Years ago when Jamie and I were planning our honeymoon trip, we made a deal: Jamie would learn to scuba dive, and I would learn to play tennis. Because hey, what’s nicer than embracing your partner’s passion?
I went straight out and bought a cute white tennis dress in which, with my hair pulled back in a pony, I vaguely resembled Anna Kournikova. I loved it, because I felt amazing in it. I got some white-soled Stan Smiths and a racquet, and I gingerly packed away my tennis gear.
I did not, however, pursue any sort of instruction in how to actually play tennis.
I felt awfully guilty, of course, since Jamie and his dad were faithfully attending classes, taking tests, diving in a quarry, and procuring expensive gear in order to fulfill his end of the deal.
Like a student without her homework, I ruminated on how to get through a few tennis episodes without admitting that I’d blown off our deal. Fortune was in my favor, because it was searingly hot most afternoons, and we were diving every morning. I thought I might get away with it.
The moment of truth came to pass on our fifth day of the trip, when I donned my sporty outfit and faced my husband from across the net. Again and again, I whiffed, missed, dropped, and overshot. We got sore backs and legs from running to retrieve all the flying balls, and Jamie apologized on my behalf to the couple playing in the adjacent court at least four times.
Because it was our honeymoon, and I looked adorable, and my husband is a forgiving soul, he laughed it off and we went out for a drink.
Over the years since, Jamie’s taken an occasional lesson, played with a few friends, and watched tennis in person and on TV. But he hasn’t had a regular partner, until now.
To Jamie’s delight, our sons have asked to take tennis lessons. So far they love it, and Jamie is beaming.
But if anyone want to play doubles, I’d better seek professional help. At least I still have the outfit.