Several years ago I went to a good friend's 25th birthday party. Twenty-five is a big one: you've hit the quarter-century mark, you start to feel old for the first time, you can legally rent a car. My close friend deserved a nice gift from me to celebrate his meaningful milestone. So naturally I proceeded to give him a Dutch Masters bobblehead ashtray I stumbled upon at a gas station on the way to the party.
I like to give thoughtful gifts.
Well, a little Georgia golf tournament I went to recently has a well known tagline: "A tradition unlike any other: The Masters." Back when I presented my dear friend with his favorite birthday present of all time, I was very proud of myself for coming up with, "A European tradition unlike any other: The Dutch Masters."
Since I've basically been Mastersbating all week, it has occurred to me that a nice little time-passer is to insert an adjective before "tradition" to come up with some wonderful slogans. A few:
Image via YouTube by PGA of Australia
You might have heard that a feisty little Spaniard won the Masters on Sunday. You might also have heard the crowd chant his name after he sunk the winning putt (at around 40 seconds in the video): "SER-GI-O! SER-GI-O!" And you might even have heard Jim Nantz comment on the chant.
Well, guess what? I started it.
So it was a bit scary to publicize that first blog post, but it's important to emphasize that:
1) I'm fine.
And, more importantly:
2) Tons and tons of people live happy, productive lives even while struggling with mental health issues.
Depression, bipolar disorder, social anxiety disorder, OCD, ADD, ADHD, etc. etc. are chronic illnesses. So are arthritis, asthma, diabetes, osteoporosis, Crohn's disease, sleep apnea, etc. etc. The latter six afflictions are for the most part discussed without shame or stigma. The former? Not so much.
I Have OCD
NOTE: I'd encourage you to comment if you feel so moved! I want to people to feel comfortable talking about mental health and am hoping this site can do at least a tiny bit to make that happen a little more.
I finally caved on a weeknight during my seventh-grade year, as I sat at the kitchen table trying but failing yet again to do my homework. Maybe “caved” isn’t the right way to put it; maybe that moment—when I put down my pencil, wiped the tears of frustration from my ruddy cheeks, and walked into the living room to tell my parents that something was wrong—is when I started. It’s the moment I keep coming back to as the first time I sought help for what I now know is very real obsessive-compulsive disorder.
The symptoms began to surface well before seventh grade.
The Masters golf tournament is coming up. Like any true sports analyst, I looked for parallels between the event and immature sex jokes. A juicy one was there for the taking. All the holes at Augusta National golf course have names. And I think I'm on the mark when I say that all of the names could also be a sex move:
There are some names out there that just scratch me right where I itch, be it because I like the sound, they make me double-take, whatever. They’re just gorgeous. A sampling (mostly athletes, with one actor thrown in):
Barkevious Mingo (NFL) - Oops I barkevioused my mingoes.
Vontaze Burfict (NFL) - This name is almost berfect.
Thorbjorn Olesen (PGA) - Just feels good to say. Thorbjorn. Sort of like Godsteve.
Shingo Katayama (PGA)
It's easily on of my favorite things to do: listen for funny-sounding phrases in everyday conversation, and imagine it as the name of a band. For example, on the way to a rehearsal dinner last summer, someone else in the car noticed a men's spa. We were confused as to what exactly that was. He asked, "Is that like some sort of modern bathhouse?" I immediately replied, "Dunno, but that's a great band name. You just have to imagine a PA announcer excitedly yelling, for example, "Ladies and gentlemen...Modern Bathhouse!" Roars from the crowd. Some other gems I've actually heard in conversation:
The Wikipedia Game
I once told a coworker that I was pretty sure I could get to the Wikipedia article for "Jesus Christ" within three clicks from any other article. She was skeptical, so we put aside less important matters, like completing the tasks for which we were being paid, and put me to the test. I might have had to use four clicks one time, but I was pretty good at it. But what followed was even more fun.