Weve joined a tennis club. I find this very funny, so Im saying it a lot at the moment, because I feel like the phrase Weve joined a tennis club should be spoken by someone called Margot or Tasmin while waving her manicured hand at her husband Geoffrey or Julian and sipping her cosmo.
I dont explain as often as I should, perhaps, that we have mainly joined a tennis club because
a) We dont play tennis, we only wanted to use the gym. So
b) Everyone else is playing tennis, so the gym is always empty. And
c) It was cheap because – God, I love this – because were UNDER 35, so were eligible for JUNIOR MEMBERSHIP. So
d) When they are using the gym, most of the other members arent exactly skipping around in tight lycra trying to pick each other up, you know what I mean? At least not in any way that I want to think about.
So thats good. And Im going to the gym regularly again, and thats brilliant.
But because its a tennis club, its great, because its completely alien to me.
My favourite favourite thing today – and I thought Americans didnt do passive aggressive as much as we do – was the lady in front of me who was changing her court reservation. She didnt seem very happy, but she was talking, softly and insistently, trying to get a different playing time that suited her.
What about 12 tomorrow?
Will you hold on to that one for a sec? she asked the pleasant receptionist, I just need to phone my friend and check its ok.
Sure! said the pleasant receptionist go right ahead!
Thank you! said the lady, and turned away, while I moved up the counter and handed in my locker key, waiting while they rootled around in the deepest drawer in the world for my membership card. There was a sudden shout behind me.
Moshi MOSHI! HI, its ME
Sneakily, I looked around, the lady with the reservation was standing looking as cool as a cucumber.
Im just at the club, but IT STINKS
I jumped again.
Theyre recovering the courts and the WHOLE PLACE STINKS and its going to make me SICK and so we CANT play because Im just going to DIE if I have to play in this DREADFUL, AWFUL STINK. So Ive booked an outside court that hopefully wont SMELL SO BAD
(And she literally was shouting on these occasional words, I use not my caplock lightly)
(in this instance, I mean. Usually I do. Totally, I KNOW I do)
so just call me back and let me know if thats ok. I just didnt want to DIE of FUME POISONING. Ok love ya, speak later
She turned around to the receptionist. I was caught, mid-membership card handover, terrified. I took it, quickly, and walked away.
Ok! said the lady, nice as pie. So, I left a message for my friend.
Oh, you did? said the pleasant receptionist.
Yeah. Because she was being Just SO Subtle.