Ah, Thanksgiving. A day where TSA agents will "Pope" thousands of reluctant travelers, mothers and grandmothers will fist a headless bird with breadcrumbs and chestnuts (kinky!), and dysfunctional families will avoid awkward personal conversations by talking about Brett Favre's cock and eating their feelings in the form of a small feast that could feed a bustling African village.
God Bless America, I say.
It is also a time to stop and be thankful. At least that's what I was told in second grade when I was tracing my hand to make a turkey out of construction paper. Those were innocent times.
Things I Am Thankful For:
- Alcohol: Vodka, rum, wine, and Mexican Beer. You have each gotten me through this long and grueling season that saw heartbreak after heartbreak after heartbreak after heartbreak (Andy, Sam, lather, rinse, repeat). Seriously, I don't understand how tennis fans can watch this game sober. Hell, half the time I don't understand how tennis players can play the game sober.
- Serbian tennis players: Say what you want about them. At their worst they're whiny, seemingly entitled ingrates who check out the minute things get difficult and blame everything (and everyone) except themselves for their putrid suckage. At their best they are THE quintessential entertainers who command your attention, playing scintillating tennis with a passion unmatched by many. But no matter how you feel about them you have to admit: There's always drama and there's always a reason to tune in. Also, most of them are pretty. Most of them.
- Twitter: Tweetin', Twatin', Twiddlin', it's all gravy. As one who doesn't have a lot of friends who care for this little niche game we call "tennis" it's such a boon to be able to connect with like-minded people all over the globe. The Tennis Twiterverse is just chock full of knowledgable, informative, and witty folks, many of whom I've actually met and now have the pleasure of calling my friends. As we all know, I love a good zinger and Twitter rarely disappoints. Sure, there are assholes too, but hey, it's the internet. I mean...duh.
- Chaos: My enjoyment of tennis is directly proportionate to the amount of chaos and confusion that exists on any given day. I can't help it. I'm a masochist.
- The Globalisation of Tennis: Am I the only one who has learned more about international customs and cultures via tennis than my thousands of dollars of schooling? These players are walking embodiments of their respective countries and they are on display every week. Italian intensity, Serbian fire, British...Britishness, it's all there, all the time. It's like the Olympics every week.
- Hotel lobbies: Things I have seen in hotel lobbies/restaurants across the States that I can disclose on a public blog: Gael Monfils dripping sweat while breakdancing, Dinara Safina wearing a purple Juicy sweatsuit that was clearly two sizes too small for her, Roger Rasheed chugging a Bud Light (after Gael lost but before Gael "stepped up"), Rafa and Fernando chatting over dinner, Novak Djokovic being swoony, Andy Murray sprinting out of the hotel and jumping down four steps to catch up with Judy and Kim, Nalby checking his email on his MacBook, Bepa standing in line for coffee wearing her huge tennis bag and visor, Heinz drinking coffee and reading the Wall Street Journal, and Zeljko and Dejan avoiding Team Safina by sinking into the couches. Hotel lobbies are bomb.
- Francesca Schiavone: I have a long-documented complicated relationship with Fran, a.k.a. the Architecht of My Discontent, but she has provided so many joyful moments this year that she almost makes me forget that she single-handedly threw me into a deep depression from which I am still recovering. Almost. But there is no player, male or female, who plays with the joie de vivre that she does. She exudes beautiful awesomeness. In a WTA season that has been drowned in negativity, her smile reminded me why I love sport and why, specifically, I love tennis. Even if Sam was crying in the background. LIKE I SAID. ALMOST.
- My Tennis Buddies: When I started this site I was a corporate big-firm lawyer who had no one to talk to about tennis. Two and a half years later I'm unemployed and about to embark on a crazy tennis-watching adventure in Australia. Only time will tell whether Forty Deuce was my salvation or my downfall, but regardless of the answer I will always be grateful for all the amazing people I've met over the years FD. Whether in the comments, Twitter, Facebook, or by email, I've met so many great folks who are very dear to my heart. Sipping tea in a London cafe, talking sports marketing at the ungodly hour of 9am, drinking bourbon beer under the warm Cincy skies to the sounds of Arcade Fire, sitting on the steps of Ashe debating which players were freaks in bed, our yearly tradition of watching an Ana match side-by-side, annoying all our friends because no matter how hard we try we can't not talk about tennis, roaming the streets of New York on a perfect summer night, drinking with me after a partiularly devastating Andy loss, running around San Diego with a big Dinara cut-out, Fruli in Notting Hill, or laughing at me as I have clearly passed out drunk on the floor of a hotel elevator, you guys have been there. And by "you guys" I hope you know who you are. Here's hoping I keep giving you a reason to tune in.
Now go eat your fucking turkeys, turkeys. The shrill voice of Liezel compels you.