Firewirks over Sydney Opera House

Firewirks over Sydney Opera House

Thursday, 18 August 2011

A truly surreal experience at the Golf Club

The power of blogging really does exist. I posted yesterday that I had had a few too many extra treat-like mouthfuls here and there at golf that morning and needed to put a stop to it. Well, I did. I went back to the Club for the presentation and dinner yesterday evening and managed to stay strapped to the straight and narrow despite the direst of provocations. Let me explain:

I love golf as a game but the social side of it in the Ladies’ Section can be, well, too girly, too Daily Mail, rather elderly and pernickety, a bit cliquey and privileged and overall pervaded with floral dresses and Estee Lauder. Not really my scene. Individually, nearly all of the women I’ve played with over the years have been nice, pleasant, good company (some more than others obviously). But en masse I personally find it a bit of a trial. I think I’m used to male company more than female and I tend to mix with a younger less rarified crowd. However, I love golf itself and believe in mixing in and doing my bit so I persevere and am gradually finding the women I CAN connect with and learning which ones will drive me mad in 5 minutes flat!

To that end I decided that I WOULD go to the Lady Captains’ dinner after all. My early playing mates from the club were surprised and were not going themselves so I knew I’d be “on my own”. I turned up at 7 to find the room already nearly full and loads of groups, none of which looked particularly promising. Luckily it was allocated seating and my table was one of the drinkier, rowdier tables with a few women I knew and with an average age under 100. Just to give some context, I’m 41 and I’d say I was the second youngest woman there, by several years. The easy way out would have been to say, to hell with it, written off the diet, arranged with Rich to pick me up later and signed up to the never ending flow of wine. But I didn’t. Maybe next year if this diet is successful. I had one glass of wine spritzer and then water.

Foodwise, I was good as well. Catering for 100 women the menu was not overly stodgy or fatty. A salmon terrine with salad (I left the toast) to start. Roast gammon with veggies (I chose the new potatoes not the roasties) for main and for dessert I asked for plain summer berries rather than pavlova, cinnamon choc mousse/tart or cheese and biscuits. What virtue!

And I had a really good time. Unusually the captain had arranged for one of the new members who sings professionally to entertain afterwards. This could have been a serious flop. There was that moment of English reserve when she first started – that “Oh my God, she’s singing – what do we do??!” feeling. But then she sang a 60’s classic – Daydream Believer – and, being of a certain age, they all got going and sang along heartily, arms were being waved in the air and it was off. I thought a bit of singing along was a good result for the golf club but, no, more was to come.

After a couple of songs, the singer mentioned that there was a tiny space if anyone wanted to dance….back came the English reserve…..much giggling and looks of horror at the thought. Then S, one of older less straight-laced women, got up to dance and grabbed another woman (well against her inclinations I can tell you). It was all a bit awkward. S, like the singer, is the elder stateswoman of a growing lesbian contingent in the club. It makes absolutely no odds to me what she or anyone else is or does but it is definitely remarked upon in the section albeit it in a generally tolerant, friendly way; more giggling ignorance than malice.

So, when S got up to dance it all could have been a bit awkward – exposed. Then one of women on my table said, come on, let’s ALL get up. So we did. Our table got up to dance and then nearly everyone else followed. There must have 60 or so mostly middle-aged or older women dressed in uber respectable style grooving on down (well, sort of), waving arms in the air, singing along and not a man in sight. It was surreal but kind of sweet and fun. I really enjoyed it. But it was the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen at a golf club!! At one point I looked through to the bar and saw the barman and a couple of husbands who were in the billiards room waiting for their womenfolk to finish. They had come to the door of the dining room and were just looking at our carryings on in absolute disbelief!! So funny.

I told Rich about it and his comment was “we won’t be dancing at OUR Captain’s dinner on Saturday!”. Which is true. Can you imagine a group of (straight) men all getting up and dancing together after a meal, relatively sober at around 9.30pm with not a woman in sight?? Only if they had guns trained on them…..


Claire said...

Sounds great! I love those surreal times you can have every now and then. ps I do love your main blog pic. Makes me want a dog every time I visit.

Peridot said...

Heroic self control - I'm very impressed!