......finding a new home for lutefisk lovers.

(ok we don't love it. or even like it. but we're supposed to.)

15 April 2011

Tennis, anyone?

Last week I wrote about tackling a woman in the grocery store parking lot - she had a bumper sticker that made me do inappropriate things. Turns out that she, like me, is a recent transplant from Minneapolis (read about it here). And in the course of our conversation, she warns me about how difficult it is to break into the New England social scene. I say "I know" and point a pretend gun at my temple and mime pulling the trigger. Then she tells me that she plays tennis with a bunch of "gals" and it really helped her make friends.

gaaaaaaaaah. (that's me making a gagging sound and contorting my face in an unattractive way)

I've been given this same advice by everyone who plays tennis. Which is all but two women in this town.

I do not like tennis. I have very weak wrists..........if I could play with a ping pong paddle it would be better. When I was nine, I saved my money and bought a tennis racquet at Sears because I thought Chris Evert was pretty - but my tiny baby-sized hand couldn't lift the racquet off the ground; so that dream was crushed. And I didn't know how to return things so the racquet sat in my closet until my baby-sized hand grew into a bored adolescent hand. At which point, I could heft the racquet just far enough off the ground to slam a tennis ball against my garage door about 10 million times a day (dammit, who checked out all the celebrity biographies at the library?!).

So now everyone's trying to get me to play tennis and I just don't have the stomach for it. I don't mind the skirts but I'm freaked out by the idea of tennis bracelets........why does tennis get its own jewelry? And what does it represent? The whole thing feels very stepford wife-y; I sit in my big house on a quasi-cul-de-sac while the men go to work and the women play tennis. My Marlo Thomas Free To Be You and Me alarm is clanging extremely loudly in my head! Alert ! Alert! It's worse than sitting on the couch eating bons bons............because a) eating bons bons is an individual sport that doesn't have an underlying social climbing theme and b) I would actually enjoy that. Eating bons bons on the couch, I mean. To be a woman of leisure is one thing, to be a woman of leisure who is trying to get in good with the right people at the club is quite another. ESPECIALLY if I don't even play tennis! ESPECIALLY TIMES TWO if I don't even want to play tennis!

Will I meet people if I suck it up and play tennis? Yes. But will they be people that I want to meet? Who knows. Some people just want people to hang out with.......preferably someone with matching reproductive organs; but history has shown me that my standards for the company I keep are incredibly high. You need to be the kind of person who runs to the aid of all in need. But you also need to be comfortable with me dropping the f-bomb on the first date; if you swear like a sailor, you will probably win my heart. And you need to make me laugh. A lot. Can you do this and wear a tennis bracelet at the same time? If the answer is yes, please check the box and pass this note back to me during gym.


Laura said...

Tennis? Tennis? Oh fuck.

cecilia said...

I grew up playing tennis (and LOVE the game), but would not, could not "play tennis" in my town either. I'm a mid-western transplant too - from Milwaukee - but have lived in the Boston area for about 20 years now. My first year here was major culture shock. You just walk out your front door in the mid-west and make a friend. We're coming off a long Winter...I think once people start doing more outdoor activities this Spring, you'll find your groove - and you won't have to play tennis to do so.

Kristin said...

Thank you, Cecilia! A dose of validation from someone in the trenches.