After a 3-year hiatus and with so many of my fans begging for my comeback, I have dusted off my racket – nay found and then dusted off my racket and returned to the court.
Okay, perhaps the only begging was coming from my muscles after the first practice.
At any rate, I am enjoying being on the court again. It’s the one thing I can truly say, I’ve done my entire life. It started long before I entered the realm of drama and has endured much longer than any musical instrument I’ve ever attempted to play.
And as I explained to my muscles last week over a pint of Ben and Jerry’s…its good for me.
This weekend, my sister and I were floating off of our first week victory in our triumphant return. We were ready to show another set of doubles-players that this court wasn’t big enough for the four of us. I used my cunning strategy of intimidation by having both rackets in my tennis bag.
First of all, for those who don’t play tennis, let me explain. No one needs two rackets. Only the pros and really competitive men’s tennis, carry two rackets. It means your good. It means you hit the ball so hard that you could break something on your racket in any given point and therefore need a backup. This is not something I have to worry about. I just carry the 2nd racket because I don’t have any other place to put it. But I think it’s a rather genius and intimidating strategy.
As it turned out, not even the two rackets would save this match.
I have to say that one of the most difficult things for me on the tennis court is the side game that is always being played. It’s a little game I like to call “Post Shot Comments”. It’s the finale to each point. The thing you say to the person that made the good shot and/or the person that made the point-losing shot.
This is way more difficult than a little game of doubles…this deals with human emotion.
Ladies tennis is full of frustrated moms, wives, working women, etc. They have had about all they can take of their week and the tennis court is ground zero for a frustration outlet. It can get ugly. It can get uglier than the black and navy tennis outfit I put together last week.
For the most part, I’m okay with whatever comment you want to say to me on the court. I can take the “good try’s” from the Venus and Serena play-a-likes who should never have stepped foot on line four of a C team (and know it). I can even handle the “hang in there’s” from my partner when I hit a ball, out.
The only thing I cannot stand to hear on a tennis court is the dreaded non-compliment, “Nice Idea.”
You aim your backhand to hit a winner down the alley of the girl at the net. It is so wide it lands next to the Gatorade bottle on the bench…one court over. You cringe.
“Nice idea, Rachel.” You hear your partner or your opponent or (even worse) your mom from the stands shout as you walk back to position.
Hmm…I would have preferred “Good try”, “Shake it off” or even, “What was THAT?” Instead, I get, “Nice Idea”.
“Nice Idea” is actually short for, “Yea, I see what you were trying to do there. It’s a shame that you weren’t able to execute that particular shot.”
This weekend’s match was filled with lots of shots that were “nice ideas”. These shots were only our shots. Our opponents shots were more of the“That’s how we do it!” kind…all of them. Followed by fist bumps.
The scene looked like the following: Our opponent would slam a perfectly aimed ball in the general vicinity of where we weren’t. We would trip over our own feet trying to make an attempt at getting the shot that we would ultimately miss. The opponent would then sling her racket over her shoulder and continue discussing her spring planting ideas.
“I’m thinking about Marigolds for the front yard,” she would casually mention to her partner who was working on finishing her story about her children’s bus driver who just died. All of this being interrupted, only sometimes, by the tennis match that was being played.
Meanwhile, we were reevaluating our goals in our pre-point huddles.
We went from “We are going to kick some butt, girl. We got this.”
To, “We’ll get them in the next set. No worries.”
Which led to, “Look, let’s just get some games here. I don’t want to leave here without any games.”
Which became: “Can we not win any points? This is ridiculous…did you kick a puppy on the way here? Let’s just focus on winning one point.”
And finally, “So, who do you think is going to get kicked off Celebrity Apprentice this week?”
After the public smashing that was our tennis match, we walked to the center of the court to shake hands and exchange our well wishes. Anna and I congratulated our opponents on their victory and skills. One of the girls shook my hand, shrugged her shoulders and could only manage, “You guys were funny.”
I take it back, there are two things I can’t stand to hear on the tennis court.
So, I was going to report a second victory for my sister and I on the court this weekend.
I know. I know.
Nice idea, Rachel.