Acting my age used to be a voluntary deal

I don’t mind getting older, but getting older is minding me . . .

So it was, a tennis match on Monday evening. For the past several weeks, my daughter and I have borrowed an evening here, an afternoon there and we’ve volleyed ourselves into summer tennis shape. Actually, I’ve been playing catch up, since her volleys are nasty and crisp. My volleys look more like dying yellow jackets, less accurate than a lottery ping pong ball.

“Let’s play a game!” She says.

“Sure.” I replied.

Sure wasn’t how I was feeling, but it was the proper reply when faced with an insurmountable challenge. Lie your ass off.

We played to six games. One set. A stretch of games which began promisingly enough when I grabbed a two to one lead. Still, it felt tenuous, the sporting equivalent of holing up in a cardboard box right before a tornado hits ground.

At this point, I knew I had two options. I could start crying like a sissy and fake an injury, or I could buck up; own up to the fact that my athletic prowess caught the last train out of town many moons ago and accept my beating. I decided on a blend of those two options: Smack talk.

“Ready to give up, cupcake?” I yelled across the court. “Cause here comes the hammer! We can quit now, I’d understand . . .”

No response.

That’s when I knew I was screwed, big time. My attempt to get inside my opponent’s head was met with an indifferent shrug. And then she served it up.

Whoosh

15-0

Double whoosh

30-0

Long story short, a love game, and just like that I was playing from behind at two games all. I held serve to go up 3-2, but I was growing increasingly aware that I was nothing more than a mouse rooming with a Bengal tiger. She blew past me on her serve, after which she turned the lights out.

6-3 and that was all. Even her rush to the net to shake my hand was more impressive than any facet of my game. After which I believe I called her an unrepentant punk and then muttered something under my breath about how the young are like weeds.

Eh, Mark Twain said it best . . .

“Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen”

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14 thoughts on “Acting my age used to be a voluntary deal

  1. So funny! I still play competitive tennis and have had to play women MUCH younger than me this year and the season just started! Last year I lucked out and the 20 year old I beat lit up a cigarette after playing. No wonder she was having a hard time keeping up! I Love tennis!

    • Yanno, if I was still smoking, that might have been a way to go. I could’ve lit up WHILE playing . . . But I decided to give up the smokes (again) a month ago. Tennis has become a replacement for the smokes. How ironic.

      • Smoking is more hideous. Entirely so. I know, I know . . my hypocrisy reeks (pun intended) of newly minted non-smoker status, but hey . . gotta start (something up) somewhere. And man-o-man, I have become addicted to those tootsie roll pops.

  2. I agree with Mark Twain….we should be rewarded for growing old with better looks and better brains. Not the other way around. But I guess if we started out ugly, old, and crippled everyone might also stay married longer. “hey babe, your started to look better to me every day!” hahahaha

    On the brighter side…it’s great she WANTS to play with you (even if she beats the tar out of you)!!!!!!

    • It WOULD be strange if we lived life backwards, wouldn’t it? Perspective would have a proper chance, music would be more civilized, and pro athletes would be retiring at forty. Hmm, actually . . . that sounds familiar.

  3. It’s true, youth is wasted on the young.
    Next time, play dirty – you know, vaseline on her racket grip. Oh, or maybe a remote control that would lower the net an inch or two on your volleys!

    • Handsome- I never took you for dirty pool. But I’m digging it. I think I’ll go with the vaseline trick. It’ll be a lot more budget-friendly than the remote control net. Of course, after she falls for it the first time, she’s REALLY going to kick my ass.

  4. Not that smoking was the impetus driving your tennis story, but as an ex-smoker (I stopped when Elton John had hair) JK, but it was a while ago… I’m happy for you. Don’t ever go back Cayman!
    As for Mr. Twain’s comment, wasn’t there a movie similar to his quote starring Brad Pitt?

    • Hank, I’m not planning on it. It will be six weeks on Monday, and I’ve adapted quite sweetly. My diet is currently high in sweet tooth- with tootsie roll pops, ices, chocolate covered altoids and this deliciously addicting puppy chow my daughter makes with chex mix and chocolate chips. It’ll be easier to quit the sweet drawer is what I figure. And if I cheat? No prob.
      Thanks man.

  5. What an awesome quote. I love your tennis play-by-play story. I was a sports journalist a while back so anything sports-related attracts me, but you added humor and it makes it even better.

    “Sure wasn’t how I was feeling …” I love that line. I think I’ll add it to mantra list 🙂 The best line of the story. Great post. MUY Great.

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