Tennis was my bĂȘte noire as a child. I took lessons, dressed in my proper white tennis skirt and tretorns, from the time I was about four until I was fourteen. And in all those years I could never hit the damn ball. It was a trial. My mother desperately wanted me to be one of those girls, tennis playing girls, nice suburban girls who get along with others and wear their hair in shiny ponytails and go out to play tennis on Saturday mornings. And I couldn’t hit the ball. I bent my knees. I kept my eye on the ball. And I whiffed it every time.

When I was sixteen we discovered that I needed glasses. When I was sixteen we discovered that I have very little depth perception. No wonder I couldn’t hit the damn ball.

But I never took tennis back up, so scarred was I by all those years of failure on the courts. Plus, I hate hot weather. A hot tennis court was so not the place I wanted to be.

But last night Chuck and I went to the local court over at the elementary school and hit some balls back and forth. With glasses, I can hit the ball! It was SO much fun. It helps that he’s not all competitive about it. We weren’t even playing with rules, we were just hitting the ball back and forth. The weather was gorgeous — in the seventies and that fall tang in the air. The Absarokas were in the background. We hit balls back and forth and ran around for forty minutes or so. There was fresh air. There was someone fun to play with. There was a little exercise. It was really great. I hit forehands, and backhands (not as reliably, but I did hit some) and even remembered how to serve. I’m so stoked. I always wanted to be someone who could go play a friendly game of tennis, and I have a couple of girlfriends in town who play. Who knows? At my advanced age, I could finally become the social tennis player my parents always wanted me to be.

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