A wise middle-aged man once told me “There’s nothing a round of golf can’t fix.” That man was my uncle, a deplorable white collar criminal who I haven’t seen in almost a decade. He also predicted the demise of Blackberry, so I’m inclined to believe everything he says. That’s why when a good friend, one of those guys who is always balls deep in a serious relationship, ended his latest one-year failure, I decided to take action by putting together a tradition that has stood the test of time: a full blown man day.
This day is all about the guy that needs a little pick-me-up. Normally, you’d never be able to pull a stunt like this off because of real life, your wife, girlfriend or common sense, but this is a special occasion so do it right.
No two man days will ever look the same. It’s not about a one size fits all approach. With that being said, every man day must begin with golf. There’s been a recent trend towards skipping golf and doing the brunch, but honestly, I don’t want to live in a world where brunch > golf. There’s a time and place for brunch, and reintroducing your boy into the wild is not it. Get to the course and let it rip.
The move: Early tee time between 8 and 9 a.m. at a course within a reasonable distance of your home base. You don’t have to break the bank, but find a course that’s a little bit out of your normal weekend price range. It sets the tone for the day, and it increases the odds of the group interacting with a dime cart girl. This will be key in rebuilding his confidence. Unless you’re rolling with a real group of munsons, no cart girl will turn down your buddy’s tasteful banter.
Not the move: Getting pee-pants intoxicated. Pace yourselves. Obviously, you’re going to drink, but don’t do anything stupid like going a beer per hole. It’s man day, not man morning. And if your friend doesn’t play golf? Find new friends, idiot.
You’ve just completed 18 holes. Despite taking down peanut butter crackers from the cart girl (it was that or another fucking Nature Valley bar) and a hot dog at the turn, you’re starving. That’s completely normal. You’ve just entered a crucial phase in the day as your buzz wanes and your blood sugar dips. Naturally, you need a one-two punch of sustenance and silicone. Or saline. Whatever they’re using these days.
The move: Hooters. Obviously, it’s Hooters. That’s why it says “Hooters” in real big letters right above. Get the entire group, plus any stragglers that care to join, over for the post-round wing crushing session. Don’t go home and shower first, and don’t run it by your lady. This is your buddy’s day, and checking in would be a slap in his face. Eat wings, enjoy SPORTS, and let him strikeout with the waitress. Hell, write his number on the receipt without telling him and see what happens. Swing the bat for him.
By now you’re bloated, gassy, greasy, but feeling pretty good. You may be holding in something very unholy, and you’ll want to purge yourself of that as soon as possible. Now, you may have read “ballgame” and wondered who the hell would be able to pull all of these events off and transition right into a ballgame. Well, I’ve pulled it off. Summer of 2007. Golf, Hooters, then straight to the Ballpark in Arlington (I don’t care what they renamed it) to watch a very terrible Texas Rangers team that featured Michael Young and Sammy goddamn Sosa. It can be done. It must be done.
This is all about doing man things with your man friends.
The move: If it’s an early afternoon first pitch, head straight to the ballpark and assess the walk-up ticket situation. If not, either stay at Hooters until the game starts and risk being that creepy group whose gone through a shift change already, or relocate to a bar near the ballpark. Oh, baseball season’s over because your starting pitching got absolutely shelled in the ALDS? Proceed to the power nap or just stay at Hooters long enough to go from good-natured party guy heroes to depressingly browned-out villains.
The importance of a nap cannot be emphasized enough. Even if you’re playing with performance enhancing drugs, mixing in 30 to 50 minutes of decent sleep is like hitting pause, saving the game, helping your old man pull weeds, and then jumping right back into the game where you left off.
The move: Don’t flirt with REM cycles. It’s too risky, and these guys need you at your best. Waking up in the middle of a dream can undo the hours of hard work you’ve put in, so don’t be selfish. Set the alarm, throw your phone on the charger across the room because you know you’re staring 20 percent in the face, and mentally regroup. Take a shower, because you stink, baby.
This story has one ending and one ending only: you have to end up at a bar you’d normally avoid. The college bar you swore you’d never leave your card at again. The total pussy factory that Billy Bush probably hits up when he rolls through town. It adds variety, and if nothing else it makes it memorable. So what if you just dropped $12.50 on a Moscow Mule that gave you heartburn? At least you’re not in the same bar you shut down a week ago seeing the same people and listening to the same songs.
Not the move: Under no circumstances should you give into temptation and hit up the strip club. The single guy is already sad, and you don’t need him declining into full-scale depression after he blows half a paycheck in the VIP with a girl he thought he could turn. That’s a whole ‘nother level of Scaries that you do not want to fuck around with on Sunday morning.
I know the title only references one “day,” but the next day is part of the equation too. Fire out a text to the group no earlier than 9:30. Anything before then runs the risk of making people feel bad about themselves for sleeping late. Don’t be a dick. Just wait. Send the generic, “I feel like shit text” and get the conversation started. See where it leads. You’re not obligated to go hard, but you do have that option. Go watch a game somewhere, but under no circumstances are you to step foot in a Hooters. Twice in 24 hours? You can’t do that..