Monday, January 20, 2014

Trifecta: I Swear When I'm Uncomfortable


“I’m going to hate this,” I groan making very little attempt to disguise my pissy attitude about attending a paddle tennis couples mixer. “I wish we stayed home.”

 “Let’s just have fun. Not take it seriously.”

“That’s easy for you to say because you’re really good at it! Did you hear that one over there? ‘My tennis club doesn’t even have a league high enough for me.’ (I mimicked her country club intonation.) Isn’t that fucking quaint?”

“You’ll do fine. We’re going to be perfectly fine.”

“I’m doing this for you, you know, and I’m going to hate it. Ugh!!!!!! Look at the bracket. Of course, we’re playing against her! That’s fucking perfect!”

“You’re making this into a much bigger deal than it needs to be. Her husband’s a beginner, too.”

“It's going to be embarrassing. I’ll be horrible!”

“How do you know? You’ve never played before. Do you want a glass of wine? Let me get you a glass of wine.” He rushed off without waiting for my answer, leaving me alone.

My eyes swiftly surveyed the trendily outfitted room. As expected, it abounded with many more of exactly “her” cliquey kind. The already comfortably acquainted. The kind who can nonchalantly compare the quality of their racket, the best court shoes, semiweekly drills or private lessons. Things I knew nothing about.

He pushed a glass in my hand but, right then and there, I realized no amount of Pinot Noir could come close to quelling my nervousness or insecurity.

“They may know how to play, but you’re the prettiest in the room.” His words brushing my ear as he squeezed my wrist.

Looking at him sideways from the corner of my cynical eye, I almost answered, “What do you want?”

But his eyes were soft. And his smile was soft.

I reached up with gloved fingertips and grazed his cheekbone lightly.

“Let’s go kick some ass.”

“That’s my girl!”

*********************
33-333 words for the third definition of:

QUAINT (adjective)

1:  obsolete:  EXPERT, SKILLED

2a:  marked by skillful design <quaint with many a device in India ink — Herman Melville>  

b:  marked by beauty or elegance

3a : unusual or different in character or appearance :  ODD  

b : pleasingly or strikingly old-fashioned or unfamiliar <a quaint phrase>




19 comments:

  1. I'm glad this is at least partially true. This is a great, great write and I so understand that feeling of inferiority you describe. (Do all writers feel this way? Is this our revenge?)

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    1. Yes! It's mostly true but I wasn't so awful. I did say, "I hate this." Meaning the feeling. I didn't throw out the F-bomb but I wanted to! I am so, So, SO glad you understand this, Kelly! Inferiority, for whatever, is a sucky feeling! (And we get to write about it). Thanks for stopping by!!!

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  2. Feeling out of place is second nature to me nowadays, but I remember the newness of being the beginner. You did a great job--and I like that your husband got to "save" you!

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    1. Things like this don't ordinarily intimidate me. Don't really know why. Must have been the thought of getting my ass handed to me on a platter in subzero weather when I could have (should have) been home snuggled on my couch reading. I don't let him or give him the opportunity much so it felt unexpected and really sweet. And I got the hang of it after the first match. Thanks, Tina!

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  3. Yep, all a girl needs to get her engines running is that look!
    This is how I used to feel just going to the park with toddlers - can't imagine a paddle tournament. lol
    Totally real, Gina!

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    1. Most of the time I cynically think he's looking for "something". Bad me! But by his face, I could instantly tell he was speaking from his heart. Everyone is (hopefully) beautiful to someone. Thank you, kymm, for understanding the insecurity at play here.

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  4. Loved how romantically you ended this one:-)

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    1. It felt that way, too. It was interesting to see the dynamics of other couples while playing a sport on the same team! So competitive.

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  5. Easy to relate to, glad she was ready to play, and loved the ending!

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    1. Thanks! Some things taking warming up!

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  6. I'm used to feeling inferior and awkward, so I could relate to this! You're better than me, though...I would've found a way to not go.

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  7. Such a believable write - you captured the emotions expertly, especially that moment of doubt about what he wanted when he said the sweet thing. I loved that she slowed down and really looked and could tell he meant it.

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    1. That's my favorite part, too, when she looks and realizes that he is genuinely sincere and loves her. Thanks momo!

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  8. I dreaded tennis in high school so I know how she feels haha Badminton is so much better!

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  9. I actually took badminton in college. Loved it!!!!!

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  10. Aw, great ending! And, yeah, I'm with you - people like that make me so edgy and uncomfortable.

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  11. I would feel the same way. I'd lose a game of tennis against myself... the wall would win. I hope this couple does kick ass.

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  12. I'm a middle-class expat in a sea of extremely wealthy expats. I live this daily. And, funny enough, I too cope with F-bombs and wine. :-) Thanks for linking up, Gina.

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