Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Betty 'n BOB

Before HOB became Husband-of-Betty, he was BOB (Boyfriend of Betty). We met the summer before our senior year in college.

Our courtship was fast and hot. Let’s face it: You put an restless Agronomy major and an attractive Mass Communications major together for sweltering, humid Kansas summer and, well, things are going to happen pretty quickly.

Oh, it started with just going to movies and restaurants, but soon that wasn’t enough. Around the second month of dating we got restless, so we did what any normal healthy 20 year-olds would do.

We brought out the card games.

Crazy Eights, Uno, Go Fish. Yeah. That’s right. We played for hours and hours; the competition was fierce.

Perhaps because I was winning at the intellectually challenging card games, BOB decided we should move into the physical realm. (Isn’t that just like a man?)

He determined we should find a sport to do together. That was fine with me. I had never been a sporty girl, but I had read a lot of books about sporty people.

Now this was in 1980 and jogging was THE thing to do. I bought the shorts and top, I bought the Olivia Newton-John headband—all in matching pink and white velour. We went to the park and started off at a nice pace. About mid-way around the park I sensed BOB slipping behind me. I was puzzled. Was I that much of a powerhouse that I was outpacing him?

Then I heard his hastening footsteps just behind me and heard his voice, which seemed to have dropped a couple of octaves, booming out at the back of my head. “Move it! Move it! You can go faster than that! Pick up the pace! Come on!” I came to an abrupt halt and turned around.

“What are you doing?” I asked calmly.

“I’m motivating you.”

“No. No, you’re not. You’re annoying me.”

“Well, this is how my sixth grade soccer coach motivated us.”

“No,” I said. “You have to stop doing that.”

We started up again. This time he stayed beside me, and his voice was softer, but I STILL heard him.

“Come on! Come on! Pick it up!”

I stopped again and stared at him disbelief.

“I was motivating myself,” he said. I turned and walked back to my apartment.

“Baby! I was talking to myself!” he called after me.

Jogging was out.

The next sport we tried was racquetball. BOB’s ex-girlfriend had been a racquetball champion. OK, I thought. I’ve got the sporty outfit already and I liked the bouncy ball that the game required.

We tried it.

When I die, if I awaken in another realm and am escorted to a racquetball court, I will know I have been sent to hell.

This episode consisted of BOB running madly around the dizzyingly white, enclosed court, whacking at the rubber ball as hard as he could, grunting as his racquet whizzed through the air and made contact with the ball.

The wild, unpredictable ball went every which way, whizzing right by my head. Each time it hit the wall, the smack echoed like a shot. I was stunned and confused, in the eye of the storm.

Those years of Kansas tornado training kicked in. I did what any sensible person would do in an emergency situation such as this: I crouched down there in the middle of the floor, covering my face with my hands, protecting myself. I refused to move until I was sure all activity ceased. Anyone walking by would have mistaken me for a pink and white velour bush.

Then over all the grunting I heard the most hideous sound of all: BOB’s echoing instructions to me to “Get up! Hit the ball! Let’s go!” I stayed in my crouched position, praying for a break in the nightmare, for the noise to stop, for the blue bullet to stop ricocheting off the walls in the devil’s shoebox.

So, yeah, racquetball was out.

We moved on to golf.

I can’t really talk about our golfing experience. Let’s just say that in our marriage, one of our unspoken contracts is not to talk about that day on the golf course. The continuation of our marriage DEPENDS upon NOT revisiting that day on the golf course.

Must. Not. Even. Think. About. It.

Let’s just say that on that particular day BOB decided to be an SOB (Shepherd of Betty) and proceeded to guide her around, give her unwanted, unnecessary instructions in a condescending tone, and I believe on one occasion to even use the golf club as a herding tool.

Must. Hold. Marriage. Together.

Must. Not. Go. Back. To. That. Day.

After this incident we gave up the idea of engaging in a sport together and it’s proven to have been a good decision. Just lately though, HOB has been going on my evening walks with me. We have a fine time talking about our days and our boys. I set a good pace for the walk and HOB can even keep up with me when he tries.

And when he slows down, and needs a little inspiration, well, thank goodness, I remember those valuable techniques I learned from him all those years ago. Oh, and my Nordic walking poles are handy too, just in case he needs a little extra motivation.


Peggy K said...

Yep...I'm totally with you on this one, Betty. There are certain things that just shouldn't be talked about if the relationship is to be preserved!! I guess I can try going for a walk with my PG again, but there always seems to be something that comes up that rubs me the wrong way!!!!

Maggi said...

LOL Best story ever. This is why my hubby and I play video games. lol

Madi and Mom said...

Betty I love your new header...I haven't seen clothes pins in years.
Your post today is hilarious. It reminded me of my hubby 'trying' to teach me to play tennis shortly after we started dating. After hearing, 'you need to move quicker' about 1 million times, I decided tennis was not for me.
Thanks for the memories,
Madi and Mom

Aging Mommy said...

Oh men, why does anything involving sport have to be a competition that they feel is only worth participating in if you are going all out to win? What's wrong with doing something just because you enjoy it, or (example golf) because you get to be out in the fresh air with a great companion?

My husband mercilessly competes with our three year old already, he cannot help himself, he just has to try and get all the balls in his hippo or butterflies in his net............needless to say we have never played sports together either

Great post - had me laughing all the way through and you tell it so well Betty, so very well

Mr. Stupid said...

LOL. These were hilarious stories. I have hated all the Sports. I once tried Baseball. But that ended real bad!

Joe Cap said...

Perfect. By bride and I go on evening walks, and that is good enough! Nothing like chatting while passing the different houses, and getting exercise at the same time.

H.Toufga said...

My first time to your blog, Nice story, :D

blueviolet said...

I felt like you'd transported me back to the racquetball court reading that. What a nightmare!

I think you've made a wise decision in sticking to walking now. Safe.

Betty said...

I love your stories. I know nothing about baseball, and such stuff.
I love long-distance walks.
And hey, Betty, love your new header.
Hope you have a great day!
B xx

liz said...

LOVE the tongue-in-cheekness of the first few paragraphs. And I'm happy to hear you're a woman with poles, and you know how to use them!

I played soooo many rounds of crazy eights as a kid. That was one of our family card games.

Old Kitty said...

Oh you changed your header!!

AWwwwww I almost feel sorry for HOB but I remember those motivational things yelled at you so my sympathies evaporate! LOL!

Walking is a good sport to do together. So long as you hold the poles! :-)

Take care

RawknRobynsGoneBlogWild said...

Sounds like you passed a series of of annoying pre-marital challenges and have really earned those leisurely walks in the park. :)

TS Hendrik said...

Shepherd of Betty! LOL! Hilarious post.

A Tale of Two Cities said...

Really enjoyed your blog today--I can totally relate to what you're sharing. These days, I get a smug feeling when we walk though, because he can't keep up with me--or maybe he doesn't want to. Something about enjoying just strolling, but I"m not buying it!


Noelle said...

Hahaha...I love your stories!!!

Writing Without Periods! said...

I agree with you. There are subjects that we, like my 40th not celebrations birthday (long) story.

Crystal Cook said...

LOL! Oh Betty I just love your posts. I also think you must be THE most positive, cheerful and funny e-people I know :)

Leanne said...

So funny, Betty! I'm loving the jogging story - headband and all! Luckily my husband knows better than to motivate me! ;) thanks for the great post!

Bonnie said...

You are on a roll today aren't ya?!?! I hate it when my husband becomes an SOB (shepherd of Bonnie) as well. ;)
Really enjoyed your story, like always.

Enjoy your comment on my blog this morning, you had me bursting at the seams with laughter. hehehe


DrSoosie said...

Yes Betty I agree with your decision to keep sport and marriage apart. My husband is also an avid golfer. It is his special thing with his "other" wife..that is his law partner and best friend Art. I tried golf lessons after dental school. Of course you know all dentist are supposed to be golfing on their day off. But alas, I did not find this very good use of five hours. There are so many other things I can do in that time frame. But recently, like you and HOB, my husband I go on an evening walk. I find it a nice time to connect with what happened in our days and if I am very lucky we stop somewhere to eat along the way and I don't have to cook dinner!!!!

Anonymous said...

Betty, don't repeat the past. Put down the nordic poles. Or don't. I have a husband/golf story, too. He was trying to teach me how to play and I was having a heck of a time hitting the ball from the first tee, and may have been digging the ground up around the tee. The club manager came over and, without addressing me AT ALL, said to my husband, "She ever golf before?". This made me furious with my husband. Upon reflection I realize it might not have been fair. But after the guy left, my husband laughed, so I don't feel guilty at all. In fact, I had probably better not think about it anymore. Great story, Betty

Mommy on the Spot said...

We have an incident like this in our marriage. It's called don't talk about the kickboxing class you thought was for wimps but kicked your ass and you left running out of the class because you could' tkeep up. But you are right: must.not.go.there.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

LOL! My husband is ultra-competitive. He can't even go easy on the kids when we play board games! :-)

Green Monkey said...

Betty...!!! I wrote a really long comment (rambled) and when I went to post it it disappeared! AND.. this other Shannon showed up in my place! what kind of magic do you have going on here!!!???

I have been having problems lately commenting..its so odd, must remember to copy before I send.

anyway... love the way you abbreviate your husband - BOB, HOB, ETC...

I've been bugging my Mr. Cooked to teach me golf, but after this post, I will drop it. What happened out there Betty!!!??? NO, wait...don't tell me...I want your marriage to stay intact.

you are always refreshing Miss Betty. you made me laugh OUT LOUD.... and I'm miserable! do you have any idea what that means??? YOU are the most talented creature on the planet!!!

(okay, copy first Shannon)

Brian Miller said...

haha. oh, i love this....i would not take my wife golfing, she would see a whole other side of

Hilary said...

Oh he didn't.. with the golf club! I'm sticking to cribbage. Too funny. :)

JennyMac said...

My favorite part:

“What are you doing?” I asked calmly.

“I’m motivating you.”

“No. No, you’re not. You’re annoying me.”


Ann said...

LOL, your stories always crack me up. BOB, SOB, HOB is a lucky guy :)

Betty said...

I have some awards for you on my recent post!
B xx

Alissa said...

I played racquetball once, and it is exactly the way you described. Never again.

My parents are nearing my retirement, and my father (an avid golfer) has decided that if my mom takes up golf then they will have an activity they can enjoy together in their retirement. From what I can tell it is very much like your one golfing experience. My mom does her best to tolerate the golf thing but there is much teeth grating and grumbling from her.

Copyboy said...

I hear you about the sports and marriage thing not mixing. But hey, if you didn't have your experience we would have this funny post. Your embarrassment is our gain. haha

Venassa said...

You tell a great story! Really made me laugh.

I miss the card playing years of my life. Those were some good times. It's true that sometimes you just really need to completely block out an event to save a relationship.

Joann Mannix said...

Oh Betty, that was just fabulous! And the golf club used as a shepherding tool! I, too, would never be able to revisit that day because there would probably be a golf cart running someone down, involved in the picture. Great story.

Ally said...

Best line ever:

Around the second month of dating we got restless, so we did what any normal healthy 20 year-olds would do.

We brought out the card games.

Betty, I love this! My parents were nuts for jogging in the 80s! I have a funny story about that. I may have to blog it!

Kazzy said...

You are a great story teller! Were the 80s great or what???

I love the pink and white velour!

Anything Fits A Naked Man said...

You are such a terrific writer, Betty!

I know exactly what you're talking about! My sweet, gentle, loving husband becomes this crazed, competitive ASS everytime we attempt any kind of sport together! Is this a man thing? I wonder...

Anonymous said...

Oh Betty! I couldn't stop laughing with this one! Won't say ANYTHING- we've gotta help keep the marriage together!

HOB- BOB along on the track!

Kimberly Franklin said...

LOL. Can I borrow your nordic walking pole... please??? :)

Ms. Anthropy said...

It wasn't much of a sport, but other than making babies... all those years ago, I'm still trying to figure out what Hubs and I could possibly do together. Is eating out considered a sport?

Succot said...

Absolutely hilarious!! I think I'm getting a glimse of how my wife feels. lol

slommler said...

Husband and wives competing together is never a pretty sight. Mine tends to get a little aggressive as well! Must be in the male gene pool.
This post made me laugh and laugh!! I could just see BOB winging the racquet ball over your head trying to get you to stand up and hit the ball back!! Too funny!!

Hello! I'm Kate. said...

OMG! This was hilarious! I read it out loud to my husband & we were both laughing out loud-literally! Don't ask Todd about the million times he could never beat me in basketball--it's gets nasty! ;)

Marlene said...

"Pink and white velour bush"....OMG, I was laughing so hard, I farted!

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

Love it! Hubby and I would never do anything athletic. It just wouldn' all. It would be .. well, the end of our marriage. I am convinced.

Jimmy said...

Great Story Betty,

I'm proud to see that HOB is still HOB, the promise to not speak of the golfing day is something we all have to do with certain things to make it work, not sure what that is with us but if I mention it Cindy will give me the look and I will understand that is it :)

I can see racquetball is not for me heck I have hard enough time keeping up in the grocery store, thank goodness for the benches in the Walmart.

Beth said...

That is an awesome story but it left me wondering ... You don't refer to your son as the SOB ... do you?

Boomer Pie said...

Golf...too hard and too boring. Racquet ball...too hard and too dangerous. Pole you've got my long as I don't have to shimmy up or down skimpy attire. Funny blog. I signed up to follow you. Visit me if you're ever in the neighborhood.

The Empress said...

Adorable post.

You are so good natured about his ways. My husband is the same way and it irks me to no end.

I don't know how you manage to put it all behind you.

You're a good woman.

Julie said...

Just hilarious, Betty. a lucky man!!

June said...

Okay, you really got me with "I had never been a sporty girl, but I had read a lot of books about sporty people."
I have to hand it to you. At the first drop of sweat that issued from a pore, I would've gone home and never seen the guy again.

My name is PJ. said...

This was wonderfully told!

I really like your tag line on the header. I laughed out loud!

Sara said...

Hi Betty,

My hubby is the same way, it can be so annoying! Ecpecially with video games. When we play the wii together, forget about it!
Have a great day,

Cashier said...

Haha yeah, my fiance won't play any types of games with me anymore because I'm too competitive. :-)

Cathi said...

That is a funny story and so true! :)

VKT said...

Omgoodness Betty,

You are beyond funny. I am sitting here in a hotel business office laughing my head off. The man sitting beside me looked over like I had lost my mind so I told him to read your post...even he

I need to go get ready for the rehearsal dinner in a little while. Have a great week-end!!!

SogniSorrisi said...

LOL! I am dying over here. Awesome!

I Wonder Wye said...

At least you found an active hobby.
Excy and I still haven't. He's into the horses, and I swim and do Pilates. Thank god we love to eat, travel and watch movies.....

Double Wide Mom said...

Love your new header. Love your post today. Love so many comments! Love YOU!

gayle said...

Such a cute post!! Love your look too!

SharonVM said...

I nearly wet my pants laughing at your post. You are too funny - and maybe why I find it so funny is that I can SO relate!

Joyful said...

You're hilarious. You've give me my laughs for the day. God bless you. xx

Susan Fields said...

I'm glad you're there to motivate him. :) I loved your post, as always, thanks for a good laugh!

WhisperingWriter said...

Haha, love this.

And by the way, I'm a fan of card games. I LOVE Uno but can never find anyone to play with me.

Jingle said...

u cool,
have fun,
Happy Friday!

Powdered Toast Man said...

I want to hear the golf story now. You can't tease all of us like that. Does sex count as a sport?

KleinsteMotte said...

Your way with words is inspiring. You marriage is like many, special because you respect each other's difference. Carry on!!!!

Shan said...

Your efforts at sport sound a lot like our bienniel trips into Chicago right before Christmas. Suffice to say that I was glad to have infant Mad last time and I'll be glad to have infant Fynn this time. Two years from now I don't know *what* I'll have to do to get out of it, but I'll find something, haha.

Sam said...

LOL Sounds like you feel about the same way I do about sports. Walking the dog is as close as I ever plan on getting again.


I thought the natural progression from card games was board games.... You moved into jogging too quickly.... lol