Overhead Smash

Forgiveness 2005 oil on canvas 36 x 24 inches         

My time learning tennis and playing on a team at “the club” in Hong Kong was a real experience.  Let’s just say that if I had it to do over again, I probably would not share a lot about my feelings - that was a tough bunch.  One of the bitchiest comments I have ever heard was not about me (thank goodness).  After practice we were all having a coffee and the discussion was about how the head tennis coach was not gay (which he was for sure but who cares except that he felt he had to pretend).  Someone said how he had a girlfriend.  Blah blah blah.  Yeah, a wealthy girlfriend my tennis partner said, implying he was only with her for her money.  Why, what does she look like?  “Oh Pat, she is positively yeti-like!”  Now - that’s bad.

Whenever I get nostalgic for “the club” and the tennis team, I remind myself of that.  And, how when I fell during practice and broke my wrist, knocked my pelvis out of kilter and really banged my head, no one even offered to drive me to the hospital!  Only when one drove past me as I was waiting for a taxi, did she drop me off at the hospital door; wouldn’t even escort me in.  Then - when I finally got home, cast and all, there was a message on the phone that they had dropped me from the team!  This was the same team that when I suggested maybe as a group of grown women that we could have some fun and team spirit, and the captain of the team - the team that I had practiced and played with for four years, at least three times a week - said, “Well Pat, it’s not like we are friends.”

Recently a friend, another former tennis partner (my first actually), sent me an email where she had forwarded my website to the former tennis coach - the one who supposedly had the yeti-like girlfriend.  Well now he is living in Thailand with a golf pro man who apparently paints!  She told him to have a look at my website, that it is good and said, “Who knew?”  Then she jogged his memory about me by reminding him, “She’s the one you always thought was so strange.  Hahaha.”  Wow - I was shocked - it was sort of like a slap in the face.  Then I thought how things always happen for a reason, and not just the night before I had been saying how it’s too bad we didn’t have the club anymore.”  Slap in the face alright - the one that brings you back to your senses.

I guess I was the only one that had ever suggested that if you go to all the practices, you should be able to play in a match and not just sit on the bench so to speak.  What?  But then we might not win.  Maybe we should just have fun.  “Pat, it’s not like we are friends."

Smartest thing I ever did was to switch from tennis-ing to teaching painting to women at the YWCA-HK.  That really restored my faith in humanity!  I loved it.

I notice they don’t have any painting or drawing classes there anymore.  When I was there, my acrylic, oil and drawing classes were usually always pretty full.  I guess they miss me!! 

originally published: September 14, 2009

© Trixie Pitts 2009