Tag Archives: tennis

I seriously need a balcony.

27 May

Although we’re committed to each other for the long haul, Alan and I maintain separate homes. My place is smack in the heart of DC and surrounded by parks and restaurants and yoga studios and nightlife. His place is in a quiet, professional community in Arlington with a pool and balcony.

We tend to spend more time at my place in the winter (easy to walk to everything, cozy fireplace) and then log our hours at his place from Memorial Day to Labor Day so we can maximize the pool.

I LOVE being outside, so this morning I took a mug of tea and my laptop out on his balcony. And I realized: holy shit, I really need a balcony. It was more entertaining than a seal juggling screaming babies television.

First, at 9:30, I noticed a woman – wearing only a bathing suit – stomping determinedly down the foot path. Without the context of the pool nearby, that would seem totally bizarre. Even so, it still was a bit odd – because the pool doesn’t open until 11am. “Oh honey,” I thought to myself, “You are about to be soooo disappointed. Early bird gets the worm shaft.”

Sure enough. Her pace slowed as she approached the locked gate. She shook it, testing it. Then she shifted her focus to the rule board, where it’s clearly written that the pool opens at 11. Without turning to actually engage another human, I heard her yell, “What time is it??”

I’m not sure whom she expected to answer her, so I wasn’t surprised when she received Radio Silence as a response. I debated yelling back down to her, but I was half concealed by a tree and thought (for her sake) she might want to believe no one had actually noticed her strutting around in a bikini as if she were crazy.

About this time, a young couple appeared on the tennis court directly below me, toting racquets rackets rickets Rockettes? tennis gear. The guy clearly thought he was Hot Shit, as evidenced by his flowing mane of curls (pulled back in a girly-looking headband) and Ray Bans.

Within two minutes of hitting the court, he devised some sort of calisthenics routine for them, which involved running in forward/backward zigzags the entire length of the court.

He demonstrated it for his girlfriend. “Like this,” he called to her, as he ran in a way that looked like he was avoiding sniper fire.

She mirrored his motions and together they covered the length of the court.

“No,” he called again. “Like this.”

And started another demo for her benefit. She gamely joined in, following after him.

After two more rounds – during which he continued to correct her and shout out tips about her form – she finally cried Uncle. “Dude! Are we here to run around or play tennis?”

Good question. He looked startled but nodded and ran to the tube of balls he’d left at one end of the court.

And then I realized why he’d been stalling: Dude could not play tennis. He’d been trying to wear her down with ridiculous drills beforehand. So of course I pulled my chair closer to the railing and began clapping as if I were at Wimbledon any time she scored on him.

Interestingly, they both pretended I wasn’t there. I assume he did it from a sense of shame and she did it to help save her relationship, so I decided not to press it overtly. But I did kept cheering and shouting the score. It gave me a sweet sense of pride to loudly declare, “Love – Love!”

But then I realized I didn’t actually know how to score tennis, so I found myself yelling, “One – Love!” as if I were a stoner worshipping Bob Marley. And at that point I decided just to take a stance on their relationship, so I stopped even trying.

“Douche – Love.”

“Love – Nothing.”

“Loser – Love.”

About this time, Alan (who was inside making coffee) cracked his window and started listening to me.

WHAT, exactly, are you doing?” he asked, seconds later, as he came charging out on the balcony.

I shrugged. “Nothing. Just keeping score.”

And that’s why I might have a career at Wimbledon. Or need my own balcony. Because apparently Alan won’t let me use his any more. Where I come from, we call that Selfish.