One of the fucked-up things about playing recreational tennis is away matches.
You have to drive to some other part of town and play on strange courts. And worse, we can’t just walk to the Third World bar to enjoy some popcorn and beer with the resident mice — we are forced to pick a different bar.
Sure, we could bring our own beer and bad chips and hang around the electrical transformer in the parking lot like meth addicts or the homeless. But we have some fucking pride.
We have to find a bar that will allow 8 stinky dudes to sit in the corner and have someone half our age fetch buckets of booze and plates of cholesterol for less than minimum wage.
Once… we really “found” such a place, and such a person.
Let me just say I really want to find the dude who decided that leggings/yoga pants on women were acceptable to wear in public. We all know it was a dude.
I just want to shake his hand and thank him for bringing an ounce of joy into our lives.
The latest example happened in that strange bar — up walked Denea, a young, athletic woman, to take our drink order.
When she turned to walk away, gasps went up from the crowd as a collective “Ohh my god” escaped the lips of my sweaty friends.
It was obvious Denea had put in the hours of work to create that “walk.” I can’t adequately describe the view. Let’s just say if the police arrested a sorority full of young women in leggings and had them turn and walk away, we could pick Denea out of the lineup.
Before you start screaming “misogynists” and “dirty old men”, let me say a couple things.
- My son was a college swimmer — I’ve seen you middle-aged women at swim meets — ain’t nothing different happening here.
- This is a 40-and-over tennis league — most of us are 55 and over — in my case Denea was too young to date my son… this is purely a visual exercise.
The best analogy I ever heard was:
“It’s like going to an art museum. You really appreciate the work, you have an emotional and memorable reaction, but you don’t want to fuck the paintings.”
We were bored with talking to each other, so we tried to make conversation with Denea.
She was smiling and making “fake nice” to inflate the tip. Wouldn’t have mattered much. We usually just throw $20’s on the table and end up with a pile much bigger than the bill.
I asked her to spell her name. She stepped back, switched her weight onto one leg and said, “D-E-N-E-A”.
“Ohh you have a ‘diphthong,'” I said.
She pulled back in apparent horror.
“It’s when two vowels combine to make one sound,” I fumbled. “I have one too…”
If you really want to know what a diphthong is, watch this video.
She squinted and glared at me for a second. It was clear I had tripped her bullshit detector. I’m not sure what she was thinking, but the rest of the transactions for beer, food and the bill got very uncomfortable.
She forever became “Diphthong Denea” in our imaginations. And every time we play an away match, we talk about finding her again. But we never have.
I can’t say if the “harassing vowel sounds” drove Denea away, or if she tired of fetching beer for stinky old men, or got an internship in whatever she was studying…
But whenever we have an away match, we say we are going to see “Diphthong Denea” and for just a few seconds, the world seems just a little less fucked-up.