(Marty Fleck is a self-help guru, the author of the international bestseller Where Can I Stow My Baggage? and the syndicated column "Baggage Handling." He is also the pseudonymous protagonist of Bill Scheft's new novel Everything Hurts. He has generously agreed to answer questions from readers of the Huffington Post.)
Dear Marty Fleck,
For the last six years, I have tried to become the first female member at Augusta National golf club. I am a five-handicap golfer and eight-time champion at my club, Green Meadows, which is only a few miles away. Two months ago, my husband received an invitation to become a member, which would have enabled me to play the course as a guest. But we agreed he should decline because of the club's sexist restrictions. Was I selfish to deprive him, overly righteous and thus depriving myself, or rightfully claiming my self-worth?
Mary Whalen, Augusta, Ga.
Whew. I feel your frustration and confusion. Perhaps this story will lend some insight.
Guy's playing golf with his wife. Having the round of his life. 15 holes, 15 straight pars. He gets to the Par 4 16th and hits his tee shot dead left, into an outhouse in the left-hand rough. He says to his wife, "Look, I don't want to lose a stroke here. So, just hold the door open, I'll get a seven-iron and knock it back out into the fairway."
The wife holds the door open. The guy straddles the outhouse hole, crouches down with the seven-iron, takes a swing. The ball takes off, starts careening back and forth off the outhouse walls, bingbingbingbingbing, picking up speed bingbingbingbingbing, finally flies out the door, hits his wife in the head, knocks her out, kills her.
So, they have the funeral, and now its three weeks later. The guy is back out on the course. Same round. 15 holes, 15 straight pars. Unbelievably, his tee shot on the 16th goes dead left, into the same outhouse. He says to the guy he's playing with, "Look, I don't want to lose a stroke here. So, just hold the door open, I'll get a seven-iron and knock it out into the fairway."
His partner holds the door open. Again, the guy straddles the outhouse hole, crouches down with the seven-iron, takes a swing. This time, the ball goes straight out on a line back onto the fairway.
As they're walking to the ball, the guy turns to his partner and says. "Unreal. Three weeks ago, I was playing with my wife. Having the round of my life. I hit into the same outhouse. And you wouldn't believe what happened. I took a friggin' nine on this hole...."