76: Candy-Apple Sweet

76: Candy-Apple Sweet

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Married Life!

Candy-Apple Sweet

The secret of a happy marriage remains a secret.

~Henny Youngman

“Great drive!” one of my girlfriends remarked.

“Your longest yet,” said another.

“Thanks,” I replied sheepishly, as I put the head cover on and gently placed the golf club in my bag.

“What did you use?” one of the girls asked.

“Oh, it’s a club from the garage.”

“Let’s see it.”

I pulled it out and tugged the cover off. The candy-apple red head glistened in the bright sun, the black shaft accentuated the brilliant color.

“But that’s a seven wood.”

“Yeah, you know I can’t hit a driver. I lose control of the big head on the down swing.”

“Well, you hit that club further than all of us off the tee. Good job.”

Weeks went by and I hit the sweet spot on that seven wood each and every time. It felt great to finally get some good drives down the fairway. But I knew it wouldn’t last.

“You’re really hitting that club well. Where’d you get it?”

“Ummmm,” I hedged, not wanting to reveal the truth.

“Well, where did you buy it?”

“I didn’t. It’s my husband’s club. And he doesn’t know I have it.”

“You didn’t ask him if you could borrow it?”

“Nope, and if he finds out, I’m dead. He made the mistake of letting me use it once when we were playing together. I’d flubbed a shot off the tee so he handed me the seven wood and said, ‘Here, try this.’ So I did, and fell in love.”

“So why can’t you tell him you’re using it?”

“When I asked him if I could borrow it he said no, it’s a man’s club with a graphite extra stiff shaft or something.” I smiled, then added, “He probably thinks I’d wreck it.”

My girlfriend started to laugh, then said, “So what are you doing — sneaking it out of his bag?” She glanced at me sideways.

I looked at her. “He plays with the guys on Saturdays, and I play with you girls on Wednesdays. I pull it out of his bag after he leaves for work and I put it back as soon as I get home.”

“And he can’t tell that you’ve used it?”

“Not yet.”

We finished that hole and went up to the next. I stuck the tee in the hard ground, placed my ball on top and adjusted my stance. Then I took careful aim with what I now called “my sneaky seven wood,” then let the ball fly. It went quite a way, resting in the middle of the fairway with a great approach to the green. I began to walk back to the cart and flipped up the club to look at the bright red head. That’s when I noticed a nick, probably from the wooden tee.

“Oh, man, look at that,” I said to my girlfriend.

“You’d better polish that out,” she replied.

Scrubbing the head and face of the club when I got home from a golf game became a weekly ritual. I tried different polishes to bring the luster back and to remove the scratches. I knew my husband only used it in the fairway, and scratches from a wooden tee would raise an eyebrow or two. He was sure to suspect something if it looked used.

Months later, even though I was keeping the club polished, guilt got the better of me. I wanted to tell him, but I didn’t want to give up what was now my favorite club. “Honey,” I said one afternoon, “remember when you let me use your seven wood off the tee? I want to get one of my own, just like it.”

“That’s a man’s club, made for a man. It’s not right for you.”

Stiff shaft or not, it was perfect for me, but I couldn’t tell him I’d been hitting with it for almost a year. “So where did you buy it?”

“I got it from a friend of mine who designed it specifically for me and my swing. It’s one of a kind.”

Later, I dug out the receipt and called his friend. He agreed to make a club for me, with the exact same specs as the one he made for my husband. And he agreed to keep it a secret.

A few weeks later, I picked it up. Candy-apple red head, black shaft — a gorgeous club, just like the other one. That Wednesday I met the girls at the course.

“Guess what? I got a seven wood of my very own!” I shouted.

“But will you hit it as well?” they said. “We think you liked that club just because it was forbidden.”

“You might be right. Let’s see how this new one works today.” I pulled out my brand new club and approached the tee. Just like before, I hit the sweet spot and sent the ball sailing through the air. “Magic!” I shouted.

“Well, you’ve got the number with that club. No need for you to ever get a driver. You hit that thing farther than all of us.”

Did I ever tell my husband I used his club for almost a year? Nope. Some things a woman just has to keep a secret. And that sweet, candy-apple red club is one of mine.

 

~B.J. Taylor

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