Your Blogmeister’s Desk
My quadragenarian blues were very short-lived.
Among many good and memorable things that happened to and for me yesterday, the big big big boss of the operation ringed my sail foam in the late morning. I have my phone set to where my screen flashes red and makes an alarm noise when he tries to call me. Meaning that if I’m in a coma and he tries to call me, I come out of the coma to answer it. So I figured something was up. It went like this: “(My name), I heard from (my immediate supervisor’s name) that you had the day off because you turn forty today. But there’s something I want you to take a look at really quick. It’s right there on your desk. It won’t take you more than a half hour, if that. I’m sorry for getting you in here on a day you were supposed to have off.” So of course I schlepped my way over to the salt mines.
Turns out it was a pretext — When I got to my desk, I found what felt like a file folder packet wrapped up in gift wrapping paper and a bow, and a post-it note peeled onto it had these handwritten words:
“Age has its privileges.”
Then I opened it.
Three PGA tour majors. Two Senior PGA tour majors. A Ryder Cup. Nicklaus-designed.
And I’m going to get to play it. Two rounds, any time in the proceeding year, along with a partner of my choice. (Don’t ask, I already know who it’s going to be — I’ll put it to you this way — I’ll be mending an old fence, and this will definitely do the trick.) Which means I’ll most likely do the Saturday-Sunday thing on a weekend when the weather forecast for the course’s metro area looks chipper and I can convert this gift package into a good tee time, and, considering where and what this is, that will be easier said than done.
I am of course talking about Valhalla in Louisville.
I also have an idea who pulled the necessary strings to make this happen, but that’s all it’ll be, just an idea. The better plan is to enjoy the weekend. I know it will be by far the most difficult course I’ve ever played. I know this course is going to chew my ass up and spit it out. But, who cares? The best golfers of our generation have played competitively there, and the best golfer of all time (*) designed it.
You know? If I would have gotten this present on my 30th birthday, I would have shown the requisite appreciation to whoever gave it to me, but I would have had no use for it. Another way to think about this gift is this: It’s not so much what it is (though, you have to believe me, it’s special on its face), but what it represents. What it represents is that I must be making a good impression on some really important people. Aside from the fact that I wouldn’t have been able to appreciate this gift had I got it ten years ago, it wouldn’t have mattered because I would have never received it ten years ago. What this gift means is that I’ve sorta arrived, sorta made it. No, I won’t be going on Mount Rushmore if I kick off tomorrow. But what it means is that the world is communicating to me that it knows I’m putting way more into it than taking from it in somewhat crucial ways, and that all of my BS&T over all this time is starting to pay off. It sorta speaks to the old saw that “they don’t let you make any real money until you’re 40.” It’s not as true as it used to be, but it’s still sort of a thing. What it also means is that I now realize that even as the calendar belies any such desires I might have in this stead, I no longer want to be young. It took me living this long, and all this time, and all this work, and all these setbacks and false starts, to get to where I am and to get what I have.
If that was all that happened yesterday, then I would have had the best milestone birthday of my life.
To add icing to the cake, as I was on my way to my desk to do what I thought was going to be a quick piece of work but turned out to be finding a present, some dusty blonde who works in the same building but for a different firm basically clubbed me over the head and took me back to her cave. Naw, she literally didn’t do that. But she did make a serious pass at me. Turns out she has been working in the building for a few months, and while she may have crossed my vision, I never noticed her. But she has been noticing me, and the lack of a ring on my hands. For some reason that may be either cosmically significant, or just a coincidence, she worked up the courage on of all days my 40th birthday to throw herself at me. Just for the fact of who she threw herself at (this may come as something of a shock to all of you, but I can be something of a jerk towards women), and the particular date she chose to do it, that deserves at least one nice supper. She might be the one, or she might be just one of those things, and knowing me, it’s probably going to be the latter. But, we’ll see, starting tonight.
Another one of yesterday’s highlights is that I got bamboozled into spinning at my own birthday party. Only yours truly…
I think this is the start of a beautiful decade.
(*) Jack > Tiger. I so believe that if that I was made to bet my life on either match or score play between Jack in his prime and Tiger in his prime, eight days out of seven every week I’d go with Jack. If for no other reason alone, Tiger has proven that he’s mentally weak and it’s easy to live rent-free in his head. Jack, OTOH, won eight of his eighteen majors on come-from-behind Sundays, while Tiger not only never won a major if he wasn’t already leading after Saturday, but he also coughed up at least two majors on Sunday after being in the lead to start the day. What it means is that Jack is at least somewhat mentally sturdy; I don’t know how he ranks compared to people in general, but I know he’s stronger than Tiger, and since I’m speaking of Jack versus Tiger, that’s all that needs to be stated. Most people only look at the wins in majors, Jack’s 18 to Tiger’s 16. What most people overlook is that Jack has 19 second-place finishes in majors. By comparison, Tiger has six. Meaning that if you count wins and places together, Jack has 37 to Tiger’s 22. If you count win-place-show, it’s Jack 48 to Tiger 24.
One of Tiger’s 16 majors was at Valhalla, namely the 2000 PGA.
In case you want to know, my favorite golfer of our time is Phil Mickelson, who is currently in the news for not a good reason.