For the past couple of weeks I've been watching the U.S. Open which has caused me to reflect on my own short tennis career when I was a young girl. Many of you might not know this, but at 12 years old I was ranked #1 in Delaware for girls 12 and under AND #1 for girls 14 and under. Now, before you ask why I'm not currently playing on the tour, let me explain a few things. One, there were three of us under 12, who played tournaments, and there were like two other kids under 14. So, if you won a tournament or happened to beat 2 of the random kids under 14, you got to be the reigning champ of Delaware. Yeah, I said Delaware. So, that's what I did.
Second of all, I really should have been tested for some type of growth hormone or steroid use. You see, at 12 years old I was basically a grown woman. Honestly, I think since that age I've gained about ten pounds and grew about 2 inches. So, again the vast competitors of Delaware had no chance against my freak of nature strength and size. (As did the poor boys I attempted to have crushes on in middle school. To this day, I think most of them held my hand due to sheer fear.)
Anyway, outside of this horrible attempt at a humble brag, my experience with tennis growing up was pretty funny. There was one chick, who looked like an angry egg, I always had to play in the finals of every freaking tournament. Honestly, in my memory she's just this round and unemotional blob. She would never say anything except grunt an occasional "out" when she needed a point, and when I fought her to prove it, she would attempt to shrug, but being that she was a rounded egg, shrugging was difficult, so after a few minutes of me ranting she somehow would just move on to the next point without really resolving anything. Eventually, I stop fighting her bad calls. I mean, watching that attempt to show emotion through her shoulders was just too much for me at that age.
The other ridiculous part of this chick was the fact that her entire family used to come out and see her play. I remember they would bring coolers and umbrellas and fill up an entire bleacher. On the other hand, I never let my family come see me play. I guess I sort of knew in my heart that my "matches" were really just glorified ping pong games, and I loved my parents too much to submit them to endless hours of boring rallies. Man, I hated that family of angry eggs. I remember one time after hitting a pretty decent shot, I said out loud, "You got this Kate," to which they replied, "No you don't Kate." Who uses a 12 year old's name to talk trash at a junior tennis tournament? I'll tell you who - the angry eggs.
Well, I wish I could tell you that after my #1 reign I continued with tennis, but unfortunately, at 13, scarred from Monica Seles's stabbing, I decided to give up tennis and start playing team sports. My only regret is that I wasn't able to ever see the angry egg crack and show some emotion. I sometimes think of her and wonder what she is doing. I wonder if she drives around my neighborhood and writes tickets all day. They seem to have no emotion. Or I wonder if she euthanizes animals because that would definitely require no feelings. Or maybe she works in security at LAX and is the one that sits poker face in front of the x-ray machine as your bags go by. Again, another job that her lack of emotions would be great for.
Anyway, if you are out there, angry egg, give me a grunt and let's play another never ending game...