They always say to wear clean underwear, but nobody ever says to not wear your ratty Walmart shorts that are over a decade old to go play tennis. Nobody ever says not to wear your crap clothes out in public in case a photographer asks to take photos of you. I wonder why nobody has ever warned me of this…?
Because it doesn’t happen!
Except it did.
There are tennis courts really close to our apartment, so last week, through the magic of online shopping, the tennis fairy delivered racquets and balls to our door (well, the doorman, but let’s not get into semantics shall we?)
It was a warm, sunny afternoon and we made our way over to the tennis courts. The tennis courts are not even a hop, skip and a jump away from Buckingham fountain, the Magnificent Mile, the beautiful Lake Michigan. There is always tons of touristy stuff going on around there, but we wanted to escape and go get our Serena Williams on.
Walking to the courts, John says that he gets to be Maria Sharapova and he tells me that I can be Venus Williams. We talk a big talk, but neither of us have played tennis since our high school days…
We get to the courts and rally around, never intending to actually play a game. Just hit the ball back and forth and if the balls stays in the court for 30 seconds that’s victory in itself! From a past injury, I’m unable to run or move the way that I used to be able to, so I do a lot of serving and John does a lot of returning.
As I am getting ready the serve the ball, I notice a man nearby. The man is walking, and he looks like he is coming our way. I don’t really think anything of it, and think that maybe he forgot something from an earlier game. Just before I actually serve, I hear:
“Excuse Miss, may I take your photos?”
At first, I don’t think that he is speaking to me. I turn my head and realize that his full attention is on me. I can’t help but look around and realize that I am the only person he could be talking to.
I can’t help myself and I blurt out :
He tells me that he is a sports photographer and would like to take some tennis shots.
The first thing that crosses my mind is that I am wearing ratty shorts that I purchased when I was 16 years old from Walmart for probably $10. They have been through a lot with me. They have been swimming in lakes and rivers, they have been camping, they have been slept in. They are my go to comfy shorts that are garbage worthy. Why couldn’t I be wearing Lululemon like a normal person?! It’s just not my nature I suppose…
I shout to John across the net that this man is going to be taking our photos, and I see John look at the five other tennis courts where there are actually quite good tennis players. They have the fancy racquets (our racket strings still had the big ‘W’ in the middle… a true sign of amateurs), they have the proper sunglasses, the proper grunting, and the proper footwork.
I’m thinking the same thing John is thinking “why the hell did he choose us?!”
So, John and I resume “playing” tennis and we can’t help but have our competitive sides sweep over. Suddenly, we are no longer just rallying but we both feel like we are auditioning for lead roles in Wimbledon. We are both desperately trying to impress the photographer… why? I don’t know, it’s just what happens when a photographer asks to take photos of you.
We are both exhausted, drenched in sweat, only now playing tennis so that the photographer could take photos. I can’t help but wonder if he is any good at photoshop and that he if can fix any of those jiggly spots of mine. I cross my fingers that he is a photoshop wiz.
John and I finally muster up the courage to tell the photographer that we are finished. I tell some lie that we have somewhere to be, and then we hurry out of there. We hustle so fast that you would have thought that we were escaping the big bad wolf. We grab our things and bolt right on out of there JUST IN CASE the photographer asks us if we want to see his photos or he offers to send them to us… now, my lovely, there are some things in this world better left unseen and to me, those pictures are one of them.
But hey, at least we were wearing clean underwear!