So there I am at the Rihanna concert trying to get my dance on. I had the misfortune of sitting behind a hipster dude and his girlfriend. He was wearing typical heavy-framed glasses, tight purple hip-hugging jeans, and black underwear peeping out with a waistband that said ‘Blah Blah’. I don’t remember her outfit but I do remember her shitty attitude. And I do recall their incessant making out as poor J-Cole screamed his guts out trying to prove his worth as a warm-up act in the aftermath of Cee-Lo's decision to say "Forget you".
But once Rihanna came on stage, Hipster dude promptly forgot about kissing his girlfriend and started paying attention to the concert. Hipster chick was having none of that. She began to make a scene. She argued, she pouted, she stood directly in front of him blocking his view, she demanded that he stop looking at Rihanna and look at her. I knew then and there that this silly couple was going to inspire another tennis column.
And you’d have every right asking what business this was of mine. None of course, except for the fact that their silly shenanigans ended up distracting from my enjoyment of a concert I had paid good money to watch. And this happens also at tennis events. I am referring of course to those people who attend a tennis match but play zero attention to what is happening on the court. They annoy me.
Like the woman and her female friend who are too busy pulling their tops down low trying to attract the attention of the attractive guys sitting in the row above (give it up chicas – they’re gay). Or the folks who are too busy texting and sexting to give a crap what is going on in the court. Why bother to attend a tennis match if you’re unwilling to pay it any attention?
Look I get that everyone cannot be as fanatic about tennis as I am. Frankly I don’t expect everyone to be. And I would be a liar if I claimed to pay complete and focused attention for every single moment of every tennis match. Of course I too glance around. I chat with my neighbors between points. I run to the bathroom between sets. Tennis as a sport is constructed to give its fans many mini-breaks. There’s no harm or foul in taking advantage of these.
But I will never understand those people – we’ve all seen them – who spend the entire match absorbed in their Ipad or smart-phone, and when the crowd goes beserk, arouse themselves and start frantically asking: “What happened? What happened?” If you want to know what happened, pay fricking attention. If your Ipad or cell-phone matter more than the match, then give up your seat and go outside to the courtyard where you can google to your heart’s content while only occasionally glancing up at the screen.
I mean why come to a Rihanna concert if you’re not going to watch her perform? And how insecure can one young woman be that she cannot allow her glasses-and-tight-jeans-wearing boyfriend to look at a woman on stage whom he is never going to meet? With all of her histrionic acting out, she ended up distracting the entire row of fans behind her. We all wanted her chucked out of the event. But you can’t exactly go up to a security guard and complain that a fan is distracting you with her stupidity. So we all suffered.
Thankfully tennis does allow complaints for certain distractions. The Chair will ask people to sit to hell down, turn off their phones, stop calling lines, and shut to hell up while the point is in play. All asked nicely and politely of course.
And really I probably would give less of a hoot if Ms. Ipad would stay focused on her technology and choose to miss the entire match. What annoys me is her decision to outsource the responsibility for paying attention entirely to me. What irks me is her thinking that she can keep asking a complete stranger to let her know what she missed out on while she was busy playing with her tablet with her ear-buds in. that is what pushes me over the edge. Which is why I don’t hesitate to reply, “I’m paying attention, why don’t you?”