Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Tennis skirt is more than just a piece of clothing

Yesterday's big question: Should I wear the tennis skirt or not?
Obvious answer: Wear whatever you want!

It was a little more complicated, due I guess to the symbolism of the black Nike skirt with the biker shorts underneath. The last time I wore it, I guess that would be fall of 2008, I was playing a pretty good game of doubles. Not long after, I had relapsed and was in the hospital, the skirt left behind with the rest of my life. The other day, I found it crumpled and dirty on the floor in the back of my closet. I fished it out, washed it and hung it up to dry. 

Donna came over yesterday to hit some tennis balls, visit and walk Maddie around the lake. This was my second visit to the tennis court. We planned to hit just for 15 minutes or so. It was really hot, and regardless of the weather, I don't have the stamina, strength or balance to be out there longer. 

Did putting on the tennis skirt mean I was acting like someone who was really playing tennis? Was it like someone who dresses up for a sport that he or she can't really play? Should the tennis skirt wait for real tennis? 

Well, it was  hot out and I couldn't find my shorts. I've been mostly wearing capris to keep the sun off my legs as much as possible. 

I'm not sure I can explain the hesitancy very well. I think maybe we have complicated connections to items that tie us to life before cancer or to a time before a setback. The clothing connection goes both ways. I can't imagine wearing some of the T-shirts that I wore in the hospital. They make me feel like I should get back into bed.

Anyway, I was not planning on  dressing up in some fancy tennis outfit, but rather just putting on the black skirt and a T-shirt. I overcame my qualms and wore the skirt. More women seem to be wearing something like it these days anyway in the form of a skort. The shorts underneath were baggy, which felt kind of odd because they used to fit snugly. But it's very comfortable. 

Donna and I hit for a little more than 15 minutes. She was the mother, telling me that we should stop soon. I kept saying, "Just these three last balls until we get a good rally." We did that a few times over and then stopped, went back to my house for a cold drink, and took Maddie back to the lake. It was good to be on the court. I could see how far I've come but also how far I have to go.

Back to the closet: I've been thinking for ages that I have to clean it out. When I was in the hospital and very sick, it crossed my mind that I should have cleaned it, because if I died, people would discover how messy I was, and they would also find it a real pain to clean up. 

Like many women, I have too many shoes, most of them black. Some of them I bought because I thought they would help soothe my  plantar fasciitis, an excruciating heel pain that tormented me for about a year. The shoes might have been good for my feet, but they were too ugly to wear. The closet floor was also cluttered with old pairs of running shoes, a couple of them not even matched.

The skirt on the floor motivated me. But I couldn't do it all at once. I made myself do it by taking a few pairs of shoes (and some old purses) out, putting them on my floor, then coming back later in the day for a second round. This might be considered a way of prolonging the work, but, whatever. I finally got everything out, made a bag for the Goodwill, went downstairs to get the broom and a mask, got distracted and forgot about the whole mess.

When I went up for bed, late as usual, I was almost surprised at all the shoes and purses. I sort of knew I would end up finishing late at night. Anyway, it got done and I fell into bed. The closet looks better. But I still have to do the clothes. I think I will do it all at once.

In the meantime, I wore the tennis skirt again today just for hanging around the house and walking the dog. It felt fine, so I guess I'm over that one.


PJ said...

You're getting closer to "normal." Did you consider where lighter clothes on such a hit day?

PJ said...

hot day?

donna said...

We were on the court at 12:00 noon, no shade, on a really hot day. (crazy!) Ronni looked great in her tennis skirt and hit very well! Then we did the walk around the lake which also was hot and steamy. We walked back to Ronni's house and she ate a big ham sandwich, saying that she was really hungry. It's truly a miracle how far you have come since last February! Yay! You go girl!

Marilyn said...

"the skirt left behind with the rest of my life" - great sentence!!

Your hesitancy made perfect sense. I'm glad you scaled that hurdle.

srs said...

I bought one of those "Life is Good" shirts before I got sick ...
I've never worn it again figuring I shouldn't tempt fate. But, a tennis skirt is a totally different thing!


Nelle said...

I see many women I know in tennis skirts who may hit a few balls once or twice a year. Most say they are very comfortable. My one friend, Deborah, an avid tennis player (I am talking like three or four games a week) has tennis outfits which she changes the minute the game is over. Go figure. If it's comfortable I would just wear it. I do have the skirt with the shorts under it. It is somewhere in the twilight zone of my closet. I will probably locate it sometime this winter. My shoes are out of control and I have vowed to toss some at the end of the summer. We'll see if it happens. :)

Trish said...

sometimes, the uniform is what helps get your head into the game. I put on softball gear a few years ago (pretty much the first time since I had to retire due to shoulder surgery) and it was like nothing had changed---I was 20 again.

I suspect your tennis skirt is aiming you to getting back to the game. Just because you're not where you'd like to be doesn't mean you're not playing--no reason not to wear the uniform!

I lol'd on the concept that you couldn't die---people might see your messy closet---at least it gave you something to live for and kept you going!

Susan C said...

I can relate to this post on so many levels.

My closet is filled with clothes in many sizes: way too skinny, just skinny and just right