Mama Bear

December 11, 2018

written by

Lisa said she knew it would happen one day. And she knew it was going to be uncomfortable. How was she going to be able to continue avoiding her when she would be directly across the net from her. In all honesty, much of Lisa's anxiety was because she wanted to play her. She wanted to beat her. And beat her badly.

 

Almost a year prior, Lisa's 15 year old daughter, took a selfie and posted it on instagram, tagging a boy she liked. Ok, yes, she was on the beach wearing her bikini and making that “duck" face all the girls are wearing these days. The text she added to the image in handwritten hot pink read, “SB’17!” And the caption, “Hope ur having a gr8 SB!” I guess it was pretty innocent by today’s standards. Upon clicking “send” she said her intention was to just give a little shout out to the boy while they were apart.

 

It was only moments later, her post began to garner some very unflattering comments from her 1200+ followers. Rude, in fact. All having to do with assumptions about the girl, the boy and about the two as a couple. Her daughter was devastated and the boy was embarrassed that he was involuntarily involved.

 

The mom’s met over the situation the next week over coffee while the kids were in school. Both were horrified by the event and expressed sympathy for each other’s child having to go through such a difficult situation. They came to a mutual agreement to monitor their child’s social media and instruct them not to post anything linking the two of them in hopes of curtailing any innuendo and misrepresentation that the two children were ever “an item”. 

 

Relieved that they’d come to an understanding, they sat back to finish their coffees. They visited a little as they were more than just acquaintances. They'd worked together on several school committees, attended parties of mutual friends and even met each other on the opposite side of the net several times during their ALTA seasons. 

 

On their way out the door to go on with the rest of their days' agenda, they recapped the plan they would lay out for their children when they got home from school. They were both in agreement when the boy’s mother added one last "to do" item for Lisa to assign her daughter. She suggested that her daughter should try to be less aggressive with the boys from now on and work on cleaning up her reputation she’d garnered over the past year.

 

Lisa was taken by surprise and offended at this woman’s allegation that her daughter was promiscuous or even seemingly easy with boys in anyway. Lisa was under the impression that they were meeting over the recent instagram post and nothing else. She could not fathom why the boy’s mother was making this claim and in doing so, placing the majority of the blame of the incident on her daughter. So angry that this woman made such a harsh accusation, before Lisa knew it, the words were out of her mouth referencing an incident which occurred during the summer involving the boy and some of his friends getting caught with beer at their neighborhood pool after hours.

 

As you can imagine, with most mama bears, words were spewed in defense of their own children. Words that might not be typically spoken over a friendly cup of coffee. The two ladies went their separate ways, angry at each other.

 

Lisa had successfully avoided any confrontation with her over the year but told herself that she would stand her ground if they ever came face to face again. 

 

Their fall ALTA season created the opportunity. Lisa knew the team this woman played on and recognized it when she reviewed her ALTA schedule. She thought it would be unfair to bring her troubles to the team so she did not inform her captain of the incident and her trepidation toward this particular player. Instead, Lisa rode it out and hoped she wouldn’t have to face her across the net.

 

But she did. When the line-up came out, there it was…both were scheduled to play against each other at line 1 doubles. Lisa, as nervous and anxiety-ridden as she was, prepared to meet her opponent head-on.

 

She arrived at the court on time and prepared her space on the courtside bench. Then her partner arrived with the news. Line 1 has forfeited.

 

So, she won. She won by forfeit but, hey, it’s still a 'W'. Although it wasn’t the satisfaction she was looking for by actually commanding the court over her opponent. Instead, all Lisa could think was that her “friend” purposely waited to call in the forfeit at the last minute hoping that Lisa would be there, stressed by the match-up, inconvenienced by the early match time, all dressed with no where to go.

 

She felt robbed of the true victory...the satisfaction of "setting this woman straight”, of telling her, “your child is not better than mine.” As if beating her on the tennis court would actually do all of that.

 

Actually...it WOULD do all of that.

 

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