I went golfing today. Not something I do very often, in fact, once a season at best. My grandparents had memberships at golf courses when I was younger, much younger, so I am no stranger to a 9-iron. Two friends and I - I know, one short of a foursome - walked into the pro shop of the mid-level Granite Ridge clubhouse to pay our green fees. As I was paying, a short, bearded man surfaced from the back. Upon first glance, he might have been a full grown hobbit sporting a powder blue spandex golf tee. I knew what he was about to say even before he said it.
"Any golf attire today sir?" He quipped with a condescendence he made no clear attempt to disguise. I could only assume he was referring to my casual shoes, neat blue jeans, white v-neck tee and plaid button up shirt. Accessorized of course by a try-hard paper-boy/golf hat and black as night Guess shades.
"Pardon me?" I asked. I wanted to get a clearer listen to his tone.
"Golf attire sir? Do you have any?" He confirmed.
"Yes. I am wearing it." I replied with no apparent offense or defense.
Needless to say, the story goes on, and I did in fact, get out on to the course and hit a generous 103. As always, I was extremely polite to other players and greenskeepers. I was quiet, until needing to yell 'FOUR' which I had to do more than I'd like to admit. I didn't litter, especially any of the excessive amount of beer cans I generated. And, like any respectful golfer, I let faster players play through. I saw other players, older and well dressed men, exhibiting very questionable behavior on the very same course. Littering cigarette butts, yelling to one another and, perhaps the worse sin of all; referring to the refreshment car operator as 'Beer Wench'.
Afterwards, I felt like returning to the Pro Shop and having a wee talk with Bilbo Baggins-in-Spikes. Why must old, stuffy establishments remain old and stuffy even though they can see times changing rapidly around them? Why must people be so caught up in the traditions of more reserved times? Why must older generations always be scared by the generations following them?
And this wasn't the first time I had been treated strangely due to my wardrobe or age; my boyish features adding insult to injury. Even flying back from L.A., via our 3rd world airline Air Canada (where 'comfort costs' with a $3 fee for a blanket or pillow. What's next? Additional fees for oxygen masks in case of emergency?). In any event, I was flying Stand-By - living the dream... I know - for which there is a dress code.
I wore shiny black dress shoes that you may see on a man in Rome. Clean and slim blue jeans with a white dress shirt, black tie and black blazer. Beside me sat a man, a generous 35, also holding a C5 Stand-By ticket; he wore twenty year old moccasins, wrinkled khakis and a faded golf shirt accented by a stain. Who got the preverbal "Sir. We shouldn't be letting you on the plane dressed like that" lecture? Me! Who had to listen to "When flying Stand-By, you are representing the airline sir."? Me again. If I owned an airline, I would rather have a representative like me as opposed to a closet slob in dockers knock offs and shoes that may have seen the civil war of the mid 1880's. People with any amount of power seem to no longer look at those with less power with any sort of individuality or moral wisdom. Others are just part of a mass, and they are either abiding by the rule, or breaking it. No Grey Area.
People. The times are changing. Don't only tolerate it, change with them. I too enjoy a lot of traditional, old fashioned and romantic notions, but when doing so, I don't impede or offend others. Exercise constant moral wisdom based on individual circumstances. If you must judge, judge the sentiments of a man, and not his appearance.
A wise man once said "And the sign said 'Long Haired Freaky People Need Not Apply'. So I tucked my hair up under my hat and I went in to ask him why. He said 'Son, you look like a fine upstanding young man, I think you'll do'. So I took off my hat I said 'Imagine that! Huh. Me working for you!"
writing under the influence,