When a guy has decided to advance the human race by getting married and starting a family – there is a major lifestyle change. If he was a dedicated player before tying the knot, he may abandon pool passion for love (at least for a few years). Whether you are able to carry your pool nights forward into your new relationship or you wait a few years and decide to get back in the game, a lot depends on the expectations of your spouse.
If there is not an active and outright hatred of your pool hobby, there is plenty of room for negotiation. How well you can do this is usually related to the number of years you have been married. This can require good bargaining skills.
Initially, there will be a significant amount of horse trading. You offer a certain quantity or quality of favors in exchange for pool playing opportunities. The more sacrifices you are willing to make, the more chances you have of playing pool and for longer periods of time. For example, a good trade is offering to go shopping together Saturday mornings for a chance to get to the pool hall one evening during the week. Or, you can offer to pick up the kids on Thursday and Friday for the chance to play Sunday afternoon.
Keep the trades well balanced. Try this as a guideline - so many of your hours doing the favors to be traded for an equivalent number of hours around the table. Or, you go out one or two nights a week, your spouse goes out the same number of times.
Do not get into a situation where you are offering more home hours for fewer table hours. Let that happen, even one time, and you will never get things back in balance until you enter your retirement years.
If there is some resistance to your playing evenings, you will have to be a harder negotiator. It never hurts to throw in a measured dose of whining and begging. Not too much of the kowtowing, but enough to at least tickle the fair play button.
You might be able to get a 7 footer installed in an appropriate room is your home, even if some shots will be a little cramped. You can use it to keep in stroke and for the occasional party entertainment. When not in use, it can become a clothes folding table, short-term storage area. The space under the table can become longer-term storage. With practice you can clear the table for play in minutes, and when done, restore it to its previous condition.
As the kids get a little older (usually 9+), you can take them to a family-friendly pool hall (one that serves pizza is good). Before eating, rent a table and get them started on developing their personal pool passion. The first few times you will need to work with them on acceptable stroke or stance. Play games where they can position the cue ball for each shot and make it easier for them to make balls. Once they have the basics down, you can leave them unattended while you go off to a grudge match on a nearby table. Assuming they stay relatively well-behaved, you might find yourself training up a budding junior state champion.
If there is outright antagonism against your playing, you are in trouble. What chances you get to play are going to have to be on the sly. And, when you do go out to scratch the pool passion itch, you will have to be very careful to remove all evidences of chalk on hands and clothes. You may have to hide your sticks at a friend's house too. And, you'll put more effort in sneaking out than if you were cheating. When you get caught (and you will), grovel appropriately. Learn how to become a pretty good actor. Over time, use gentle persuasion and courteous proposals, and you will eventually gain sufficient freedom to play on a regular and ongoing basis.
If worse comes to worse and you find yourself having to give up playing, remind yourself that the Green Game will always be there, ready when you are. Your youngsters will grow up faster than you can believe. Eventually, you will retire and there are a lot of senior centers with pool tables to satisfy your pool passion.
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