Category Archives: Wives and Girlfriends

A Bit of Canadiana

There isn’t any Scottish lineage in this old bloke but when friends invited my better half and I to a Robbie Burns gig scheduled for tonight, I was all in.  It was at a local golf club and I guess one doesn’t eat haggis in jeans and a sweatshirt so we had to throw on our finest funeral blacks, being there no kilt in my closet.

It was a bit chilly so we decided to drop the ladies off at the front door of the clubhouse and then my buddy (who is a goalie) and I dumped the car off out back and decided to skip in the side door, scoot up the stairs through the curling rink lobby and head over to the clubhouse where the scotch awaited as gravy for the main entre.

As we passed through the curling rink lounge, sure enough there was a TV fired up with the Leaf game on showing the Leafs up early 2-0.  There was no one watching but it was a qintessential Canadian moment – cold outside on a January Saturday night, ice on the curling rink, hockey on the TV, and a bunch of old farts dressed in kilts drinking scotch and pouring it over haggis just so it could be swallowed.

It was a great night.  We learned a little history of the 78th Fraser Highlanders (although there was no record of them having a hockey team), saw some young ladies dance traditional Scottish dances (and with swords, which made it seem a little closer to a sport like hockey), and then we went home to a predictable result –  the Leafs had lost.  Tradition becomes habit I guess.

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Hockey Smells

I have an awkward back door and landing area which makes it difficult to get my gear into and out of the house.  As a result, I leave it in the garage.  This works pretty well except in the really cold months because it just freezes and when I get to my games late at night and take my stuff out, it’s just ridiculous cold to put on.

Last night was no exception.  It was a very cold week here in KW, even in this age of climate change.  As I slowly put my gear on and winced, some of my teammates chucked while others were suffering a similar fate.  Talk inevitably turned to the various ways of warming one’s equipment.  The furnace room was a favourite but it was acknowledged that this approach can sometimes have that unique hockey bag smell getting beyond the furnace room.

One of the Bob’s on the team even suggested he once threw his gear into the dryer once to warm / dry it prior to a game and that ended quite a bit more poorly than the furnace room approach with a spousal reprimand finishing it off.  Amazing how it wafted quickly throughout the whole house from the dryer.  Who knew?  We kidded him that his wife probably heard the noise of his skates pounding around inside the dryer like a very large piece of change and that’s what really tipped her off.

Anyway, we hit the ice shortly thereafter and in short, we stunk and lost big.

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Filed under Smells, Wives and Girlfriends, WOHL

To Play Or To Celebrate One’s Wedding Anniversary?

This is a true story.  As captain of the blue team for the second half of the season, I have the privilege of organizing spares when one of the regulars cannot make it.  Last night, one of our regulars was unable to make it and I had arranged earlier in the week for spare who, at the last minute phoned to cancel as well because his wife and kids had come down with the flu that afternoon.  (“Meaning what?” I asked him but that’s another story).

So, a couple of hours prior to game time, I had to go all old-school and resort to phoning guys on the spare list instead of the email-blast during the day that is so much easier.   Several unsuccessful phone calls into the list, I get a guy on the other end and our conversation goes something like this:

Me:  “Hi, can you spare for us tonite at 9:00?”

Spare-Wannabe: “Ohhhhhh man, I’m just going out the door to dinner with my wife for our 15th anniversary.”

Me: “Um…ok, so…..you can’t make it then?   I mean, I understand this might be a tough sell but….so…you can’t make it then?”

Spare-Wannabe: “Um….no, I don’t think so.  You are right.  This would be a very tough sell.  I’d love to play though and thanks for asking.”

Me:  “No worries, I’ll catch you again some other time.”

Spare-Wannabe: “Um…….what time is the game?”

Me: “9:00 PM”

Spare-Wannabe, after a lengthy pause: “Ah….ok then, no, I definitely can’t make it.  I was just thinking that if it was the 10:00 game, I might have been able to get back from dinner in time to make it.”

Me: “Got it.  May next time.  Later.”

Click.

As I recounted this story in our dressing room later that night, the one young guy on the team (yes we are allowed to use one young guy if he’s a goalie and we cannot find an old goalie) says  “Oh man, that’s a 15th anniversary going on none.”  The rest of us chuckled.  Young guys are so naive.

You see, the beauty of playing oldtimer is that you are playing with guys who are old and in almost every case, old guys have old wives.  Perhaps on a 5th anniversary, a young buck might have wanted nothing more than to hustle home after a dinner out with his date and stay home.   At some point in life though, there is the transition where you become an oldtimer and an oldtimer is one who has reasonable expectations about life, hockey and marriage, and, equally important, so does his wife.

An oldtimer is one who can go out for the anniversary dinner and still play the game afterwards.  It’s a win-win for him and his mate because after all those years, it isn’t likely he’s gonna get lucky after dinner anyway so he might as well go play.  From the point of view of the missus, if he doesn’t have hockey to go after dinner, he’s just going to bother her all night like he was a young buck, so him going to hockey is a nice way for her to finish the evening too.

Now, if the oldtimer scores a couple on such a night, well that’s icing on the ‘ol wedding cake and might just might be worth waking up his better half to tell when he gets home after a pop with the boys.  You never know, she might still be proud of his hockey skills after all those years and decide to reward him for keeping his stick on the ice.

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Filed under oldtimers, Wives and Girlfriends

Missing Hockey in the “W” No more

Hard to believe we’re at that time of year again.  The W season kicked off earlier this evening in Elmira in dandy fashion.

It was fire-wagon hockey, with end-to-end rushes, lots of hitting, passing so crisp you’d swear it was mid-season and teams playing with such a grudge towards each other, you’d swear it was the playoffs.

Well…maybe not so much.  But the season did begin and we’re glad to be back.  As one of the boys said in an email one week after the season ended last spring as he watched TV with his wife on a Monday night, “I miss hockey!”

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Filed under Wives and Girlfriends, WOHL