It has been interesting talking with some of you all about the people I met while playing tennis. To tell you the truth, I have tried to be discreet in relaying some of the oddities of the people I knew. It was a hard group to break in to. The oddest thing opened doors for me. Like I posted before, they didn’t quite know what to do with me. When I first began playing I didn’t wear the traditional tennis skirt, I wore shorts. They didn’t know me from their social circles, so how could they be sure I was ok? It was a pen that turned the tide for me. Not a tide pen…ha ha… Roy had given me a Waterman Opera Pen for my birthday. The quickest way to my heart is a neat pen and journal. I had it with me after a match and as we booked another game, one of the women, in fact she was one of the mafia women, asked to borrow my pen. She looked at it approvingly and then to the others in the match and nodding their heads in agreement, it became clear, I must be ok if I had one of these pens.
I learned to get a calendar to schedule games. Most were not patient with those who didn’t have instant access to their schedules. I found myself booking matches 2 and 3 months out. I told Roy if I die, the first thing you do is call and get subs for my matches. I will not be able to rest in peace.
Having lots of money does not buy happiness is one lesson I learned during my time at the Club. I can count about 3 Doctor’s wives who were over-medicated and alcohol was included in the mix. I’ve been in homes of people whose names you would recognize from the society columns. Most of those homes were not happy ones.
I wish I could write in accents because there were many. I had friends from Lebanon, Italy, Mexico, Chile, Egypt, Costa Rica, Scotland, South Africa, Brazil, and even a few Yankees from the northeast. I always got the impression that if one had an accent, the call of out or in was more authoritative and wise than a plain ol accent from the USA. One lady claimed to be from France, but her accent was defiantly South American. Her best friend was from Italy via South Africa. The first time I had a conversation with both of them, I didn’t understand a word they said and yet I smiled and nodded my head like I totally knew. I told Roy I may have promised our first born to some strange ladies. Alexison and Vonda that is their names. Only Vonda pronounced her name like Bonda.
Alexison-you know Nancy, I love to eat at the confeddy house. The steaks are soooo gooooood. They are bery thick and uicy. One time I had a steak at a casino…it was not so gooood. I was gambling and lost track of time. My group left Bonda and me at the Lafayette. We got a ride on a bus with a group from this Baytown. I do not know what a Baytown is. I asked the driver to take me to my Mercedes in the Galarrrrria and he said no. You take a taxi from this Baytown. So, Bonda and I ride back with these people who were odd, not like us. They dropped us at a Holiday Inn in this Baytown.
Conversations were funny and always odd.
There was a woman who was a Christian, only she was one of those out there and strange Christians. She was always casting out devils and demons from her racquet, the court, her partner, the water…you name it. If she was losing she was casting out. Our ladies association had these big deal lunches twice a year at someone’s fabulous home. My friend Mary opened up her home just once. It is an awesome home. Her closet is as big as two bedrooms. When Jeanie saw it she was casting out the spirit of jealousy. She also drank like a skunk, so who knew when she was sober or not.
I had a friend who wore wigs to play tennis. When she made a good shot, she would tug on both sides of her wig.
There were kept women who played tennis. Their “boyfriends” kept them cash poor. Most would pick up the check with their credit card and wanted to be repaid in cash by those at lunch. It was their only way to get their hands on cash. I had a friend who married a man for his money. Her life was horrible. When he’d get mad at her, he would go in her closet and cut her clothes up to little pieces. She had to account for every moment of her day. He finally quit working to dog her steps all day long. She is an awesome tennis player but other than tennis people, her husband forbade her to have any other friends. She couldn’t even come to team lunches after league play. I always said I played tennis just to eat lunch with friends. Sometimes I see her and her husband at the play grocery store. He told me since I don’t play tennis any more I wasn’t allowed to talk to her.
One of these days I will tell you about some of the best moments of my tennis life. But, the people became more interesting to me than the game sometimes. My Sunday School teacher of many years, Cecilia Talley played tennis. She played with friends who belonged to River Oaks Country Club. We would talk about our games, more importantly we talked about how to live the Christ filled life in front of these women…who seemed to have everything going for them on the outside. She always told me be a real friend to them. Most don’t have any idea of what real friendship is all about. That is the way to share Christ with them. That is what I tried to do day in and day out.