I joined the tennis team at the local country club!  Am I living the dream or what?!  Home Mom in the house – makin’ the most of her FREEEEEE time!  What up, what up??

It’s been “fun” so far, but I’m pretty certain 99-100% of my team wants me gone.  Even though the tennis pro keeps reminding them that, “We LOOOOVE left-handed people on our tennis team!”  She claims it’s because left-handers save right-handers from serving into the sun…but I think it’s because I save them from having to look like the WORST person on the team.  Me and my left-handed self have that covered.

You see, I’ve never played tennis before in my life.  In fact, when the tennis pro contacted me to find out what level I was at (3.0? 3.5??), I told her I had no idea what she was talking about so that should give her some idea of my skill set.  [Turns out I’m a bargain basement 2.0 but you have to be no lower than a 2.5 for league play so she got creative with the math.]

My racket is literally 22 years old (I remember my then-fiance-now-husband-of-21-years bought it for me brand new so we could hit balls around at the tennis courts near his first-apartment-out-of-college).  And every time I show up for practice, the tennis pro switches rackets with me.  So that I can see how “modern technology feels” (her words, not mine).

I wear my three-day-dirty yoga pants instead of all the super cute tennis skirts (and tennis DRESSES??!) that the others wear.  And to this point I’ve been wearing some old running shoes on the court because I don’t think I’ve ever owned a pair of true TENNIS shoes in my life (unless Keds count.  Do they?  In which case I ROCKED the white Keds look in the 80’s, but you probably knew that already.  R-O-C-K in the U-S-A!  And no, you don’t have to buy NEW white Keds when they start getting dingy, you can just BLEACH the white Keds back to new!)

But the tennis pro keeps making comments every time I come to practice that all the grooves on my running shoes are gonna catch on the court and I’m gonna hurt myself.  But I mostly think it’s because she doesn’t want me to go down on her watch.  Or it could be she’s trying to save me from looking like even MORE of an a$$ than I already do by tripping over my own feet.  (Remember Gals!  We LOOOOVE left-handed people on our team!!!)

Hard to say.  But I finally did break down and get some new tennis shoes.  At the local PGA Tour Superstore.  They have cheap tennis shoes there.  Because they’re a GOLF STORE!!!  D’oy!  But I am NOT spending a ton of money on shoes for a sport that I suck wind at.  (Or should that be: at which I suck wind?  My mom is back from her trip and she’ll clarify shortly so hang in there.  I’ll get back to you soon on this pressing question.)

Until then, here’s an interesting observation about tennis shoes: It doesn’t matter how cute your hot pink tennis dress and matching visor are…you still look like a nurse from the ankles down.  Tennis shoes are not flattering on anyone!  And when you have size 10.5 boats like I do…there’s no hope.  So go cheap or go home.  And imagine my surprise when I was at the golf store and I lucked into a pair of ASICS court shoes – size 10.5!  All the Sports Authorities and Dickses sports superstores only carry 10’s or 11’s.  So the 10.5’s (in the same brand as my super expensive, special-order running shoes) was a true find.  Combined with the already deeply discounted $39.99 price tag which was FURTHER discounted by another 25%…and SCORE!!!  Except for all those weird black hairs on the inside of the shoes.  Those gave me pause.  At first I thought (hoped?) they were black cat hairs or something.  But then I realized they were curly.  I have NO IDEA what could have been going on in those shoes, or where the socks of the person who tried them on before me had been (shag carpet of a infrequently cleaned 20-year-old-hotel-bathroom maybe??), but the price was right, so curly-joes be damned!

And now?  Now I look like I’m making my way cross-court to take someone’s blood pressure STAT!  While wearing mini-canoes strapped to my feet.  But it’s all good.  ‘Cept for the scoring.  I signed up to play tennis.  Not to do math!  And there is soooo much math going on I can’t even keep it straight. (And when I say math I mean the nonsensical scoring of traditional tennis: 0, 15, 30, 40 whoaaa.  Whaaa?  Add-in.  Deuce.  Add-OUT??  WHAAAAA???…as well as how you rotate around the court, who serves first, which side of the court you want when the sun is shining or the wind is blowing blah blah blah.  This can all be considered “math” to a left-hander like me.)  So I just follow everyone else on the court and hope for the best.  When it’s my turn to serve, I do make sure I announce my “second serve” if it comes to that, so the others think I’m somewhat engaged.  And I find it useful to float a “30-30” score periodically to see if there’s any dissention from the other side.  Or from my own side for that matter.  There usually is – at which point I find out what the REAL score is.  Problem solved!  Also?  NEVER say THIRTY-THIRTY.  You sound like a total tennis fool.  First off, the server always announces their score FIRST, and my score never gets to 30 for some reason so I’m safe there.  But secondly and more importantly, it’s THIRTY ALL.  %^&#!!  More math.

And if, for example, the score is 0-30?  Which is more likely to be the case for me.  Say LOVE-THIRTY.  Because LOVE means NOTHING to a tennis player.  Get it?!?  Hardy har har.  Oh – and speaking of LOOOOVE??  Remember Gals!  We LOOOOVE left-handed people on our team!!!

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