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It started innocently enough last weekend. Through a friend of a friend, I had scammed my way into an invitation on the deck of a high rise pool where people far wealthier than I were scattered and enjoying the fruits of their labor.
As a show of goodwill, I brought along a 24 of Miller Lite and a box of white cheddar Cheez-It Grooves which became a favorite amongst the group almost immediately. There were about eight of us there that day, and after four or five MLs, I began to feel euphoric in that way that only the perfect amount of alcohol can.
I was in the sweet spot and I struck up a conversation with the guy who lived in the high rise. We discussed growing up in Michigan, Hawaiian pizza, and, eventually, our respective golf games.
It’s a strange thing to talk golf with someone whom you don’t know very well. Neither party wants to come off as a complete dickhead, so there’s usually a lot of hemming and hawing about how good the two of you are. Common phrases you’ll hear during the course of a conversation about golf with a new friend:
“I don’t get out enough anymore.”
“I don’t even know what my handicap is, man, let’s just say that I’m a hacker and leave it at that. Ha.”
“I mean. I guess you could say I’m long off of the tee but it doesn’t matter because my short game is complete shit.”
We talked for probably fifteen minutes about golf and how hard it is to find affordable courses around Chicago, eventually getting to a point where it was time to shit or get off of the pot. Discussing golf with a stranger is flirting, except the end goal is not to get laid – it’s to go golfing with them.
“Let me get your number before I leave,” I said sheepishly to my new maybe friend.
“For sure, dude, I go with a couple of guys every Sunday,” he said back to me.
My face was beat red when I walked away over to where my girlfriend was sitting, and she looked me dead in the face and said six words I’ve heard way too often in the past month – “You did it again, didn’t you?”
“Sure did. Getting his number later on today!”
It’s a delicate dance getting a guy’s number. I do this with dudes at parties and bars every single summer, and usually what ends up happening is we’ll agree to exchange numbers and then neither of us asks the other. And even if you do muster up the courage to get the number the work is only just beginning.
You still have to actually text the guy about going sometime, and I always get the feeling that I’m bothering them in some way. It’s sort of like that episode of Seinfeld where Jerry becomes friends with Keith Hernandez, and Jerry doesn’t want to seem overeager but he really likes Keith and eventually agrees to help him move out of a brownstone apartment.
The problem with meeting new guys to golf with is that you have to decide if their worth spending three or four hours with. This isn’t like grabbing a beer with the new guy at work because there is risk involved.
You can’t just walk off of the course on hole 3 if the conversation isn’t flowing or the guy turns out to be a total squid. And on the flip side of that, you have to be on your A-game conversationally. I love roasting my friends, but in the beginning stages of a friendship, you’ve got to keep a lid on that kind of stuff. Roasting is reserved for the third, maybe even fourth round that you play together.
So about that guy’s number I got last weekend? Well, it turns out I was too scared to ask for it when I was leaving and I ended up having to text one of the girls I was with the get the number from her.
It’s been sitting in my contacts list for a week now and I don’t have the balls to text him. I’ve been thinking about it playing tomorrow morning and asking if he’s available, but again – I don’t want to come off as overeager. This shit is harder than dating, and if I keep on this same trajectory I’m going to get labeled a golf tease by the eligible guys in my area. I’m just gonna text him after lunch. Maybe later tonight after I have a few beers. .