In celebration of the start of the US Open, and because my piece on boobs at the VMA’s wasn’t ready.
ORIGINALLY POSTED SEPTMEBER 14th, 2014.
I love the US Open. I always have, and getting there by subway is a breeze, which is important to a New Yorker. The whole atmosphere makes me happy, and it reminds me of my short-lived tennis career. And by short-lived I mean that I learned how to play tennis at camp, (when I was 10) but only because the tennis pros were super cute. I was originally at the camp for the gymnastics, that too was short lived. As soon as I saw the pros, I traded in my leotard for tennis whites. I won one tennis tournament when I was thirteen, (that my dad still talks about) before I put down my racket and picked up a basketball. The trophy, however, follows me wherever I go.
Before checking out center court, my friend and I walked around the grounds, and watched the wheelchair matches. I had never seen a wheelchair match before at the US Open. The women players were nothing short of heroic and I admired their athleticism, agility, and guts. It was truly inspiring. We both decided that the next time that we complained about anything; slow moving subways, stifling heat, hailing a cab in the rain, we were going to remind ourselves that we had the use of our legs.
When we went back to the box seats (helps to know people in banking) and walked into the room, people were standing in a semi-circle and very quiet, as if someone had just died. When we opened the door, all eyes shot to us, like laser beams. I was expecting to hear, surprise! Although there wouldn’t have been a reason, since it was neither of our birthdays and I didn’t know a single soul in the room. It was quite awkward.
I didn’t know what the hell was going on, or where to look. For a second I thought that maybe we were in the wrong room. I couldn’t stand the silence. I was crawling out of my skin. “Is this Candid Camera? Am I on TV?” I can still dream. Is Candid Camera even on anymore? People laughed.
The woman who acted as the hostess, looked at me and said, “Please meet Lindsay Davenport.” I turned to my left and yup, there she was, all 6’2 of her, smiling as awkwardly as I was feeling, holding a black Sharpie. The hostess said that Lindsay was signing US Open hats, which we were all given upon arriving. She then asked me if I wanted Lindsay to autograph my hat. Way to put both of us on the spot, hostess lady. Lyndsay looked at me and said, ”Oh, no, you don’t have to.”
Really. Now what kind of a douche would I be if I turned down your John Hancock in a room full of strangers? Save it sister. “No, I definitely want you to sign my hat.” She asked me if I wanted her to sign the inside or the outside. I thought that was classy. I said, “Inside, so then it’d be my little secret.” What the hell did that mean? It sounded like I was coming on to her. She laughed, and the room laughed again.
While Lindsay was signing my hat, she asked me if I watched any of the other matches. I told her about the wheelchair ones, in detail, as if this were her first time at the US Open and she needed to be schooled on the goings on at Flushing Meadows. I then shared my woo woo comment about never wanting to complain about anything ever again, after seeing those women warriors.
The words fell out of my mouth before I could close my lips. I know, but imagine how I felt. I was there. You’re reading this from the safety of a computer screen. Lindsay’s handler gratefully interrupted, before I had a chance to tell her about subway efficiency, letting her know that she had another appointment, in another box, for another group of bankers, that she’d have to dog and pony show for. Before I knew it, she was gone, along with a small piece of my dignity.
My friend turned to me and said, “Well, that turned into the Dani show.” It always does… one way or another.