We just returned from Palm Springs, where we watched a polyglot of tennis and indulged our obsession for Rafa Nadal. (Well, it was mostly Brodi’) It was unanimously decided that we would depart the land of bloodsuckers, phlebotomists, latex gloves, infusions, labs, white coats and emesis basins for one brief shining moment, and see if we could put ourselves where the sun DOES shine. (We’ve been looking in all the wrong places.)
Dennis bundled up like a gauzy refugee from Egypt, and we watched our daughter watch Rafa nimbly dismantle each opponent in a line of casualties that will keep him permanently cemented in the #1 position for quite some time. We were sure Rafa would be able to locate her among the throng of 65,000 avid, (not to mention hormonal), mostly female attendees. But just to make sure she was distinguished from the others, Brodi brought her white, broad-brimmed hat. Then, at just the right moment, she planned to stand up in a halo of bright light in a dark sea, (ala “The Natural) emitting a vapor trail of attraction that would direct Rafa’s undivided attention directly to her.
Dennis and I rogered that as a plan of great potential. We couldn’t wait to see how this would play out. But as with the best-laid plans of mice and men, this one, too, went awry. Brodi forgot her white hat. Luckily, Dennis had prepared for every circumstance. As if prompted by the Fickle Finger of Fate, he had packed an extra hat. Brodi donned the hat and then rose to her full height as radiant as a solar disc, at a moment so perfect, it couldn’t have been scripted better by Hollywood.
Unfortunately, Dennis’s substitute hat was gray, green and brown. Total camouflage! No one noticed her…especially not Nadal. He was completely myopic. His focus never wavered from the ball. Shocked, she looked as if she could launch into a polyglot of expletives. As Mother Superior Emeritus, I rose to the occasion – literally. I erected myself, by proxy, to my full vertical perpendicularity, omnicompetent, pink and iridescent. (My hat and my glasses were both rose-colored). I was magisterial, lustrous and uber-adorable. And then we waited for Rafa to drop his racket and, as if wired by electrodes, climb over the moshpit to my daughter.
Apparently, the rest of the audience hadn’t seen “The Natural.” The only reaction came from those directly behind us requesting that the scrawny blond woman in the pink hat and rose-colored glasses please sit down because I was blocking the view. It seemed to be a mandate, which, if unheeded, could have led to an ugly incident of civil disturbance.
So I resumed my seat and finished watching the rest of the match, unhindered by the number one tennis player in the world leaping into our laps. I suggested that next year we bring extra white hats, an arc light, and some pre-recorded background music for mood. One really must plan for these boundless opportunities for misconduct. I only hope that Rafa can hang on to his number one ranking for one more year.
Just before we were to board our plane for Palm Springs, we received the news that Dennis’ latest tumor markers had dropped 20 points and registered normal. The number glowed as if seared by a lightning bolt on a sea of white hats. We were joyous, and hardly needed a plane to get to California. It more than compensated for the disappointment of the camouflage fiasco.