There are only a few times in life where you exceed your own expectations and are able to do something so extraordinary that it leaves those around you speechless. When these moments happen, you expect fanfare, celebration, and wide-eyed wonderment from those around you. What you don’t expect is exceeding your own expectation with the result ….nobody cares.
Let me set the stage for you. It was a muggy summer morning. The sun was beaming onto the day. Well, what is like the sun anyway. It was the feeling commonly referred to in my house as “golf morning.” That meant no matter what the kids said, did, or didn’t do, nothing was stripping away the excitement of my morning. Little Max wrote “I hate Daddy” on his wall in marker, and I sprinted past it with a smile and said to myself, “Silly kid.” My daughter Lexi had taken the dog and covered it with Nesquick and proceeded to pour milk all over it. I leaped over the mess, didn’t say a word, and bounced out of the house (leaving the mess for Mrs. Hack to happily?? clean up.)
I arrived early, hit my customary 6 balls dead right on the range. Then ambled by the putting green to laugh at my partners who were feverishly trying to learn how to putt. And then, moved to the bar for my perfectly crafted screwdriver.
I ensure I have 27 balls in my bag and 100 tee’s – for some reason – and then show up mere seconds before our tee-time with my customary greeting, “Are you ready to have our days ruined idiots?” It kills every time.
After we decide the ridiculous game we are playing, where there are points if you birdie, points if you hit a shot out of the sand, and without reason, points if you think you deserve points. It’s stupid. Typically after the fourth hole, I am down 256 points. Routinely by this time I have lost $45 in my method of continually re-betting bets I’m already losing. This is called “pressing”. (Which I always thought was something you do when you are ahead! So you see where that has bitten me a time or two in competitive matches.) Stay with me here. This is where the real story starts to unfold. On this particular day, I am hitting the ball solidly, sinking every putt, and each drive goes further than the last. In short, I am killing it!
Here is the 15th hole, and I am playing the best round of my life. That’s right people, I am a PGA superstar for 15 holes. There were no shortcomings in my game. Each swing I put on the ball looked like Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Tiger Woods, pick any player you love and you’ll see me. My playing partners were stunned, and in some ways, jealous. As they screwed around in sand traps and struggled futile searches for balls in the woods, I was standing in the middle of the fairway. As they scrambled for bogeys with 20-foot putts, I was tapping in birdie putts. It was absolutely stunning. A thing of beauty.
Doing some quick math with 3-holes to go, I realized that even if I played those holes 10-over par collectively, I would still have the best round of my life. I would win the entire pot of money and go home a winner with a renewed spirit for the game. My wife and kids would treat me to a steak dinner, then we would go to Golf Superstore to buy new clubs. We would post it on Facebook and it certainly garners over 100 likes. The kids would look at their father not as just a wallet, or the disciplinarian, but as their hero.
As I tee it up on the 16th ready to finalize the round of my life and secure the kudos I deserve, I get a text from Mrs. Hack. “CALL ME ASAP!”.
Of course, I thought about throwing my phone into the adjacent lake because as we all know, nothing good has ever been the follow-up to that text. But, I call her. In a panic, she tells me to get home right away, there is something horribly wrong with the dog. I left, muttering something under my breath, that even I can’t repeat.
It turns out that the Nesquick my daughter poured all over our dog, caused a serious allergic reaction and our beloved pet was now officially on borrowed time. Cool. I race the dog to the vet and we wait. Mrs. Hack, in an effort to fill the silence, asked how the golf game was. I stared at her, my lips formed a straight smile emoji, and I said nothing.
The dog lived, I never finished my round, and I now live in a one-bedroom apartment on the Southside of town while I “take stock of what’s really important in life.”
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