Rules are meant to be broken. For a rule-breaker such as myself, this is a line I keep carefully tucked in my arsenal of justifications, ready to haul out when the need arises. Yesterday I hauled it out....more than once.
It first appeared on the golf course. ( where it makes regular appearances). We were playing with a nice enough couple from some small town outside of Kingston (Ontario, not Jamaica). A newly retired couple, Charlotte was one of those sweet, genteel women I could never imagine being, and her husband Greg was one of those competitive, serious anal-type golfers that takes forever to line up every shot and "plays by the rules". (Great, I thought - 18 holes with this guy - how can I make this more fun?)
Anyone who has ever golfed, knows that one of the first things you do when playing with a pair you do not know or have not played with before, is to establish the ground rules. Doug and I (not serious, or anal) always play "ready golf". Greg was only semi-OK with that one, but he went along for the sake of the crowd, trying to enforce the proper order whenever he could. It is also decided at the beginning which tee box you will be hitting from. Doug hits a long ball and likes to play from the blues, Greg wanted to play from the whites and Doug being his cordial self, agreed to his choice. As I mentioned a few blogs back, I too like to play from the whites. Greg's wife, sweet genteel Charlotte wanted to play from the reds, so because she was so sweet and I didn't want to hurt her tender soul in any way, I agreed to switch it up. I would play the occasional red with her and the whites when it suited me. I would be breaking the rules at every hole.
As there was no prize at the end of this game, no trophy to raise above my head, or no exemption into the next LPGA Tour, I saw no reason to play by the rules whatsoever. I was there for a casual fun day of golf. It became instantly apparent that Greg had never played a casual fun day of golf in his oh-so-serious life. I wanted to say "Loosen the bone Wilma!", but thought better of it. By the end of the day, I had broken a few other rules as well. Once, after three attempts to escape from a particularly steep-lipped bunker, I just picked up the damn ball and flung it onto the green. Another time, I putted before my turn - ooops! Bad Deb! More than once, I teed up a second ball when I didn't like my first drive, and I'm pretty sure I miscounted my score on the holes I had to take a drop on after feeding the fish. It all made for a pretty good day and scorecard for me.
There's no doubt in my mind that on the drive home Greg was ranting to his lovely wife about my complete lack of discipline and bad rule-breaking behaviour. Not much different really than my rant to Doug about Greg's uptight goody-goody, "watch me play like a pro" crap I had to witness all day.
Having been exposed to this "play by the rules" business all day, only fuelled the rebellious fire within me. What other rules can I break today? "I'm no Greg and never will be, dammit!" So, when we got back to the condo, my sweet daughter, barely out of her pajamas at 3:00 pm, (what are holidays for?) (hey - she was kinda breaking a rule too - good on you Emma!) was ready for some holiday fun. She had researched what she wanted to do for the rest of the day, so I changed out of my golf duds and we headed out.
She wanted to see an IMAX film called Under the Sea and grab a little dinner. Sounds good I thought, nothing too physically taxing, as the golf had kind of pooped me out. Still feeling a little rebel-rousy, I suggested how about "Dessert for Dinner"? Well, you can imagine the reaction. My kid has the biggest sweet tooth of just about anyone I know (well, I know one - she will be reading this - you know who you are!) and her eyes just lit up like I'd told her she won the lottery. You can pick the venue, I told her - so we made a Bee-line to Ben and Jerry's, where I told her she could have anything on the menu. She ordered some chocolate chip cookie, whipped cream, ice cream combo that came in a cereal bowl, and I ordered a banana split (the fruit was a healthy choice I figured) and we savoured every creamy, decadent mouthful.
Not only had I broken the Dinner before Dessert rule, I had made my kid an accomplice (albeit, a willing one) and I had eaten sugar. I have been off sugar for more than a month, as ordered by my naturopathic doctor, but today I didn't care. It wouldn't kill me just once....would it? As I am alive this morning to tell the tale, I think my pancreas survived. My gall bladder has been gone now for a couple of years, so no harm there. I guess you could say the banana split was the icing on the cake to my rule-breaking day (or the cherry on the sundae). Whatever.
The IMAX movie did not present any opportunity to break a rule, although it was in 3-D and on several occasions, I actually reached up to touch the exotic fish and sea creatures that kept swimming right into my face (I swear they were making my nose itch) and that was breaking the "please don't act like a weird parent rule" according to my daughter, so maybe I did get in one last swipe of rebellion there too. By the way, rule breaking aside, I am now completely spellbound by the Leafy Sea Dragon. If you have never seen one, check out the photo at the top of this blog - hand's down one of the most amazing creatures I have ever seen. (kinda like a sea horse in drag) I am imagining them printed on fabric and made into a pillow.
Would that be breaking the rules? Hope so.