I'm not sure that Fred and Nina ("Nine - ah"...that pronunciation is kind of important) really exist. Bill supposedly met these two seniors about 10 years ago. Maybe twelve. He met them quite by accident, on the golf course in Venice, Florida. And ever since, they have been held up as the standard for a perfect marriage.
Fred and Nina are from Wisconsin. Bill describes them as Garrison Keillor describes the Lake Wobegon characters : where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.
Bill will wax eloquent when he speaks of Fred and Nina. He was paired with them for 9 holes and was enraptured by them. They were decent golfers and kind hearted.They gave him encouragement and praise and they kept the game moving. Fred wore traditional golf pants - not the understated elegance of Tiger Woods, but more along the lines of the Three Stooges. Nina was rail thin and was a solid player.
Miraculously, he was paired with them again the following year. He learned that they ran a marina together and that they golfed together EVERY DAY. Not the full eighteen, but just nine holes - just like Fred's wife's name. Then, they would return home for cocktails.
When Bill gets to this part - returning home for cocktails - he gives me that 'puppy dog' look.
"That could be us, IF YOU'D ONLY PLAY GOLF WITH ME!"
It's not like I don't love sports (I'm writing this during the commercials of the Sabres v. Flyers 3rd playoff game). I just am not keen about playing a sport against Bill. Because, even though we would be playing together, we would be competing. We are both highly competitive, and I'm not sure that pitting against each other on the golf course is a great idea. Plus, I just don't have the time to devote to nine or 18 holes. That's a big time chewer and there are other things that I would rather be doing.
However, Bill brings up Fred and Nina so often and with such ardor that I feel I must make a concession.
Today, he very innocently showed me an ad for beginner golfers. " Do you not have enough time, energy or patience for 9 or 18 holes of golf? (notice the Canadian phrasing of "do you not"). Join us monthly for a fun evening of golf - just three or four holes followed by some cocktails (notice the use of the word "SOME") and a little help from some experienced golfers.
Hmmm. Three or four holes. Some cocktails. With a little practice and some work on my absolute need to win, I just might be able to recreate the myth of Fred and Nina.