Friday, December 5, 2008

Getting out is hard to do

Some of the members of our tennis team gathered tonight for
dinner. Everyone always makes me stand in the middle!

When I wake up most mornings, my wardrobe choices are simple: the black sweatpants, the black yoga pants or the black running pants; the blue or the red sweatshirt; the clogs or the sneakers. The pants are really comfy, and the elastic waistband creates the illusion that no matter what I eat, I never gain an ounce. Putting on regular clothes requires exiting the comfort zone.

Tonight I was invited to attend our tennis team’s dinner meeting at our team member Lori’s house. This created a combination of anxiety and pleasant anticipaton. I wanted to go see everyone, but I hesitated. What if someone was sick? Since I cannot play, what if I felt left out when they discussed team business? What if I felt on display? And, it being the time when I usually watch the Friday night news programs, what would I do without (PBS' “Washington Week” moderator) Gwen Ifill?

Well, I figured, her panel of journalists wasn’t going to have too much exciting stuff to analyze this week anyway. The key topics would be: Is Commerce Secretary a consolation prize for (New Mexico Governor) Bill Richardson? And: Will the three automakers have any greater chance of getting a bailout now that they drove in their hybrids to Capitol Hill as opposed to flying on corporate jets? It’s not like we’re in the middle of the campaign, when I seriously might have had trouble tearing myself away.

I really did want to see my friends. It’s more a matter of the emotional and physical effort of driving half an hour at night and being with a group of people. I’m sure it’s the same for most everyone who’s been out of circulation due to illness; even if you’ve been in bed for a week with the flu, getting back out can be hard to do.

I decided to go. This meant putting on regular pants, a nice sweater, adding extra hair gel, finding the lip gloss, picking out jewelry and staring at myself for an extra minute in the mirror. SMILE! I said to myself. There. You look perfectly normal.

Our team has been together for years, and we’ve turned into a little family. I was glad to see them. They seemed genuinely happy to see me. I twirled around in Lori’s kitchen, hamming it up a bit. “Do I look normal?” I asked. “Do I look regular?”

I’m not even sure what I meant by that, but one of my friends who was in the kitchen at the time seemed to get the idea. “Are any of us really normal?” she asked.

Hmmmmm. Everyone has something. My something happens to have been a biggie, but it doesn’t make me that different.

I had a great time. Then I drove home, raced upstairs and put on my sweatpants.


Susan C said...

I'm so glad you went and had a good time. I know what you mean about the effort of group socializing after being out of circulation.

Your hair, by the way, looks great. You seem to have the height under control. I found a great new hair dresser who banished Little Orphan Annie.

donna said...

I am so happy you could come to Lori's. And without the mask! You are a core member of the team and always will be whether you're playing or not. You will battle this latest virus like you did the last time and then you will be over it and on the right track again. We have a lot of great matches ahead of us! Good picture!

Nelle said...

So happy you got out and had a great time. My childhood best friend is an avid tennis player and she has a huge group of friends from tennis. She met author Gay Talese and played tennis with him. We got invited to dinner at his shore home a few years ago. It was great. You look mahvelous!

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Lori Hope said...

Hi, Ronni. I posted a response to your post on my blog entry (the hope quotes one) --
Coincidentally, I just got back from St. Louis, where I was visiting my dad and stepmom, both of whom are tennis enthusiasts, but have health issues so cannot play much anymore. In fact on Sunday we went to a Christmas party with all of Judy's tennis friends,and I could see the remarkable bond.
You're a remarkable woman, and I'm glad you found me and I found you.
warm regards,

Baby Bird said...

I know exactly what you mean about the anxiety of socializing. During my illness, I just wanted to stay home, fearing that I was constantly "on display." But I learned a long time ago that contrary action is always the best answer, and never did I come home disappointed. Every time I was happy I did it.