Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Unhealthy marriages

I played at the Palms last night. A few months ago they got new felt on the tables--a lovely, rich, royal purple. It might be the prettiest poker-table covering in Vegas. This photo doesn't do it justice. It looks kind of faded here, but it's not.

The play was pretty boring, and I ended up with no good poker stories to tell. There was one odd incident related to life in general, though. My table had five friends who were in town for a convention. One of them told the others that his 13-year-old daughter had "busted" him that morning. She apparently noticed that his golf bag was absent from the garage, and mentioned it to her mother.

That's all I know of the story, but you can sort of guess at the missing pieces. The whole thing baffles me, though. A couple of years ago I wrote about seeing a slice of a strange marriage, in which a guy called his wife in order to get permission to receive a back massage while playing poker, and was told no. This golf story puzzles me in the same way. What kind of marriage is this?

In what kind of marriage is playing golf while in Vegas something that a husband needs to be secretive about, and a wife gets upset about? Of course, his primary purpose is the convention, but so what? Most people attending meetings here take some time off to relax as part of the trip. It's perfectly normal. And since the weather here makes golf possible in February, when much of the country is in the middle of forced abstinence, who can be surprised that it's such a popular part of winter Vegas excursions?

I think of the women who have been important in my life, and imagine a few other hypothetical ones with various arrays of qualities that I might appreciate. Not one of these real or imaginary women would be bothered if I said that I was going to take advantage of a convention in Vegas to play a round or two of golf. They might be terribly surprised, since I don't golf, but never mind that little flaw in my musing here. I can't imagine getting any reaction except along the lines of, "That's nice, dear--have fun," or "Good--you've been needing some exercise," or, "Well, it's cheaper than you losing money at poker!"

Similarly, I can't imagine ever wanting or needing to try to conceal such plans from my wife. I've learned the hard way that doing things one's partner disapproves of, and trying to keep it a secret, just isn't worth the guilt and anxiety and fights and loss of trust that result. Live your life as an open book to your spouse. Where you have disagreements about activities, work out compromises that you can both agree to in good faith and stick to happily. Cheating on promises and/or going behind each other's backs is cancerous to a healthy, happy relationship.

If this guy reneged on some sort of no-golf promise, and/or if this wife made him enter into a no-golf promise, and/or he lied to her about not playing golf while on this trip, and/or she would disapprove for any reason of his playing golf while in Vegas, well, I just can't see any of those things being compatible with a marriage worth having.

I can understand a wife being bothered if her husband's Vegas convention did or was planned to include a strip club or excessive drunkenness or a side trip to a brothel. But being upset about golf? Or a husband being willing and/or feeling the need to be clandestine about a game of golf? That is one screwed-up marriage, if you ask me.

Incidentally, here's a bit of Palms news. Through February they offered double comps ($2/hour) while playing poker, plus their ongoing promotion that you additionally earn a ticket to the buffet for every 8 hours of play. I learned last night that this offer will continue through the month of March. So for all you nits who plan your play around free food, line up!


astrobel said...

Cardgirrl, please, let the man pursue his hobbies ;-)

Anonymous said...

It's because the wife is jealous of her husband going away on these business trips- especially to Vegas- and then ALSO gets to go play golf. It's like a slap in the face to her.

It's actually worse to ask, IMO, and worth the risk.

Scenerio #1 - Tell the wife. Her response, "Oh, you poor thing- Vegas is not enough that you have to play Golf too? So you'd rather play golf than talk with me while you are out there? Thanks for asking."

Scenario #2: Don't tell but get caught. Simply say I forgot to tell you. She gets upset just like #1, but it's kind of funny because the daughter is involved. It blows over.

Scenario #3: Don't tell, Don't get 'caught'. Nothing happens, wife is happy.

Now- which one do you pick??????

JP from Philly

Anonymous said...

I know your job is to comment and give your opinion and most of the time I agree with you and for the most part I agree with this post about secrets and marriage but maybe this guy has a problem with betting on golf or plays too much golf while at home and it affects his marriage in such a way that the wife thinks a "no golf" policy is the best way to go and the best for their particular marriage. It is very, very, very hard to judge someone based on this one incident. Maybe their marriage is rock solid in all other aspects. I think this is one you probably should have let go rather than give your opinion based on such flimsy evidence but then again you wouldn’t be the Grump if you weren’t grumpy.