.

I used to enjoy the mere fact that even a bad day with Golf made him so happy. Now, I just find it irritating. I resent her mighty pull and know I have no charms left to pull him back from her vernal embrace. It pisses me off that it is assumed that I will always keep the home fires from conflagrating during his absences, like I have nothing in my life that I’d rather do than give yet another bath or read yet another story or fix yet another meal. But I also know that I shouldn’t begrudge him his short time with his saucy wench when I generally have his attentions during the rest of the year. Still, I do, and part of me can’t wait until the snow starts to fly and buries the bitch for another year.
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About the Author:
Adrienne Martini has been a theatre technician, apprentice massage therapist, bookstore bookkeeper and pizza joint waitress. Eventually, someone started paying her for her words and an editorial mercenary was born. She has written theatre reviews and features for the Austin Chronicle, blurbs about tofurkey and bottled water for Cooking Light and a piece about knitting summer camp for Interweave Knits. She is a former editor for Knoxville, Tennessee's Metro Pulse and recently picked up an AAN award for feature writing. During the day, she fields freelance gigs and crams knowledge into the heads of college students in Upstate New York. At all hours, she is mom to Maddy, and wife to Scott.



 

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