Competing our way to laughter and other possibly more productive goals.

Patrick and I are competitive people.  Not necessarily (at least not always) in the cutthroat kind of way, but nonetheless, we both tend to do better with goals and endpoints.  I am a list maker.  I like to see how much of a list I can get done in one day.  I race against my own best time at various tasks, whether it is envelope stuffing or running (ellipticalling?) at the gym.  Sometimes, when I study, I make up flash cards, so that I can try to beat my best “score” or I see how many sections I can get through in an hour.  Sad, I know.

As a result of our competitiveness, we make up games.  Really odd games.  Some of them aren’t intentional; others have definitely become, well, intentional.

Game number one… Patrick got a mini basketball net for Christmas.  It now lives on our bedroom wall (classy décor, I know).  I need not elaborate.

A mini basketball set similar to ours. Because I am too lazy to get up and take my own picture. Image from

Game number two… We have many friends that are generally late people.  I am obsessively early.  We like to guess who will be first to arrive/who will already be there and such when going out as a group.  The winner simply gains the satisfaction of being right that time.

Game number three… Similar to game two.  We live with my parents when we go home for holidays.  My parents are lovely, retired people who go out for drives and tend to the grandparents with Alzheimer’s or they are home.  When they are home, they can be found in three places, the computer, on their respective chairs or in bed.  We guess for a possible three points, whether or not they are home, and where each of them will be located.  My parents now know we play this game.  Likely because we have come in and announced who won.

Game number four… This actually has little to no motivational purpose.  It is more to see who can be funnier.  We watch hockey (particularly on the nights we can only get it in French) and make up what they players and commentators are saying.  Kind of like on Who’s Line is it Anyway except we are not at all professionals.   It is part of the fun of  “hockey night in the M household.”

From last night's Montreal-Washington game. In which Montreal lost... again. Sad face. However, here, they are having a who's arm is longer competion. Borque won. Woot. Image from Washington Times online.

Game number five… Mahnamahna… Do dooooo ba doo doo.   You know the song, from the Muppets?  So do we.  The doctor I worked with this summer and I came up with this theory that when one person says mahnamahna, the other is psychologically obligated to finish the sentence.  We spent many a clinic day sneak attacking the other with mahnamahnas in order to force the other into responding.  I told Patrick about it.  Now, it happens at home too.

Game number six… Similarly to the manamanah thing, if I hear a phrase that sounds like it comes from a song, I feel obligated to sing a line from the song or finish the verse.  Because I am an epic music geek and seem to remember things set to song, this generally works out in my favor.  Furthermore, Patrick is renowned for mixing up song tunes and lyrics so that I am generally unable to recognize said songs or lyrics.  The night before last, however, he one-upped me.  There is a song called “He’s Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” sung by The Hollies.  He was singing that and I was not sure the phrase went “he’s ain’t heavy” though I had no clue what they actually said.  Last night, Patrick YouTubed the song and sure enough, he was right.  For the first time in ages.  Patrick: 1 Trisha: 2 million.  I won’t hear the end of that for a very long time. 

I think you get the point.  Needless to say that our silly game habit keeps us entertained.   It has also kept me doing some more important things in life, for instance I apply my game/list habit to my Bible reading and other reading… I need to keep my daily habit going… The longer the stretch without missed days, the better.  For instance, my current blog stretch is 19 including today (a personal best).  My Bible reading stretch is 19, however, I had a 67 streak at one point.  My medical journal reading (minimum one abstract per day… easy, I know) is now at 5.  Fun book reading has been happening daily for about a week (previously I had a two week stretch).    I need to better apply it to the gym… Only 2/4 this week.

The competitive streak, when used effectively seems to work well for me.  I think God gave me that streak for a reason… One, so I would be well suited for Patrick and two, so that I would actually get things done.  Plus, who doesn’t like weird made-up games?   Despite my now starting nervousness for interviews (finally hit me last night… eep), I am grateful that I am so competitive or obsessed with making up games that promote effectiveness because it means that I can almost trick myself into being more prepared.  I am also grateful that I have all kinds of little things to distract me when the stress gets too high.