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 . . .”
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.
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 . . .