Confessions of a Tennis-aholic

Jack plays tennis now eight days a week, and twice on Friday.  It’s probably too much.

I’m supposed to play tennis this morning, but I’m non-committal.  This would require me to get dressed, and John is out of the house today until after I get back from Allergy shots with Jack.  I have my day free, to myself, and I’m not sure I want to expose myself to the Clubettes.  I really need to exercise, and playing tennis is my escape.  However, Tuesday’s with the Clubettes means having the tennis pro feed balls, I get to hit two shots, and then go to the back of the line…for 90 minutes.  It’s so freaking boring!  I’d rather PLAY TENNIS!

So, in my great plan to have my children busy after school so they don’t petrify their brains playing video games, Jack has become a tennis player and I can’t wait until we get to PLAY TENNIS every day this summer.  He’s been slow to embrace the fact that I’ve spent THOUSANDS of dollars for him to develop a forehand, or return a serve with some pace, but my nine year old son actually has a chance to know how to become a force on the tennis court.  Again, he’s nine, and I can’t wait to play tennis with him!  Only 66 more days!

In order to have him embrace this skill, I decided that just taking lessons three days a week wasn’t going to get him there, since each time I told him it was time to go to tennis, he groaned as if I were abusing him by making him stop playing his Wii, his Nintendo DS, or stop building cruise ships with his Lego Star Wars pieces.  Jack does better in school, and pays attention when he’s over-scheduled after school.  My house is also cleaner.  Plus, I’m developing a life long tennis partner that I love.

Jack now goes to tennis four days a week for clinic, Pizza League on Friday nights, tennis team practice once a week, tennis team matches once a week, and now, because of the drama of being on a tennis team where we aren’t the “member” and so we don’t get preferential treatment, I’ve registered him for a match play league where he gets to play ANOTHER singles match once a week, two sets…so, don’t tell him, but he’s playing eight days a week.  He’s nine.

It’s probably too much.

I’ve also registered the other two kids for tennis, Minny is playing four days a week for lessons and two days a week for tennis team (she loves it), and Ashton is twice a week for lessons, and then has Quickstart Tennis team, so he’s also out there four days a week without realizing it.  All he says when I ask him how tennis is going is, long pause, “It’s HARD mommy!”

It’s costing a fortune.

I also signed myself up to be a member of the same club’s Ladies A Tennis Team….and get this, I’m such a second line member of the team because I’m not a member, they will go through the entire lineup of members to find a player should they need one before getting me.  I however, will get the email that says,

Dear Cinderella,

Should Judy not be done with her appointment in time, we need you to be ready at a moment’s                   notice to play tomorrow @9:30.  However, if she’s done in time and if she likes the way the wind is blowing, then screw you, but you are on call next week too.

The last time I played with them, there was some discussion regarding the forecasted weather and the rule that if it rained that you had to play on the next sunny day, and one of the ladies actually said to me, “if it doesn’t work for me, then we’ll just schedule it so that it does.”  Sure lady, you can tell God to adjust the weather.  What the F ever.

The other day as I was folding the laundry, I had a conversation with myself regarding the expense of having kids play “sports” in an attempt to have them get college scholarships.  If I just applied the dollars for these extra-curricular activities towards my children’s college fund, we’d pay for Harvard in ten years!  Plus, think of all the FREE TIME I’d have if I wasn’t sitting sideline to them.  But I have a bigger plan than that!  I am developing my tennis buddies so that I don’t have to play with anyone but them – ever again!

Jack’s tennis academy didn’t have a tennis league for kids, so I looked around and found a team for him to join at the country club close by.  He was a welcome addition, plus I brought over two other kids from the academy so that they could form a co-ed team.  I volunteered to be the tennis team mom so that my kid would have a better chance of getting selected in the line -up.  Right?  Wrong!

The worst is when some punk country club kid bumps him down on the lineup because he’s a member of the club, and my kid gets his feelings hurt because the coach is implying that the country club child is “better”.  If a country club kid is available, and his parent calls the coach and says that the kid wants to play “#1 Singles”, then the kid plays “#1 Singles”.  It’s so confusing to Jack.  He’ll say, “But Mommy, I can beat Andrew!”  It’s infuriating to me, especially when the dad emails me to say that his star athlete can’t play in the scheduled tennis match because it rained last Tuesday, and he now has a baseball game, and my kid is there, available, and missing his own baseball game!

Did I mention that Jack also plays baseball?  Yeah, he plays baseball, but only gets to play if he doesn’t have a tennis match or cub scouts that conflict with the baseball schedule.  We really need to quit cub scouts because neither John nor I have any intention of earning our Eagle Scout badge during this life time.

One would think that during Tennis Team practice, the coach would actually have the boys play one another, make a “ladder” and fairly, not objectively, determine the better player.  One would think!  But, dear reader of mine.  This isn’t fair, this is country club sports, all determined by who has the better car, house, plastic surgeon, and job…I mean, how does one objectively choose who is the better player when certain players are paying the bills?  I am no dummy, and I can bite my lip with the best of them.  Join the club, get first slots on the lineup.

We belonged to a country club in our prior Florida life, and it was the worst kind of snot infestation that one would willingly expose themselves too.  Lesson learned.  Why would one intentionally “apply” to be a member of a club that could exclude someone from joining just because they didn’t like what they did for a living?  Give a $45,000 membership fee that is NON-REFUNDABLE.  Really?  The thought that someone can only join a club if “another member invites them” disgusts me.  The reality that people I know actually think that joining something like that will make them more socially registered….barf.  No thank you.  What really cracks me up is when a friend of mine brings up to me that they are looking into joining a club, that they “got dressed up in country club attire”, “got their kids coats and ties so they could go to brunch at the club” etc.  All I think to myself is, “Girlfriend, your life doesn’t match that life.  If you don’t already have dress clothes for your kids to go to brunch, you probably won’t fit into the Sunday Brunch at the country club life, and you will be constantly trying to fit in, they will be looking down their nose at you, and if you were true to yourself, you’d admit it.  As soon as you stop going, they will never speak or call you again.  Go join a family recreation center.”

The kids tennis team made it to the playoffs for the winter season, and the country club parent gives the coach a call – much against my recommendation for the team lineup for the match, the country club kid is put at #1 singles, and the kid that is our best player sits out the match.  The country club kid loses 2-8.  We lose the match by 6 points and don’t get to go to the city finals.  Go freaking figure!  Was I surprised, no.  Was I infuriated?  Absolutely!  I know in my heart of hearts that my kid wouldn’t be playing in the lineup if I hadn’t volunteered to be the team mom.

I think I’m about done being the tennis team mom for Jack’s tennis team.  I did it originally to get the team started, so that Jack would have an opportunity to play competitively, and keep his interest up beyond drills and practicing serves.  However, I feel like the second class citizen in regards to the team, since we’re not members of the “CLUB”.  What the F ever!  I’ve been there, I’ve done that, and it’s all bull snot madness.

I have resolved myself to not voice my opinion to the Clubbettes – but I am watching out for my kid, and as soon as I can get him on another team that doesn’t apply this crap, he’s on it.

The fact that Mohammad has a freaking tennis court wasting away in my back yard BLOWS.  It’s driving me crazy that I just can’t put up a net and play there.  I don’t want to play with country club women!  I don’t.  They aren’t nice, they take themselves way too seriously, and frankly, I get my feelings hurt too much.  We should have never moved into a neighborhood that didn’t have a swim and tennis center.  Trying to play tennis as an outsider is a futile attempt at a social sporting life.  We need to join a tennis club, but I’m so anti-country-club, it makes my would have, could have, should have blood boil.

Last night I had a realization that part of my social anxiety stems from the drama of country clubbers and that I’m a mis-fit mom in this entire competitivedom of suburbia.  Looking at my life, one would assume that we’re right smack dab in the thick of Clubdom.  Nope.  Been There, Done That.  Lesson Learned:  None of it freaking matters.  I don’t want to be here, so I drown myself in my kids, and fill the space with watching them participate in activities rather than me having to socialize with their social climbing parents.

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