I beat my wife on Saturday. And boy did it feel good!
There was little the Normal Mormon Wife could do to defend herself against my unrelenting, overpowering backhands.
Now before you get the wrong idea, the “backhands” I am referring to are of the Pete Sampras vs. Andre Agassi variety, not the Ike vs. Tina Turner type. And when I “beat” my wife it was two sets to zero and I was dressed in a tennis outfit, not in a tight white sleeveless t-shirt with dangling gold chains. (Anytime a man refers to his clothing as an “outfit” instead of a “uniform” he loses three points on the Manly Scale. I think this faux pas now places me at -6 after revealing that I cried on the Statosphere.)
(D’oh! Using the phrase “faux paus” is -2 more Manly Scale points. I’m just going to shut up now. )
One of my favorite dates with the NMW is going to our local public tennis court for a highly-competitive mixed singles match. It’s close to home. It’s free. It gets me working up a sweat through physical exercise instead of the way I normally do, which is by eating a bag of Spicy Nachos Doritos with the AC turned off.
Not only is tennis a great date for the NMW and me because it is fast, free and physical, but it also allows us to satisfy our borderline-insane competitive urges. We are both very competitive by nature. The NMW and I lettered in multiple sports in high school and have a little bit of Lisa Simpson DNA that drives us to be measured, graded, ranked, or otherwise told how we stack up. In fact, I was first attracted to the NMW while we played on the same BYU co-ed intramural volleyball team and I saw the way she ran, slid, hustled, dove, and did whatever it took to win.
I am pretty sure the NMW’s elbows and knees were covered in floor burns the first time we kissed. Now that’s HOT in my book!
Another enjoyable aspect about spending our date night at a public tennis court is that the people at the park can be nearly as entertaining as the tennis itself. Some people view tennis as a white-dominated, racially discriminatory sport played by women named Buffy and men who own (not rent) tuxedos or have pocket watches on gold chains.
Well the good people at our public tennis court never got this memo. There are 11 courts at our local public park and we see less people named Buffy or Braxton and a whole lot of folks named B’mengala or Bhavikulativusimphone.
The variety of languages spoken at our tennis court may potentially exceed the number spoken at the tower of Babel. And when they all get talking at the same time the sound is as incomprehensible as Nancy Peolsi explaining her knowledge of enhanced interrogation techniques.
After I finished beating my wife – I mean defeating her 6-4, 3-1 – we took a leisurely stroll to see exactly how ethnically diverse our fellow tennis and/or cheap date enthusiasts were. We walked past all 11 of the courts like a couple of Ward Clerks counting the attendance in sacrament meeting while guessing the nationalities represented at the park. In the end, the tally came out as follows:
-2 French African
-1 African American
-1 Smokin' Hot White Skinned Half-Mexican Hottie (the NMW)
We were almost able to leave the park with the “How cool, the NMH is the only non-Hispanic white person here!” post-racial America vibe, but our joy was spoiled when we made it to Court #1. There were two plain old white people playing there. Bummer.
But as we more closely examined the party crashers on Court #1, we thought they looked a little familiar. Then, lo and behold, we recognized them as a young woman in our ward and a young man who had just been baptized earlier that day! The young man still technically was not a member of the Church because his confirmation would not take place until the following day, so we added this to our tally:
-1 Half-Mormon (Pending Confirmation)
While most of us at the tennis courts that evening came from different racial, cultural, and religious backgrounds, we all had one thing in common: We were all happy. We were all joking around with our friends. We were all enjoying being outside and hitting fuzzy yellow balls all over the place. The atmosphere was akin to having a Nitrous Oxide leak at a UN meeting.
Outside of the tennis courts there was a group of 12 Middle Eastern kids playing football and they were being supervised by 6 Middle Eastern women. A separate group of 8 Middle Eastern men played soccer while another group of 5 were chatting at a picnic table. At the large field across the parking lot a group of 36 French Africans played a massive game of kickball (I’ve never wanted to be French African so badly in my life as I did in that moment. That game was awesome! Just call me Luc Richard Mbah a Moute from now on and sign me up, baby!)
Our date night tradition after playing tennis is to go to Sonic for drinks and an occasional order of onion rings. And as if our evening had not already been ethnically diverse enough, we were greeted at Sonic by a group of about twenty African Americans riding ninja bikes (Bullet bikes? Death chariots?)
The whole evening was starting to sound like an elaborate set-up to a bad joke:
“What do you get when you mix 2 ½ white Mormons, 25 ethnically diverse tennis players, 30 Middle Easterners, 36 French Africans playing kick ball, and 20 black guys on ninja bikes?”
The true answer to that question is probably too ethnically insensitive to even ponder for more than .007165 seconds, so don’t even try to figure it out.
So here’s the safe answer – You get a fun date.
Oh, and don’t forget the wife beatin’. What could be more fun than that?
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