I love that moment when, after getting out of the shower, I bend my head down letting my wet hair dangle upside-down, wrap and twist a towel around my head and the ends of my hair, then flip my head back up with the turban-esque towel in place. And, as the outer corners of my eyebrows are pulled up by the tightness of the towel twist, for that brief moment, I am Vulcan.
“Hello, thank you for calling America’s Most Convenient Bank. I’m Lazy Male Worker Who Can’t Find His Ass with Both Hands, how can I help you?”
I explained my dilemma: procrastination + lack of box organization = missing check information (I’m starting to sound like Jesse Jackson here) for my taxes. Oh, and the checks are from a closed account. Can you help me find the number and the amount? All I have are the dates they were written.
And then he let out a big. effing. sigh.
Scan. Scan. He mumbled to himself, sounding a lot like Michel from Gilmore Girls when he complains, er, breathes.
“I don’t see anything,” he said.
“I know I wrote those checks,” I insisted.
“They’re not here,” he said. “I see Starbucks. Chick-fil-a.”
“Those are debit purchases. Are you looking at the checks, you know, with the numbers and routing numbers, etc.?”
“Yes,” he said, as if he wasn’t the idiot I took him for. “They’re not here.”
I hung up with him and called back.
“Hello, I’m the Most Pleasant Woman Ever. How may I help you?”
Situation explained again.
“You know, I would have called, too. Why tear through those boxes? Hold on.”
She took about three minutes to find all three checks, their numbers and the amounts. Interesting, since they weren’t there a few minutes ago. Uh, yeah. While she searched, we chatted.
“Oh, I know how much moving stinks and you can’t find everything,” she said. “Worse than that, my fiance is a nut, from being in the military a long time — if my shoes aren’t by the door, the house is cluttered.”
“I knew people like that,” I said, leaving out the part about how I no longer associated with those, as Ferris Bueller so eloquently put it, who can put a lump of coal where the sun don’t shine and in two weeks they’d have a diamond. “Well, as long as he doesn’t do the white glove thing.”
She sighed. Not sure if that meant he did or not. After she gave me my info, I said, “You saved my life.”
“Take the rest of the night off.”
“I wish. If you’d like to pay me, I’d be more than happy to,” she said.
“I totally would,” I said, “but I have to pay my taxes.”
Somehow, I think paying her would be money better spent.
With my purty pink racket in hand, I entered the gym. I haven’t been in a high school gymnasium, well, since high school. Do they all have the same smell? What is that, a special air freshener only sold to high schools? Eau de sweaty foot?
As soon as I walked in, my racket was the talk amongst the girls. Where did you get a pink one? Why, Target, of course. $18 and change. Did I remember to buy balls to practice at home? Of course not. Another trip to Target in order then… oh, the humanity.
Mr. Instructor, an almost dead-ringer for Paul Giamatti, showed us how to hold our arms (always straight), bend our knees, wait on the balls of our feet with our rackets always, always perpendicular to the court. Arm back, transfer weight from one foot to the other, strike through the ball and finish with the racket up in the air in front of the opposite side you started on. Simple.
Yeah. Real simple.
Then there were the drills — bounce the ball on the sweet spot into the air, down onto the ground, off the rim. You would have thought we were all being tickled incessantly with the amount of laughter echoing against the hidden-in-the-wall bleachers and the oh-so-high glass ceiling. Balls bouncing all around, from one end to the other. We didn’t know which was ours most of the time.
Then the hitting. One tosses, the other hits, two catch the balls that mostly made it over the net.
“Tara, remember to follow through,” he said. “And stop bending your elbow.”
I’ll get tennis elbow, he said. Well, I already have it, according to the doctor. From tennis? No. From computer mousing with one hand exclusively. I kid you not.
While playing, I realized that tennis, like many things, is filled with lessons for life:
- I paraphrase “Grease 2”: when you play an instrument (or sport), it’s better to play with a group than with yourself. ba dum dum
- Laughter is the best medicine — it’s good for the soul and the cough from my cold was significantly diminished the following day.
- Teamwork makes things fun — we were all in the same boat and we made the best of it, cheering each other on when we actually hit the ball properly and got it over the net without scraping the ceiling with it.
- Practice makes things better and you more able to handle the next flying orb coming your way. React and recover. He kept saying that over and over. When the ball comes, react, hit it, then get right back into your stance so you’re ready for the next one. And the next one.
- And no matter whether you win or lose, just enjoy playing the game. Take the victories when they come (even the little ones, like not hitting the ball consistently with the rim). They’ll help you get over the agony of defeats.
Maybe it’s because my faux boyfriend, John Cusack, has been on my mind a LOT lately.
Maybe it’s because it was just never right from the start.
Who knows, Kiefer. But, I’m afraid… I have to break up with you. I know, I know. I’m hot. You’re hot. It should work. But…
You know that whispering thing you do into the phone all the time while calling CTU? It was cute before, but now… it Grates. My. Last. Nerve. And the killing and torture? You used to do it only when necessary, a reluctant soldier, a struggling hero. Now, you’re just showing off. Do we have a Napoleon complex now? I always liked your short legs and your not wearing high heels like Prince and that couch-jumper guy. You made up for your teeny-ness with bravado and compassion for those you love.
But now… you’re just a tiny man running (scurrying?) around like a chicken with his head cut off, never eating, never sleeping, never using the bathroom, trying to single-handedly save the world, again and again.
Ohhhhhhh. Martyr complex. I know a few too many of those already, sweets. They’re hard to be around. And honey, there isn’t a cross big enough for you at this point.
And the pining. Ugh. I know I have a thing for Johnny C., but that’s fantasy. You and this Audrey chick, and that blue-eyed woman who has apparently disappeared off the face of the earth (and I know that’s your baby, her 12-year-old son!). With you it’s always work, work, work, or Audrey, Audrey, Mr. President. You sure do call that mister mister a lot. … Just very patriotic, I guess.
I miss the man bag.
I miss the you who cried at the end of the one horrible day because it was hard being you. Now, it seems easy. And that’s… creepy.
Besides, you’re totally phoning it in now. You have the same glazed-over look in your eye that I do…
I used to miss you the other 28 weeks of the year, but now I’m thinking, “Hey, I gots some “me” time coming!” *sigh* I guess it just wasn’t meant to last. But we had five good years together. Or is that five good days? Either way, you’re still a hottie, and still my favorite Young Gun and teen vampire Lost Boy. But we’re not running out of time, anymore.
Let the silent clock tick for us…