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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Hit Me With Your Best Shot

The Smash Hits play our last match of the season tonight.  Heading into this evening's contest, my personal win/loss record is two and five.  This sounds bad in the context of tennis, but the same number expressed as a batting average vaults me right up to “nearly mediocre.”   

And if my record and prior posts still have you convinced that I stink, just remember that numbers are incapable of telling the whole story. 

For example, when the Smash Hits stormed the courts earlier this week, our captain, Mrs. O, played me at the top singles spot.  She didn’t come right out and say she was sacrificing me, but it couldn’t have been more obvious if she’d dressed me in white, draped me in flowers and thrown me into an actively erupting volcano. 

Because I support whatever strategy gives the Smashes a better shot at winning as a team, I didn’t mind.  (No doubt this change to the lineup raised the chances of a win from “nonexistent” all the way up to “nanoparticle.”)  Mrs. O managed to keep a straight face as she claimed that my promotion from worst to first was merit-based, which has earned her a berth on my Texas Hold ‘Em team.

I encountered my opponent, Martha, on Court #3 at the Four Seasons Racquet Club in Fairfax.  Martha was polite and fairly laid-back.  She posed a nice contrast to certain league ladies I’ve come up against who act like they’re parading around Centre Court at Flushing Meadows instead of a dank bubble in Northern Virginia. 

I played quite well except when Martha served, at which times I was reminded that it’s tough to win a fight when you bring the wrong weapon.  She packed a cannon, I packed a cheese cloth.

I didn’t lose by much, but I still lost.  Fortunately, my stint as a Smash Hit has created many opportunities for me to practice losing with grace.  At match end Martha and I shook hands in a display of maturity and sportsmanship. 

She patted me on the back and said, “Nice match, Karen.” 

“Eat sh*t and die, Martha,” I said. 

Or I would have, had my mother—watching the match from the “gallery” upstairs –not taught me years ago to censor my interior monologue.  I'm proud to report that five losses in seven weeks plus forty-one years of Mom and Dad's heroic parenting enabled me to coax out, “You, too, Martha,” along with a smile of dubious sincerity.  

But here’s hoping I end the season on the back-patting side of the scorecard.  


  1. Just put on a good Adele song and it will all be fine!