The other evening Brian asked me if I wanted to play tennis. First off, I was in the middle of making dinner. I do that sometimes. Make dinner. I don’t make a habit of it because then people start to expect it. I also don’t tell many people because then the expectations of things I bring to family gatherings change from pie from the frozen food section to something I actually made. We can’t have that.
So I wasn’t in the best mood when he asked because I don’t like to cook, or make meals, or be in the kitchen really.
I said “no, I don’t want to play tennis.” in that tone of voice that said “This should be obvious, but I will answer you anyhow.”
He told me he missed playing tennis with me. I find this odd because I don’t play tennis. I have never played tennis.
I am generally terrible at just about all sports. I mean like a liability to myself and anyone around me. Like I hurt myself and others. Seriously. I can swim pretty well. I can ride a bike. I can use an elliptical. I run and walk and all that but I don’t run very fast and my stride is apparently comically small. I walk faster than I run sometimes. I am ok at those solitary activities mostly. Not to say I have not fallen off the bike and mortified myself or tripped over my own feet and fallen flat on my face. Cause those things have happened more often than I care to remember. But Honestly, Team sports are a nightmare. Actually anything that is done in any sort of group is a nightmare. Mini golf? I suck. Bowling? I once bowled an 18. Yes, 18. I didn’t forget a zero. Going to the driving range? Well, I will get to that in a minute.
I told Brian that I don’t play tennis. He insists I do. I insist I don’t. I am pretty certain here. He said “we have gone to the courts!” I have also gone to the doctor but that doesn’t make me a surgeon.
Ok, yes, I have gone with him and I have held a tennis racquet. I was wearing a sun dress and sandles if I recall correctly. He laughed at me the entire time, said things like “well, the frame is part of the raquet.” and “Can you please stop hitting the balls over the fence?” that would have been the fence behind me and if I could control it would I have done it the first time? He would say, “Do THIS.” and demonstrate how to hit a tennis ball. I would say “I AM.” which, clearly, I was not but that’s what my mind was telling my body to do and it’s what my body was telling my mind it was doing. The problem being it got lost somewhere in the translation.
I can’t hit balls of any sort apparently. Well, that’s not true. When we play softball with the kids or whatever, if the ball is high and outside I can hit it every time. If it’s in the actual strike zone, not a chance. Brian managed to figure this out about me and when we were playing softball with his brothers and their kids Jay was pitching. He threw a few pitches and then asked Brian – not me- “where does she like her pitches?” and Brian told him and Jay threw as Brian instructed and I hit every pitch. While Jay was shaking his head and Brian laughed at me.
I also throw like a girl. My sister, Amanda, is 8 years younger than I am. When I was in college and she was about 11 she asked me to go to the park and play catch with her. I was feeling all altruistic and big sister-ish. We went. She threw one to me. I missed it. I threw one back. She said “Never mind. You throw like a girl. Let’s go home.”
I reminded Brian that what I did on the tennis court was actually closer to an interpretive dance with a tennis racquet as a prop. It was not tennis. He used his voice that he uses when I ask him things like “do I look fat.” (no, baby, you look beautiful.) it’s that fake talking down to a fool voice “Oh, you are good at tennis!”
He then suggested we bring the kids to the driving range soon. I said I would pass on that one as well. He said “we had so much fun that day we went!” I reminded him that I didn’t hit a single ball. He said “But we had fun!” no, YOU had fun because I swung, missed, cursed. Swung, missed, cursed. You laughed your ass off and then hit the entire bucket of balls and we went home. He wants an audience and a comic is what he wants.
I tried to skate with him. I had tried to roller blade in the past and it was painful both emotionally and physically. However, I thought maybe I would do better now. I could sorta roller skate after all. I bought skates. I held Brian’s hockey stick. I rolled down the driveway. I fell on my ass. In front of the Fed Ex guy. I thought I broke both wrists. I then used the mailbox to pull myself back up onto my feet and used the hockey stick to sort of paddle myself up to the car where I held on and hand over hand pulled myself to the garage. It never crossed my mind to just take the damn skates off.
I kept trying though. Blisters and cuts and bruises. That was just from the skates. The last straw was a few years ago. Brian was skating and I had skates on. As with tennis I can hold a racquet but that doesn’t mean I am playing tennis. I can put on skates but that doesn’t mean I am skating. So Brian was skating back word and I was holding both of his hands with both of my hands and facing him while he pretty much dragged me forward all the while telling me how great I was doing and laughing at me. A complete stranger was driving down the road. She stopped the car. She looked at me and said “why don’t you have a helmet on? You look like you need one.” I was torn between pretending I thought that she thought I was a kid and should be wearing one – which, I suppose is possible. She drove up from behind – and telling her to mind her own damn business. I took the skates off and I have never put them back on again. I don’t intend to change that.
My point here is that I at least tried. I tried and tried and tried. Just like with camping. I tried. I have run 4 half and one full marathon because Brian runs and you know I try. I try to like what he likes. I at least give it a shot. It has mostly failed. However, I would like to point something out. Never once has Brian so much as touched a piece of glass. I offered to teach him how to cut glass and he says “it’s not my thing.” oh, well, I see. I offered to teach him how to use the circular saw. He declined. He actively refuses to participate in anthing I do, but he ‘hangs out’ with me while I do it. Which translates into he is in the same room reading or watching something like Rocky on the Spanish channel. That has actually happened. I didn’t notice at first that it was in Spanish because I can’t understand Sly Stalone anyhow. I’m not kidding. It took me a while and then I asked him if this was Spanish and he said yes and I said (shaking my head) “why?” and he told me he knew all the words anyhow. So that brings me to the next question “why?” Why would you even bother to watch it if you have seen it so many times you can understand the movie in a language you don’t even speak? I have no idea what to tell you about this man. He watches horrible movies, voted for a horrible candidate for president, makes me play sports I suck at so he can laugh at me. All I have to say is, it’s a good damn thing I love him and he is cute. The more I think about it, the more I think he will be doing something artistic this weekend. Just because he owes it to us all to make a fool of himself.
P.S. These pictures were taken the first and last time he attempted to teach Gabrielle tennis. Obviously that is not Gabtielle. That is Eve. She had similar tennis fashion sense. Anyhow, these were taken the same day. Bri handed Gabs the racquet and explained he would drop the ball and showed her how to swing and he said when I could to three…one tw – and Gabs swung the racquet and nailed him square in the face and once I assertained he was not broken or blined I laughed so hard I couldn’t stand up straight. I told him that was a really bad idea.