Friday, March 8, 2013

I Got Served

Until today, I hadn't lost a ladies' doubles match in months. Like really, maybe October? I've been on a hot streak, I don't know why, either I've improved, or I've been paired with strong partners, or it's luck and trickery. Probably all of the above. Hey, remember when I blogged about the first match I ever won? I was so excited! Adorable. At that time, I figured that I would probably blog about every subsequent match I won, because it would be such a rare occurrence.

There have been a couple tennis career highlights lately. Our mixed doubles team won our division in the Atlanta Lawn Tennis Association, yielding us a coveted bag tag. The bag tag is just that, a little piece of plastic that says something like, "ALTA 2013 Division Winner," and you are supposed to hang it on your tennis bag to strike fear in the hearts of your foes. Some people have a lot of them. It's like wearing a necklace of bones as a trophy or something. Yeah, like that.

I was reading on some online tennis talk forum, and the subject of Atlanta came up and what a tennis town it is, and somebody said, "Second only to the Wimbledon trophy is the precious ALTA bag tag."

And all the people said amen! And now it is mine! And Matt's.  

Just an example. Not my bag, LOL.

Also this winter, a tennis friend, Peg, and I signed up for a flex league, where we were matched with opponents and scheduled our own matches. We won all of our matches, winning our division. Our prize? Not only ANOTHER bag tag, but OMG friends, wait for it: A car magnet. It too says "Division Winner." An outward and visible sign that we are winners. It says "winner" right on it.

To understand the wonderfulness of this car magnet, you would have to be deeply immersed in my milieu and the folkways of my people. I know it doesn't sound like much, but when the magnet came in the mail today, Laura ran out and put it on the back of the minivan. Then she turned to me and said, with seeming seriousness, "Do you feel like you're one of them now?" Who is the them? I don't know. The winners!
 And people actually display them on their cars, like I am doing. I know it is the least cool thing ever, but winning.

So Peg and I won our division, beating this lady who has a reputation for being bitchy on the court. Every neighborhood has a different nickname for her, seriously. She is famous in our league. She rides to the court on a bike with a big basket, and people call her the Wicked Witch. I didn't find her bitchy, exactly--in fact I think I'd probably like to know her--but I sure enjoyed beating her in a third-set tiebreak. Then we had to play her again in the first round of playoffs. I was like, "Peg, we have to beat her, because she thought she should have won the last time, and if she beats us now, she will feel she was right." So we beat her again in another three-set match. Whew! And I swear, we beat her in spite of her and her partner being better than us. That happens sometimes, I felt like we just outplayed them. They did not know what happened. And that led us to today, a bit farther along in the bracket, our second playoff match.

Our opponents were a tall, pretty Swedish girl and a tall, pretty British girl. It was like playing against a Model UN, like, only with actual models. And you know that scene in Elf where Will Ferrell is getting hustled out of the Empire State Building by the security guards, and he says, in wonderment, "You guys are so strong!" That's what playing them felt like.

We did everything we could, but they were too good. They were so good that our being merely smart wasn't enough. We lost 3-6, 3-6. I don't know if we ever put any real pressure on them. They might have had another gear they could have shifted up to, I'm not sure. But it was a beautiful day and they were as nice as they could be. I felt okay after we left, because I knew that my little train had chugged as far as it could--I felt I'd been playing above my level and was lucky to get that far.

The prize for winning the playoffs and being city champion is another, different, car magnet. No lie.

So my streak is over, but Spring tennis is starting and maybe I can start a new streak.

Longest post evar. Aren't you glad I'm blogging every day so that you won't miss a minute?


Elizabeth said...

I know I've shared with you that I played ALTA when I lived in Huntcliff as a teenager. And I hated -- no -- despised every moment of it. But I am getting a kick out of hearing about your womanly exploits and I am so proud and thrilled that you got a tag. I am wondering whether the gals might start stringing them like an add-a-bead and wear them as a necklace?

delaine said...

I loved hearing about your triumphs! You know , like a mom does? I think you play very well wye I've been there at your matches. I especially love Laura's comment! You ARE " one of them! " whoever they are.

M said...

Bag tag score. You are golden. I am in awe of your tennis prowess. You must write of this Wimbledon-like milieu more. For spring season, I wish you a bag so laden with tags you can't carry it and a car so covered in magnets you can't see the paint.

Justine said...

Playing ALTA in Huntcliff must be A Thing, Elizabeth, because I did it too. And hated it too! The girls were horrible to me when I missed a shot, which was all the time. I quit and joined rowing, never to look back, but I do enjoy your tennis exploits, Becky. Every time you beat a bitchy lady, I imagine it's one of my ALTA teammates from high school. Thanks for letting us into your milieu.

Keely said...

The mental image of you collecting and wearing those bag tags like a string of bones will basically sustain me all day.

Congrats on being one of Them!

Life on The Rowland Ranch said...

I'm pretty sure this has been the best month of my year so far. Enjoying every single word. Maybe you could try posting every day for the entire year. Yes?