While this article might not be specifically for “us” but mostly for “them” and by “them” I mean non-athletes or those who did not play any kind of sport for a living except recreationally. I wanted to emphasize the importance of this issue because it happens to me and my friends quite often. To those who seem to think if they meet a person with a pursuit in sport, they should invite them for a 3 out 2 sets match. Please don’t.
Let’s just take a classical “Asking-out-situation”.
HALLWAY OF HIGH SCHOOL – MORNING
It’s about 9:30 in the morning. Hallways are empty because the first period did not end yet. There are only two people in the hallway walking towards their lockers. These two people are YOUNG WOMAN and MR. HOTSHOT. YOUNG WOMAN is a tennis player and just came from her morning 2 hour hitting sesh. MR. HOTSHOT is just late and he is into FIFA 2013. YOUNG WOMAN and MR. HOTSHOT are not classmates but they know each other. Their dialogue is to be said at an awkward and shy pace.
What’s up with that big bag? Why do you carry a parachute?
(Giggles) Oh well, that’s my tennis bag. I just came from a practice and have another one later this afternoon.
Oh really? Do you play tennis? I loooove tennis. My buddies and I play sometimes as well. Where do you usually play?
Well it depends on which day of the week it is. Also I recently changed clubs because I have a new coach.
Oh nice. You must be good if you have a coach.
Oh no, I’m not really.
I’m sure you’re great. We should definitely play sometime. What about this weekend?
Uhmmmm…Well I already play this weekend but maybe we can play between my morning and afternoon practice. Sure.
YOUNG WOMAN and MR. HOTSHOT exchange Facebook details and say bye to each other.
First of all, SMH!
Second of all, this happens to me and my girlfriends all the time. My good friend Patricia described the situation the best. “You meet a guy. He says he is an accountant and then you respond: Oh that’s awesome. We should definitely calculate some cost-of-goods-sold and break-even points.” It’s so stereotypical at this point that we roll our eyes every time someone invites us to play tennis. Don’t get me wrong. While the idea of a date where you both enjoy yourself sounds great, please don’t underestimate the fact that the person already spends so much time on the court or field. Probably the last thing the YOUNG GIRL wants to do in her spare time is to go and play tennis. The only reason why she said yes was that she liked him and would like to hang out with him. Even if it does mean grabbing a basket full of balls and spending another hour on the tennis court. Best case scenario: the guy knows how to hit and balls will go over the net. Worst case scenario: she holds three balls in her left hand and feeds him some balls while repeatedly saying: “Good job, that a way… Little bit more spin….try to look at the ball and hit it with the middle of the racket. “ Oh god how much I hate this. There is nothing worse than to spend a date on the tennis court while giving a tennis lesson. I cannot even think of a worse date. This is it. A first date itself is already uncomfortable enough so why make it even more uncomfortable. Athletes spend so many hours on the courts, fields, stadiums in sweats and sneakers that they literally cannot wait for the occasion to get dressed like a human.
“You meet a guy. He says he is an accountant and then you respond: Oh that’s awesome. We should definitely calculate some cost-of-goods-sold and break-even points.”
Now let’s fast forward and put that YOUNG GIRL into a different, yet similar scenery ten years later.
A normal European-Fancy-Pancy-Roof-Top Bar. While the place isn’t jammed, there are a healthy number of people sipping on their Old Fashioned, Cosmopolitans and Singapore Slings. YOUNG GIRL is now in her late twenties and she is sipping on her Vodka with Cranberry juice. Though she hates the taste of alcohol, she somehow feels more social when tipsy. She works as a PR assistant and has not touched her racket for 7 months now. There he comes, MR. POSSITIVE ATTITUDE. MR. POSSITIVE ATTITUDE is a lawyer and is far from being athletic.
MR. POSSITIVE ATTITUDE
Hey there. Can I buy you a drink?
Yeah sure, double vodka shot with ice please.
MR. POSSITIVE ATTITUDE
You look like you work out. Do you like sports?
Well, I play tennis. I mean, I played tennis, now I just play a couple of matches over the summer.
MR. POSSITIVE ATTITUDE
Oh wow. I love tennis. I used to play with my dad when I was young. We should have a match sometime.
Bartender, make it a triple shot.
The moral of this story is straight-forward. Don’t ask that girl to play tennis with you on a date. My suggestion would be a nice dinner or drinks where she can finally wear her new outfit. Also, please don’t laugh at her tanned socks lines. It’s a very sensitive topic. Good luck!