Unequivocally Ambiguous

Humorous Stories on Parenting, Culture and Life

Swinging Golf Clubs to Kill Pigs

by | Mar 11, 2022 | Personal Essay, Society | 3 comments

“Don’t teach your daughter how to golf. Teach her how to drive a cart and mix cocktails.”

“Wow,” I answered, unsettled, “you sound like an inspiring father. If you have a daughter, she is one lucky lady.”

That’s how I responded… one day later, when I was re-playing how I could’ve answered to that grumpy man. I came up with the comeback when I told my mother-in-law about my frustration over not having a witty remark to his poisonous one.

My cousin had come to visit me, and he wanted to squeeze in some golf. We rushed to our local course, and we asked if there was a chance we could jump in last minute and play nine holes. They said they were booked until four, but if we hurried to the first tee, we would be able to join a twosome who had two cancellations in their party.

We rushed through the first hole and made it to the second tee, where we met our companions for the morning. The second hole was quiet, but we started chatting with our new friends on the third hole. I love to chit-chat, and I’m naturally curious about people. Plus, it was just good form since we would be with them for a couple of hours. You might be thinking, “a couple of hours?” Well, yeah, I suck at golf.

I told one of the players I had a baby girl, to which he said that I needed to start her early on golf since there are so many scholarships available for girls who played the sport. 

Before I was able to respond that my father-in-law thought the same, and my wife bought a small wood golf set we keep at his house for him to play with her, his friend jumped in:

“Don’t teach your daughter how to golf. Teach her how to drive a cart and mix cocktails.”

Now, I’m not saying that driving a cart and making cocktails is beneath anyone. But I had a problem with the tone and what he meant. He said that women were not meant to play the sport but were meant to serve the people playing the sport.

So this guy had to die. 

But I didn’t kill him, and it weighed on me.

I walked away, unable to quickly come up with a sardonic remark in response. Any comeback at all would’ve made.

As we kept going through the motions, I kept ruminating on ways I could kill this man before leaving the golf course.

Should I use a driver? Or would a short iron do the work? After all, golf instructors will drill you, “focus on the swing. Let the club do its work.”

I kept trying to figure out where I would bury the body and how much time before people would find it. Should I leave it in a sand trap or a water hazard? Do I need to kill his friend too? Likely. Why else would they be friends in the first place? If my cousin didn’t support my decision, did he need to go as well? I would miss the dude, but a man gotta do what a man gotta do.

I couldn’t hit a ball straight the rest of the course. Don’t get me wrong. I’m terrible at golf, so not hitting a ball straight is not unusual. I only say I play golf, so my clients feel bad about me on the course and give me more business when they get back to the office. It works, if you are wondering.

I couldn’t shake off the frustration that this man caught me by surprise, and I felt like I betrayed my daughter by not speaking up. I typically go around my life not thinking that people will make off-color comments, so when they say them, I’m usually not ready. I’m always left wondering where these goons come from.

I have to relearn every time there are still obnoxious people out there because I quickly forget it, and as a hopeless optimist, I quickly regain my faith in humanity. But that day’s events and others have helped me learn that I’m okay with killing to defend my daughter.

For example, we were having a play date with our neighbors who have a boy and a girl. My daughter, at the time, had just started eating solids. The little boy was feeding my daughter blackberries. He would put the blackberry on the palm of his hand and then offer it to my daughter, who would lean her head into the hand and eat it.

Okay, get it out of your system. “Awww, adorable!”

Yes, I know. As a father, my armor was pierced, and I saw the beauty of the moment. At that moment, I knew I wouldn’t be one of those fathers that have to be protective of his daughter, and he would feel proud if she found a loving and stable relationship.

As I watch it happen, the boy’s mom says, “he learned how to do it last week at a petting farm.”

“Are you calling my daughter a farm animal? I WILL KILL YOU!!” It’s how I responded… in my head.

Of course, I know my neighbor didn’t mean anything by it. But I’m constantly feeling defensive of my daughter because the awkward interactions keep flying at me.

I have no pretensions of who I will be in jail. I’m not going to be a gang leader. I will be more like the right-hand guy that helps with strategy, inter-gang diplomacy, and mutiny development. I could also mediate peace in yard games. 

If I off a few people for insensitive comments against my daughter and go to jail, I would have a clean conscience. I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it unless it is my night to pick up the soap. It’s like they say, “don’t do the crime, if you can’t pick up the soap.”

Killing people for insensitive remarks is an unsustainable practice as there are many awkward conversations you have to endure when you have daughters.

A friend of my family is trying to marry my daughter off to one of her nephews.

“I’m still changing her diapers. Is this the best time to have this conversation?”

I called my childhood best friend in Colombia. He has a daughter who is now five. I figured that if somebody has had to deal with this is him. Indeed, he had. People kept trying to marry his daughter off. I asked him how he dealt with it, and he told me he developed two ways to do it.

If the kid was not there, he would tell the interested party, “when he is of age, send me his tax returns so I can verify his assets and estate.” And then he would move on away from the people.

If the kid was there, he would look at the kid intently until everybody was uncomfortable, and then he would look back at the parents and simply say, “no. He is too ugly.”

I am not sure I have the cojones to pull these.

I also don’t want to teach my daughter she needs to get married based on looks or financial statements. But I know where my friend is coming from. It’s one of the weirdest situations you can put a father in.

I react to them poorly myself.

That friend of the family I mentioned earlier kept showing me pictures of the baby boy in her family to who she wants to marry my daughter. I saw the baby, and I did what we all do when someone is showing you pictures you don’t care about. You spew some platitudes about health and happiness.

Before the conversation was over, my daughter was betrothed. 

It put me on the spot. No one talks about this in parenting books. 

So the first time it happened (oh, yeah, there is more than one time), I let it happen. But it ate me alive for three days. I was so upset.

I typically don’t like to have these conversations. “You must have me confused for her mother. I know gender is fluid nowadays, and I take on more parental responsibilities than fathers in previous generations. Still, I don’t want to discuss marrying my daughter when there is a chance of meatball being thrown at my face tonight.”

That’s the thing about awkward conversations, you learn from the first one, and you are ready for the second one.

When it happened the next time, I just said, “honestly, I wish she is a lesbian, so she doesn’t date boys because boys are disgusting!!”

I knew this would destabilize my opponent as she is a fervent Catholic practitioner. However, I meant it. Boys are gross. Because we are.

Okay, fine.

I didn’t mean what I told that lady. I won’t push my daughter to be someone she is not. I will support and love her no matter what, even if she wants to be straight.

The point is that these awkward conversations catch most people off-guard, like the man who told me I should teach my daughter how to mix drinks instead of teaching her how to golf.

I woke up the following day after playing the nine holes with my back extremely sore. I could barely walk. I wondered if the universe was sending me a message for not speaking up. 

But I know now I am ready for those conversations.

But even if I’m not prepared, I’ll keep my pitching wedge near.

I’ll focus on the swing.

I will let the club do its work.

3 Comments

  1. Georgie

    Your daughter is SOOOOO lucky to have a dad who feels and thinks about these things. My dad never once defended me from such things. I can not imagine what it would be like to have a dad who actually spoke up against sexism instead of participating in it himself as well as trying to train me to bear it.

    Thanks for writing this. It gives me hope! And it made me laugh. (And it’s good you didn’t kill anyone over it all!) Best wishes to you, your baby girl and family.

    Reply
    • garbiras

      Thank you, Georgie. I’m the lucky one. There are hard moments at time but overall, it is one of the best experiences I have had the honor to have. I think that it is going to take more men to carry their golf clubs and kill all pigs they come across. 😉

      Reply
  2. Evelyn J. Willburn (Right as Rain Online)

    My dear, loving, supportive Dad, who encouraged all three of us girls to do and be whatever we wanted, used to say, “People are dumber than anybody.”

    Reply

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