Married to Clubdom

Gregg Patterson, President

“Tribal Magic!!!”

Creators of WOW—Builders of Community

Manager Sue—the recently retired 37 year GM at the High and Mighty Country Club—is having her “I Just Retired and Couldn’t Be Happier” dinner with long time squeeze Hubbie Hugh and their best friends Frank and Liz at their neighbourhood restaurant “Faux French”.  Lots of wine, lots of snails and lots of uncorked conversation.

Manager Sue takes a Big Gulp from her 20 ounce glass of Mojave Red, draws deeply from her bourbon infused electronic cigarette and coos…..

“What a great time I had in the club business.  It gave me the buzz, the love and the glow—for decades.  And a career in clubdom is even better when you’ve got a hubby like Hugh who understands, supports and encourages The Management Journey every step of the way.   It’s been painless!”

Manager Sue glows, smiles at Hubby Hugh, friends Frank and Liz, downs another Big Gulp of Mojave Red and sighs the sigh of a happily married club manager.

But……….through her wine induced bliss filled haze she notices that Hubby Hugh isn’t smiling, is wearing a Resting Bad Boy Face, and is giving her The Look.   Hmmmmmmmm……….

“Hubby Hugh, what’s wrong!  Is your Mojave Red giving you gas???”

Hubby Hugh shakes his head, gives Frank, Liz and Manager Sue The Long Lingering Look, takes a double Big Gulp of Mojave Red, straightens his tie and snaps…

“Painless?  PAINLESS??? Manager Sue, do you appreciate the sacrifices I’ve made—for DECADES—to support you in your Club Management Career???”

Jaws drop.

Manager Sue stares, gulps and squeaks.  “Huh???”

Hubby Hugh takes a Man Sized Gulp of his Mojave Red, wipes his chin with the back of his hand and barks.  “With all your AAs, BAs and MBAs from all those Big Name universities, with all your certifications and re-certifications from the Club Managers Association, wasn’t there even ONE course focused on the questions that needed to be asked, discussed and answered before a non-hospitality Innocent like me marries an absolutely looney-tunes-addicted-to-a-career-in-club-management someone like YOU???”

Jaws drop.

Manager Sue stares at Hubbie Hugh, gulps Mojave Red and squeaks—“Huh?”

Hubby Hugh takes another Big Gulp of Mojave Red.  “Manager Sue, when we tied the knot we were dumb as a rock and Hot To Trot.  I knew nothing about the routines, schedules and commitments of a club-addicted club manager.   I knew nothing about the challenges I’d face and the adjustments I’d make as a club-addicted club manager’s spouse.  We were both clueless, the blind leading the blind, and lucky these land mines didn’t go boom and vaporize our Big Love long ago.”


Jaws drop.

Manager Sue speaks.  “Wow.”

Bob and Mary speak.  “Wow.”

Hubby Hugh un-screws another two litre bottle of Mojave Red (Vintage 2016), pours deep and speaks.  “We should have probed and pondered The Big Questions—BEFORE we got married.  We had The Hots but we needed The How.”

Manager Sue gives Hubby Hugh a quizzical look.  “Questions? What questions???”

Hubby Hugh drinks deep—and the questions start flowing like well-aged Mojave Red.

Riddle Me This

“If I had a degree in PMQ (Pre-Marriage Questioning) specialising in MCM (Marrying a Club Manager) I’d provoke some conversational heat by asking The Non-Club-Management-Spouse-to-Be a couple of “Did You Consider This” questions—like these.”

Hubby Hugh takes another gulp of Mojave Red, clears his throat and begins The Asking.

“Do you accept that most looney-tunes-over-committed club managers consider Club Management a “calling”—and that The Calling will come first when career / family / geographic compromises need to be made???”


“And because it’s a Calling, do you accept that the career of your looney-tunes-over-committed club manager spouse will take precedence over YOUR career?”


“Are you happy being home alone, Spouse-less—lots?”


“Do you have lots of interests to fill all that home-alone-and-my-manager-spouse-is-at-the-club-working time?”


“Do you accept that you’ll eat lots of Spouse-Less dinners when the club’s open for business?”


“Do you accept that your looney-tunes-over-committed Manager Spouse will often be absent and “at the club” on birthdays and anniversaries?”


“Do you accept that when the dining room’s packed your looney-tunes-over-committed Manager Spouse WON’T be home when they say they’ll be home?”


“Do you have a support network of friends and family who’ll “be there” to hold your hand when your looney-tunes-over-committed manager spouse is away ‘doing club’???”


“Do you accept that club managers are a tightly bonded Tribe and that you’ll always be an “outsider” looking “in” because you know nothing about—and care nothing about—bridge players, sprinkler systems or pin placement?”


“Do you accept that your looney-tunes-over-committed Manager Spouse will be closer to THEIR members than they’ll ever be to YOUR friends?”


“Do you accept that you’ll always feel like an alien creature when you visit the club—in spite of the fact that you’ve been introduced to everyone and their sister by your Manager-Spouse?”


“Do you accept that you—who will be working a “conventional” Monday through Friday job—may NEVER have two days off in a row with your “unconventional work week” Manager-Spouse?”


“Do you accept that The Busy Season for your Manager-Spouse will conflict with traditional vacation times for you and the kids?”


“Do you accept that your looney-tunes-over-committed manager spouse will work fifteen hour days during “The Season”, during holidays and during Big Events—and ignore you and the family in the process???”


 “Do you accept that YOUR family events will be less important than family events at the club?”


“Do you accept that your manager spouse will be more committed to making the members happy than making your family happy?”


“Do you accept that you’ll be the “Principle Parent” when it comes to raising the kids?”


“Are you ready to deal with job uncertainty—knowing the “employment expectancy” of a club manager is tragically short?”


“Are you prepared to keep yourself entertained and busy all weekend when your Manager Spouse will be working?”


“Are you prepared to create your own “I’m married to a club manager” traditions on holidays — barbecue on a different night than July 4 or Memorial Day; eating Thanksgiving dinner later on Thanksgiving night; celebrating New Year’s Eve after midnight; having Valentine’s Day dinner on another night?”


“And after answering these questions and considering all this, do you still enthusiastically support your spouse’s career—and do you commit to doing what needs doing to keep the marital ship-of-state on an even keel?”


We Worked It Out

Hubby Hugh sighs.  Manager Sue sighs.  Frank and Liz gasp.

Hugh speaks.   “Manager Sue, we worked it out, we muddled through, I did what needed doing to support your looney-tunes-over-committed club career.”

Drink. Sigh.

“But—I wish we’d asked these questions years ago.  It’d have made all the adjusting lots easier.”

Manager Sue nods—and drinks deep from her glass of Mojave Red.

Ask—And You Will Be Given

Everyone gives everyone at the table The Wide Eyed Look.

“But it all turned out A-O.K—I’ve still got the hots for Ma Woman, Manager Sue, still “there” every day to give her The Buzz, The Love and The Glow, still glowing with pride that she’s done good and loves the doing.”

Hugh drinks.  Chuckles.  Gives his woman The “Almost Illegal in a Public Restaurant”  Big Love Squeeze.  “Before you marry a club manager always remember—ask the questions, have the discussion, strategize “how”, prepare to compromise, laugh lots and…

“Enjoy the journey!!!”


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