Spending time in Florida with my parents and the wee ones has been interesting so far. Luckily, we’ve had no more repeats of blood coming out anyone’s ears. But it reminds me of some times growing up. When I was younger, my parents had a condo in Florida. Granted, it was near Tampa and not Orlando, but whatever.
We would spend most of the month of August there every year. Do you remember being a teenager? A moody, brooding teenager? Who was spending an entire month in great proximity to her family with friend far, far away? No? Can you pretend?
My dad reminded me of this lovely experience yesterday. Perfect timing for Momma Kat!
Remember that I’m somewhere in the neighborhood of 12-14 at the time. And it’s hot and sticky, and we’ve been stuck with each other for a very long time already — since we always drove from Minnesota to Tampa. You wonder why I will now not do road trips.
Admittedly, I’m a bit of a perfectionist. And I might be just a tiny bit competitive. Maybe.
We decided — we being my parents, my sister and I, and the two friends we had brought down to entertain us — to go mini-golfing one afternoon. Mini-golf is a great activity. It’s easy, everyone can do it, and it has some funky things about it that keep it interesting.
Well, maybe for those people who can get the ball in the hole. Did you know that you’re only allowed 8 swings in mini-golf? I do.
Hole one… pretty much everyone got a hole in one or at least under par. I was five strokes before getting the ball in the hole. Bummer.
Hole two… more holes in one. None for me. This was, I think, my first 8 shot of the day.
Hole three… seriously, more holes in one? This game is not that hard. What’s the problem? Why am I the only one ending up with the stupid high scores? I’ve outscored people’s entire games on just this hole alone. I start grousing and possibly stomping to the next hole.
Hole four… yeah, more holes in one for others. I start to get what feels like incredibly patronizing advice from my mom and turn my ire on her. And I didn’t get the ball into the hole, no matter how hard I tried.
Hole five… I’ve given up by now and am just randomly swinging my club. The friends make a comment, and I snap back. They’re now irritated with me, and I get a warning of some sort from my mom. Whatever.
Hole six… I hit the ball — not on purpose — out of the mini-golf hole area. It takes me some time to find it and start over. They make me count that shot but also make me tee off again. I’m very crabby.
Hole seven… Again, I don’t get the ball into the hole while EVERYone else gets a hole in one.
This is where my dad intervenes and tells me to quit playing and that I’m ruining it for everyone else. Looking back, he’s right that I was ruining it for everyone else, but I was so frustrated. It’s a stupid easy game and yet I can’t do it no matter how hard I try or don’t try. And other people were making fun of me, which isn’t exactly easy on a teenager.
Looking back, it’s possible I may have been slightly PMS’y. Maybe.
I wasn’t allowed to return to the car, nor to wait for them at the entrance of the mini-golf area. I had to follow them around with all their stupid holes-in-one while I couldn’t do anything. And when they got to hole eighteen, wanna bet as to whether or not they won a free game? Yeah, I thought you’d guess right on that one.
Luckily, my mom had some sense and convinced them to let us come back another day for the free game. Maybe looking at my face and my attitude (I vaguely remember tears at some point along with a “it’s just a game” speech) may have helped to convince them.
On the way home, my dad forbade me from ever playing mini-golf again. I wonder why he came up with this edict. And I never played mini-golf again. Ever. Actually, that’s not true. I played once about three years ago. It wasn’t horrible. I wasn’t great, but I did get a couple holes-in-one. And I won a free game. I never turned in that free game token though.