Coach's Corner

Coach's "double-Scorpio" wife Kelly makes some unreasonable demands.

The abrupt restart of sports has been difficult. I feel like my molecules were temporarily lost while being beamed down from the Enterprise to the planet surface. Comments on pennant races, football games, and the 2004 Olympics in Athens, which I have some ugly -- very ugly -- opinions about, don't feel right. Instead, I offer a story of golf fashion and the female mind.

The human female is a strange creature: unpredictable, erratic, irrational, vindictive, and about as easy to reason with as a cat. This isn't exactly a revelation to those not female. I've made many an arrogant boast, but I've never claimed to have even the faintest idea of what goes on between the ears of a woman.

It's possible my experience has been skewed. It's been my fate, for clouded karmic reasons, that many of my relationships (most ended in total disaster) were with women born under the ominous and cruel sign of Scorpio.

Take, by way of illustration, my wife. Kelly was born in the waning moments of her future favorite holiday, Halloween. I could leave it at that and let your imagination fill in the blanks ... but that wouldn't do her justice. An astrologer told her she's a "double Scorpio," a small, evil, little class she takes great pride in being a member of, much like a Mensa might revel in her mental acuity.

Because her astrological sign brings along with it, let's say, some baggage, it would only be fair for other normal female characteristics to be muted a bit, but this isn't the case. For example, like most women, Kelly insists on modeling shoes, sweaters, and dresses that she's thinking of wearing and making me chose which I "like" the best. There's only one mate in 200 who can work his way through this male-female ritual with any interest whatsoever. I'm not the one. Still, Kelly insists I make a selection, any selection's okay, because she's not really paying any attention to what I say anyway. The perfect start to a nuclear family ought to include: a wife, a husband to squash bugs, and a girlfriend to pick clothes.

Today, as they say in sports, she took it to a new level. She materialized in front of the TV (aggressively blocking the Bears-Vikings game) demanding to know which way I liked her shoes laced; this way, she points to one shoe, or that. Don't read it again -- she asked me how I liked her shoes laced. I'm a loving, sensitive guy, but I have limits. I wasn't going to this place. Meanwhile, the Bears had just scored their first touchdown in three years, which I missed because my Scorpio wife was intentionally blocking my view of the TV. This aggravated me. I subtly changed positions so I might see the replay. This refusal to cooperate was, I know with complete certainty, marked and checked in her vindictive little black Scorpio book. Some day -- perhaps a decade hence -- I will pay. Though I, a gentle and peaceful Taurus, will have by then forgotten about the touchdown she made me miss. But this is run-of-the-mill female behavior and not where I was heading.

This was to be about golf club fashion. As with the Shoelace Incident, I'm again surprised at Kelly's capacity to stun me with a unique world-view. Early this summer I talked her into going with me to a golf school. To my shock, she had fun. She's even been going to the driving range with me, an occurrence I'd have considered as likely as Haley's Comet crashing into Matt's El Rancho next Friday night.

She wasn't, however, pleased with the 3-wood I'd pawned off on her -- an ancient stick purchased for $3 a decade ago at a used golf club store. It owned a long-term lease in my bad-club bag, a busy and crowded place where I retire all my clubs that don't work anymore. She took a fancy to a yellow 3-wood she saw in a pro shop. The brand, loft, cost, feel, size -- all the things that matter to us rational males meant nothing. It was yellow. It was cool. She was going to have the yellow 3-wood. She ordered it. Case closed ... or so I thought.

One night she saw another woman using "her club." It wasn't her club, of course, but when I noted that thousands of women were playing with her club, another mark was placed beside my name. Since that night she's invented a quite real (to her) life story for this hapless and innocent golfer who's never even noted Kelly's existence but had the temerity to get the yellow club before she did. Her choice of clothes, they way she fits into them, the "sorry-ass job she must have," all this and more -- largely figments of her imagination -- are now as real as the touchdown pass (that won the game) I never saw this afternoon.

This is typical of Scorpio traits I've experienced before, taken to an extreme Kelly revels in. For some sick and unknown reason, I find these traits amusing and endearing, though it's with the disturbing foreknowledge that I could find myself in her cross hairs some day. Not a settling thought. I've been there before.

The order for the yellow 3-wood was canceled.

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