TO THE PAIN

TO THE PAIN

One of the best feelings you can have playing tennis is to have your boyfriend tell you you remind him of John McEnroe. One of the worst feelings is to realize he’s referring to the temper, not the tennis.

The finals of my tennis league took place the other day, and I’ll admit it wasn’t exactly my best night. My playing was okay, but my attitude could’ve used some improvement. Not to make excuses, but I was operating on a shortage of sleep and a surplus of exhaustion. I was ready to collapse even before the first match began, and I kept thinking I was like Westley at the end of The Princess Bride, barely alive and knowing my only hope was to summon whatever strength I had and use it to psyche out my foe, then collapse immediately afterward and reveal how close to death I had been all along.

So, in my crankiness and competitiveness, I wasn’t exactly on my best behavior. Still, I have a firm belief that if you’re going to play tennis in a league, let alone in the playoffs, and let alone against me, you should know how to score a FREAKING TIEBREAKER, DAMMIT! And you shouldn’t doubt me when I explain it to you. And whatever you do, you definitely shouldn’t proceed to beat me afterward. In the concurrence of all these events, you are likely to see me at my worst.

Thankfully, me at my worst has a tendency to bring out Drew at his best. Drew at his best, in this case, meant the emergence of Catty Drew. I’m a firm believer that Catty Anyone is best enjoyed in small doses, but Catty Drew only seems to visit when I need him most. So after I acted like a five-year-old boy on the court, we cheered ourselves up by acting like thirteen-year-old girls and making fun of all the people who beat me and made me sad. If there’s one thing I learned from Mean Girls, it’s that being cruel to people is hilarious!

So to the guy I snapped at for trying to take a Gatorade break during our tiebreaker, I sincerely apologize, you annoying, horse-faced goon. I should’ve let you take the break, even though it’s technically against the rules and even though you look about ten years older than you tell people you are. To the guy I was trying to bring down by telling everyone what the weaknesses of his game were, I’m sorry, I should’ve been more mature about losing to you even though you are snotty and rude and also ugly, and even though you just have one trick shot and no real game and you smell like moldy bread. Really, I should’ve kept my bitterness to myself, and for not doing so, I was very, very wrong.

And to the guy who won the championship, my heartfelt congratulations. It was well-earned, and I hope it compensates for the fact that you have the complexion of a sixteen-year-old who works the deep fryer at McDonald’s and the gut of someone who’s had too many Big Macs. I’m sorry there was no one there to congratulate you as you accepted your prize, but I hope you slept next to that $25 gift certificate to the Racquet Shop that night and that it kept you warm and told you how proud it was of you. You deserve nothing less.

I’ll see you all next season. And really, guys, no hard feelings.

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