Tennis Woes by
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Prompted By Hobbies

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Tennis Woes

I’ve written recently about my pickleball addiction and also about my long,  and rather lackluster tennis career and my parents’ unforgivable role in it.  (See Pickled)

Here’s more about that disappointing chapter in my sporting life.

My parents were both athletic,  in facf my father was a really good tennis player in his youth,  although he didn’t pursue it in later life.   But after he died we found his old Wilson racket at the back of his closet,  still in its wooden press.

My mother played basketball in high school,  and was an excellent swimmer.   Growing up in the Rockaways,  she said,  you learned to swim – really swim – in the ocean,  not by paddling around in some swimming pool.

Like most kids in our Bronx neighborhood,  my sister and I had bikes and roller skates,  and sleds and ice skates,  but back then we played sports for fun,  we weren’t training to be star athletes or Olympic prospects.   And our after-school hours weren’t programmed by over-zealous parents as they are today.

When I’d come home from school I’d strap my roller skates over my shoes,  and with my skate key on a rope around my neck I’d skate down the block to call for my friend Susy.   Then I’d ring her doorbell and wait impatiently while her mother yelled,  “Susy,  Dana’s here and she says put on your skates.”   (See Skate Key)

But one thing most parents foisted upon their kids in those days was music lessons,   and my parents were no different.  Yet,  after all those years of piano lessons,   and the expenditure of time,  effort,  and their hard-earned money,  all I can play now are Chop Sticks and a few bars of Beethoven’s Fur Elise.

Perhaps had they given me tennis lessons instead,  after all these years I wouldn’t still be stuck in the women’s B clinic.  So don’t blame me for my tennis woes,  blame those negligent two!

– Dana Susan Lehrman

Profile photo of Dana Susan Lehrman Dana Susan Lehrman
This retired librarian loves big city bustle and cozy country weekends, friends and family, good books and theatre, movies and jazz, travel, tennis, Yankee baseball, and writing about life as she sees it on her blog World Thru Brown Eyes!

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Tags: Tennis
Characterizations: funny, well written


  1. Suzy says:

    So would you say that roller skating was your hobby as a kid? Did you ever ask your parents for tennis lessons? At least now you have pickleball, which you already wrote about on this prompt. Probably preferable to tennis at our age!

    • Yes Suzy, roller skating was a childhood hobby, I can’t really think of any others I loved so. As for asking for tennis lessons – that wasn’t something in our world then – only music lessons!

      They do say pickleball is an old folks game, but I don’t really understand the rationale, I think it’s as fast and as energetic as tennis. But the joke is it’s called “senior pickleball” because often no one remembers the score or who’s serving!

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