It is with profound sadness that I announce the passing of a very special friend; a friend that has been there for me the past 13 years, through both great and difficult times.
Although my friend could be frustrating and, on occasion, disappointing, I’m sure it was usually my fault. When life got busy, I tended to be neglectful. I admit I sometimes left him behind – usually in my trunk.
Yes, dear friends, my trusty Yonex tennis racket has finally gone to that big tennis court in the sky. I purchased him back when my hair was still brown and I didn’t have wrinkles above my knees. So yes, a very long time ago.
Because of “Yonnie’s” advancing age, I should have expected the severe breakdown that took place recently. So debilitating, it rendered him incapable of properly functioning any longer (insert solemn music here).
I attempted to hold him together with duct tape, but it only succeeded in making him (and me) look silly.
Those days are over where Yonnie produced balls in such slow motion that opponents yelled, “Hit it like a person!” as an unnamed friend (Hilary) said last time we played.
Fond memories of Yonnie include yearning to smash him over the net post when teammates like Patty successfully lobbed over us.
More often than not, Yonnie couldn’t touch Sue’s drop shot (damn her).
And it’s embarrassing how many times Laura’s backhand passed us down the line.
Such a trooper, he resisted flinging himself over the fence on numerous occasions, especially after Suzie’s perfectly executed ground stroke whizzed by just out of reach.
Yes, those were the days…
Yonnie saw me through many fun-filled years of tennis with exhilarating wins and some heart-breaking losses. No doubt those losses were Yonnie’s fault, but I never blamed him (much). Just a bit. Well, maybe more than a bit. Perhaps a smidgen.
Yonnie now takes his well-deserved spot on the garage wall, right next to the other rackets I’ve used over the last 27 years of playing team tennis. There he hangs, finally at rest in a prominent spot right behind the paper shredder and next to the bread maker. RIP buddy.
Now it’s time to introduce Wilson, who’s been safely tucked away in my bedroom closet, waiting for his chance to emerge and finally express himself on court. Yes, he’s out of the closet and PROUD OF IT!
Turns out Wilson is the perfect fit for me; the pie to my ice cream, the butter to my bread. He’s what I’ve been looking for – not a brute but not a lightweight either. Wilson is powerful but he also has a gentle touch, which I think is important in a relationship.
As for appearance, I’d say he’s attractive, except he does have a rather large head in relation to his body. His neck is long and thin, like a greyhound, but it sort of works for him.
So anyway, Wilson and I have been spending a lot of time together of late and it’s all good. Well, mostly good. Sometimes it’s bad…very bad. But we don’t let that get us down.
The point is, the two of us are taking up where Yonnie and I left off; continuing to torture players with finesse and wickedly slow, bothersome shots. Oh, the delight we take in their frustration. After all, there’s no shame in winning ugly. Or, as we who rely on slice and spin like to say – there’s no crime in slime.
Now don’t get me wrong. I understand the real goal in tennis is to have fun together. In the end, that’s what really matters, right?
That, and tormenting your opponents until they cry.