I can’t believe I’m not going to the US Open this year. What was I thinking? Why did I allow my secretary to book me solid with patients on September 7th, which is normally the day I reserve for recovery and recuperation from a Labor Day weekend of tennis? Can I really, truly make it through the year without going to Flushing Meadows? I mean I am all for being a Serena fan but this is really taking it too far. Is it too late to change my mind?
These are the thoughts that assailed me on the way home today. It all started when my boss found out this morning that I planned to be in the office on September 3rd and 7th, and proceeded to look at me as if I had lost completely my mind. She is not used to me being in the office between late August and early September. This is my usual time away. She didn’t say it in so many words – it’s not exactly the thing you say to a shrink – but her non-verbals were asking if I had lost my marbles.
No I haven’t. But I must admit that already I admit regret. Here is the list of things that I will miss at Flushing Meadows this year:
• Hanging out with gay men who are pretending to be straight as they sit in the stands lusting after Roddick’s butt.
• Getting free beer paid for by gay men who pretend to be attracted to me while they secretly lust after the male tennis players.
• Pretending that I don’t know that I am being picked up by said gay men.
• Buying seats in the only cool section of the stadium, a secret I will not reveal on this blog no matter how much you pretend to be a gay man willing to buy me beer.
• Buying curry at the US Open. I mean, what other Slam offers a curry option? Maybe Wimbledon, but ours is better.
• Buying the over-priced program and protecting it more than I protect my Psychology text books – after all, you gotta have your priorities.
• Taking pictures with the new camera I bought last year.
• Using the US Open as an excuse to update my camera.
• Running into the Labor-Day-in-Brooklyn crowd in the subway and wondering why it is that I once again chose tennis over attending a Caribbean street festival.
• Running into the guy who could be a stand-in for Roger Federer. I take his picture every year.
• The hilarious people you meet when standing in line for tickets.
• Watching the juniors and trying to spot the next-big-talent.
• The atmosphere of Arthur Ashe stadium and the awesomeness of the tennis his name keeps inspiring.
• Free American Express headset/radios.
• Watching the way a non-tennis fan like my daughter can get transformed by the magic of Flushing Meadows. Full disclosure: This is really the top reason.
But of course there are things I will not miss. And they too deserve their own list:
• Standing in line for tickets.
• Getting baked in the hot sun as I stand in line for tickets.
• The constant lies announced by the folks in the ticket office even as folks stand there baking in line just for the privilege of watching tennis.
• Free sunscreen samples.
• Come to think of it, free samples period.
• The dismissiveness of players like Hantukova and Davenport as they walk past tennis fans who stood in line for hours to get tickets to watch them play doubles.
• The price of curry at the US Open.
• The price of anything at the US Open.
• The sneaky people who steal your seats the minute you get up to use the bathroom, because after all, these are the coolest seats in the house.
No kidding. I am already regretting my decision. It’s only going to get worse by Labor Day.