Let’s face it tennis players are high maintenance. They can be strong and competitive one moment and as delicate as crumbling rose petals the next. When you love one of these unpredictable creatures, there will be days when you may need this handy survival guide.
Listen to her.
WHEN SHE RETURNS HOME FROM A MATCH: Ask her “How was it?” (This is important and will determine the outcome of the rest of the day…)
IF SHE WON HER MATCH: Listen, really listen to the dramatic retelling of the victory. Congratulate enthusiastically. (We love to share our feelings, especially good ones. It’s really not that hard and will be over quickly if you follow the instructions above.)
IF SHE LOST HER MATCH: Look her in the eyes and earnestly tell her all the excuses she had for loosing were indeed valid; agree that all the line calls were unfair; and exclaim that she should have won. Hugs may be in order. (If you don’t do this to the letter, she will be furious with you the rest of the day and you won’t even know why.)
Invite her to play.
RESERVE A COURT AND INVITE HER TO PLAY: While playing, act amazed at her skill and improvement, tell her all those lessons are really paying off. Exaggerate but don’t be too fake, we can detect sarcasm. (If you make her feel inferior or get angry at her mistakes, she will pretend it’s o.k. then get mad at you weeks later, sometimes years, and you won’t even know why.)
Know when to hold ’em, know when to walk away.
IF SHE IS MAD AT HER COACH: Nod knowingly; do not offer advice; do not say anything; do not make eye contact. Listen to the whole story. Suggest she should really call her tennis friend who might have better advice. Pretend you have an important call and make a hasty exit. (Just walk away and keep walking.)
Look at her.
IF SHE ASKS YOU “DO THESE TENNIS WHITES MAKE ME LOOK FAT?”: Above all and most importantly, do not pause. Reply as quickly as possible. There are two answers to this — a resounding “No!” or “Wow, you’re so beautiful.” (If she’s asking, she probably already knows the answer and just wants you to look at her.)
If she falls, pick her up.
IF SHE COMES HOME INJURED BECAUSE SHE STEPPED ON A TENNIS BALL: Avoid looking smug or have that “I told you play too much tennis!” face. Instead bring her gently to the couch, apply hot/cold packs, make her favorite hot beverage and turn on Netflix.
If you look closely, tennis players are just like real people.
Happy Valentines Day!