Friday, September 16, 2005

Ma and Pa

I played golf badly, which is to say that I played it like I always do. I made par on two holes, bogey on a couple others and on the rest it was easiest to keep my score by counting how many golf balls I lost.

I played with my father, who is good at it. He often shoots in the 70s. He wanted me to become a lawyer and a golfer and if he had to choose one he might have preferred golf. Instead I became neither.

I suppose it's not too late. With lessons and practice I could learn to play competently just as with preparation I might score high enough on the LSAT to overcome my mediocre college grades and qualify for law school. My only acedemic bragging rights are that I finished college in four years with no summer school and I never cheated. My GPA was nothing to write home about, though it was something my father sometimes wrote to me about.

If my father's passion is golf, my mother's tri-pastimes are smoking, reading romance novels and listening to right-wing talk radio, preferably simultaneously. Understand: if she is addicted to cigarettes it is only a byproduct of her enjoyment of them. She does not want to quit.

The company for which she worked before she retired went smoke free and offered to pay for smoking cessation programs for any employees who smoked. My mother took the course, successfully quit, then a year later decided that she missed it and started again. She took lunch breaks in her car so she could puff undisturbed.

On the rare occasions she is stirred to move, she mows the lawn. It is her lone physical activity and it says all you need to know about my mother that she interrupts her exercise for smoke breaks.

You think I'm kidding. I assure you I am not.

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