Tennis Tuesday-A Babe in the Woods

Today is the first in my new series..."Tennis Tuesday."

Those of you who have experienced the absolute absurdity of USTA team tennis have probably had similar experiences. (Please share-I need to know I'm not alone!!)

If you haven't, trust me, for all the craziness, it's totally worth it, and I love it. (But hey-I'm a masochist...)

My goal for this whole experience is to find a team captain who is normal. So far that dream has been a little like searching for a unicorn, or a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Legend says it exists-but no one has actually seen it.

And so my story begins...

Three and a half years ago I found out about women's team tennis. "Cool," I thought, "what a fun chance to be on a team! Where do I sign up?"

I was very proactive and the owner of my tennis club introduced me to the captain of our ladies' 3.5 team. She sized me up and agreed to hit with me. After about an hour we left the court and sat in the lobby. "You can join." She informed me. I smiled. "You're IN." She repeated. I heard her the first time, and then realized that I didn't get excited enough. "GREAT-Thanks so much!!!" I replied, mustering as much enthusiasm as I could. She liked that much better. I didn't realize how grateful I should be for the honor.

It was a foreshadowing of things to come.

We held some team practices and for the most part everyone seemed nice enough. (Although there WERE a couple of girls who were totally sizing up the new kid (me) and seemed a little over the top) But that's a whole 'nother story.

Anyway, the day of our first match rolls around. I show up at the club in sporting my new team uniform wide eyed and ready to have some fun. Little did I know.

The first thing I heard was a gal from the opposing team telling a friend that she was so nervous that she puked on her way to the match. Bad sign.

The rest of the players started to file in. Their team...blond, clad in fancy sweat jackets and holding bags with at least two racquets in them.

Our team, a hodge-podge of hair dos and body types with one common denominator...none of us looked like we had just stepped out of hair and makeup.

I started to understand why that lady heaved out of her Lexus SUV on the way to the club.

My partner and I went to our assigned court and met our opposing team. A miniature blond, ripped like a mini Hulk Hogan and the only brunette on their team (who actually looked like she would fit in much better on our team!)

The match go under way, and it was a blur. All I remember is that every shot I hit was returned FULL FORCE by the little blond. She leaped, she dove, she sprinted. It was incredible. Occasionally her partner managed to get her racquet on the ball. Unlike the blond, the brunette made some mistakes. When she did, the blond berated her and told her exactly how to avoid f-ing up the next point. Ouch.

They beat us in 2 sets and we hit the lobby for some refreshments.

I noticed the brunette sitting on a couch looking sheepish while the blond wolfed down a plate of strawberries. I thought I'd be friendly and make conversation. ( I did mention that I'm a glutton for punishment didn't I?)

"Wow" I commented to the blond. "That was a great match. I wish we could have gone to three sets because toward the end I felt like I was starting to play much better."

Her reply, "No matter what you tried, I would have figured it out."

Okay...let me try again.

Me, "Were you a gymnast or a runner? You're in really great shape."

Blond..finger pointing at me. (No lie) "I'm a TENNIS PLAYER."

No shit bitch. Conversation over.

More craziness next week. Thanks for tuning in to "Tennis Tuesday."

Like Wimbledon-only without the manners.