Average Jane

Swing like a girl? Bet your ass I do.

Did you know I play racquetball? Me and old men. I don’t know how the old men get so good at the game if they don’t start playing when they’re young men, but lo and behold, there isn’t a young racquetball playing gentleman to be found as far I can tell. I haven’t played in a few years but when I played, I was good. I have a wingspan to be coveted and legs long enough that if they only moved slightly faster would be valuable to a serious athlete.

The gym I’m currently testing out has two courts. I’ve been eyeing them to find my potential partner, but to my chagrin they tend to go unused. When I saw the foursome of older gentlemen playing doubles the other night, I saw my “in.” I’m a young lady with an athletic build approaching a group of older, sweaty married guys. They were not impressed.

I asked how I could sign up to join them. The crickets were deafening.

“Do you swing like a girl?”

“Bet your ass I do.”

The 60-year olds were shocked. And apparently intrigued. One of them, the most affable, offered to hit around with me. It was clearly a test. I thought I was doing OK. I got to all the balls. I hit a few kill shots. We left the court and I was chuffed!

“So, could I jump into a game sometime?”

“Well,” the affable one replied, “It’s really a matter of if you can keep up, and stay out of the way. Playing doubles is different.”

I left, crestfallen, but showed up tonight ready to practice by myself so at some point soon I could join the old men, the only men, playing ball.

Well, they were there again and I was ready to play. The only one who wanted to take me on was a young guy (shocker!) who was waiting to play basketball. With full sleeve tattoos and biceps that looked like a loaf of challah (…?) I wasn’t sure what to expect. He was ok, but I won. By a lot. “You can beat me at basketball next time!” I jabbed as his friend arrived to get him for his game.

The grumpy old men were stunned. I don’t know why. I said I could play. “So, we’ll be here on Saturday. At 1. We play for blood, though.”

“Shame,” I replied, “I play for money.”

I was “in.” I knew I was in when they started to give me quasi-compliments when I stepped out to grab a swig of water. When I caught them peeking around the edge of the court to watch me play. And it wasn’t because I was a girl. It was because I didn’t suck.

But I really knew I was “in” when one of them tapped on the glass as he left for the night. “You still swing like a girl.”

Damn right I do.


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  1. You hang up with old folks, great, could never have guest it.
    The yare a pain in the butt most of the time, but they can be realy caring and loving and will listen and talk to you as long as you are there.

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 5 months ago

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