Thursday, June 26, 2008

Me No Likey the Volleyball

Cathy: You should come play beach volleyball with me on Wednesday nights. There's a whole group of us that get together and play down by the lake at 7pm.

Me: Uh. No. I don't play volleyball. Because I'm horrible. I don't do things I'm horrible at. It's a policy of mine.

Cathy: That's OK, nobody is very good. Playing in the sand equalizes every one's skills. You can't jump or move very well, it slows the game down.

Me: (Skeptical look) I don't know the rules. I've never actually played hardcore.

Cathy: You'll pick it up real fast, every one's laid back.

Me: Yeah, we'll see.

Later that day...
Hmm. It's probably a bunch of middle aged people. It won't be too bad. Maybe I'll completely dominate simply because I'm probably twenty years younger than most of them. I can do this. Besides, what else am I going to do?

After quite a bit of ego feeding and delusional thoughts...
I'm going to freakin' rock at this! I'm going to take this game to a whole new level. These people are going to be fighting over who gets me on their team. It will be a gift for them to be in my volleyball playing presence.

Me: OK Cathy, I'll go. Oh, and btw, you're welcome. Because I? am going to be amazing.

*Arrive at beach volleyball courts.
Me: What the heck? Where are all the old people? These people look young and athletic. Crap! Was that a bump, set, spike? I don't see Cathy, this must not be our group.
AHH! Is that the high school volleyball team? Where the heck is Cathy? I don't see any mediocre players anywhere! Maybe I should make a run for it. Yes, that's what I'll do. Right about...
Cathy: Bridget!
Me: Shoooooooooooooooooot. Hi! I'm glad you invited me. Now can I leave?
Cathy: Ready to play?
Me: Yep!
No! You lied to me! You are a liar!
Cathy: Come on, we're over here on this court.
Me: Great!
This court?! With 16 people already at it?! 16 people who completely rock at volleyball?!
Cathy: We'll have to wait to be rotated in.
Me: No problem.
I can wait all night. Literally all night. Over there. By the swings.
Cathy (2 seconds later): OK there's an open spot. Get in there!
Me: Oh wow, that was fast. What?! Now?! Already?! You first?

*Ball in play. Ball headed toward me. Ball making contact with forearms. Ball flying (rather quickly) out of bounds.
Me: Sorry! I want to die. I am horrible at volleyball. I knew this. What was I thinking coming here?

*Other team serves. Right at me. Ball hits forearm (notice it is singular...apparently I can't keep my forearms level so only one comes in contact with the ball...out of bounds.

Me: Sorry! This is not good. What excuse can I give to leave after the first two minutes of them game? I left my oven on? My appendix just burst? I'm allergic to sand? My dinner wants another look at my tonsils?

*Other team serves. Right at me...again. I miss completely.

Me: Sorry! Maybe I could walk over and drown myself in Lake Michigan.

*Other team serves again. Right at me. Middle aged man teammate practically knocks me out of the way and hits the ball himself. It goes over the net.
Me: Thank you! Hurrah! He can cover my position and his, now can I go?

Sometime later...
I have begun to catch on, and can at least make a halfway decent showing (read: I can now hit the ball over the net 60% of the time).

*Middle aged man to the right of me is now only standing two feet away, as is the middle aged man to the left of me. They only trust me with a small square of sand to cover. I find myself annoyed and indignant.
Me: Why you all up in my space homes? I can cover the ball. I'm not that bad.

*Ball hit at me. The ball is in my sights, and I'm totally going to hit it. Coming down, closer and closer. WHAM! I am forced to hit the ground as the overzealous forty something psycho comes plowing over into my zone. He hits the ball, but it goes out of bounds.
Me: I could have done that jerkstore! Back up off!

*Ball hit at me.
Me: MINE! I GOT IT! (practically shrieking)
*Everyone moves out of the way against their better judgment. Wind picks up ball and brings it over my head at the last minute (I SWEAR IT WAS THE WIND! NO JOKE!).

Me: I don't got it!
*Collective groan from my team.

*Ball hit at teammate. Teammate has spaced out (probably wondering why she is so cursed to have me on her team). Teammate not moving for ball.
Me: Oh my gosh! Is she actually not going to hit it? Am I going to have to go into HER zone? *Last minute dive across the sand to cover teammate's rear end. Ball makes contact with my forearms and flies...over the net. Other team dumbfounded in shock and does not move for the ball. POINT!
*Loud my head.
Teammate: Nice save! Thanks!
Me: Oh. No problem.
I freakin' rock! Wooohooo! You're welcome slacker! I'm totally carrying you right now! Heck ya!

After the men leave and go home the hostility in the air decreases, and I am actually allowed to go for the ball. I begin to have a halfway decent time, which confirms a belief that I've carried since middle school gym class...playing sports with all girls is always a better time than playing with guys. Which leads to a side rant...

I've played a lot of coed intramural sports in my day, and I have found the same thing each time. The guys on the team take on this air of "I am a lot better than you so it's OK for me to hog the ball the entire time and then after I have gained an amazing lead I will let you hold it for .2 sec so you feel like you've been included." Guys, this is not hot. I am not impressed by your skills. I already know you're better than me, if for no other reason than the fact you're a foot taller than I am and you have twice the muscle mass. I actually wouldn't even care if we lost a game here and there as long as you let me play. Keep that in mind for next time. Thanks!

Back on track...
*Two hours, 456 apologies toward teammates throughout the course of the game, and 10 sand up my nose dives later...
Cathy: Great job!
Me: HA! I was horrid.
Cathy: You didn't make anymore mistakes than anyone else did.
Me: LIAR! The difference is the mistakes I made involved missing the ball when it came right at me. The mistakes other people made were caused by missing the ball while diving across the court to get a ball that was aimed at me that I couldn't hit.
Cathy: You should come back next week.
Me: Uh. Hmm. Well. Probably not.
Cathy: You really should!
Me: I feel like it's a poor reflection on you because you vouch for me.
Cathy: I do NOT vouch for you. I just bring you along.
Me: I rest my case.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Angry Inner Bridget

Today I decided to take active measures to counter the boredom/feeling sorry for myself that comes with living alone in a town where I have one friend (Brandie) who is not married and/or has given birth to twenty children. Unfortunately Brandie decided she was hanging out with "her friend Ron" tonight. Who the heck is this Ron joker? Oops, I'm off track.

Back on track. My first counter measure was to buy a pitch back. Except that the one in the link is probably high quality, whereas the $20 one that I purchased turned out to be a raging piece of crap. And yes, I do realize that I just turned 23 and should not be purchasing a pitch back that 9 year old boys use to practice for T-ball, but how else am I going to play catch by myself? So I was expecting it to be a little weak, considering it was only $20 and most others are at least $50. I was not, however, expecting it to cause me bodily harm and then self destruct before my eyes.

Dear Spalding,
I am less than pleased with your product, the "Deluxe 3-Way Return Throw." Deluxe? Are you kidding me with this? Those stupid "new bungee cords for easy net assembly" broke my finger! Are you insane? Why would you stick a ball of plastic destruction to the end of a bungee cord and then make me stretch it to its max, only to have it snap back viciously at my fingers when it inevitable cannot stretch far enough to hook together. My finger is now purple and deformed! Oh, and don't even get me started about the "55 inch X 35 inch enameled steel frame." Steel?! Since when does steel fold under the pressure of bungee cords? Never in my life have I seen metal bunch up like a stocking. I was especially impressed when the entire frame gave out and collapsed into itself like a crumpled piece of paper. It was at this point that I picked up the poorly manufactured aluminum foil framed joke and hurled it across the yard, so you'll have to excuse the grass stains. I would demand that you send me a better product, but I still have nine functional fingers (or seven fingers and two thumbs if you're picky) and I'd rather not risk whatever weapon disguised as a child's toy you want to throw my way next.
-Angry Inner Bridget

CC: T-Ball USA with additional note:
I find it appalling that your seal of approval is on this product. Do you also approve hand grenades for tots? Or missal launchers for pee wee football players? Why don't you just strap a fire cracker to little Timmy's fist and then have him go play in the street?

Too much?

*Here I must stop and note that when I told my friend Jess about this crappy product she told me I should write a letter. She paused and then added "like a real letter." It's like she thought I would just rant about it in a fake letter on my blog instead of actually accomplishing something by sending a real letter to the company. Why would she think that? Oh wait...

And now, for my second attempt to fend off boredom/self pity:
I decided to take myself to the movies. I went with a positive attitude (and a throbbing broken finger! shaky fist Spalding!), and tried hard not to focus on the fact I was a huge loser for going by myself. The theater was basically empty when I got there and I sat off to the side, away from the four other people already there. Why? Because I wanted to watch my movie in peace (Read: I wanted to put my feet up on the seat in front of me and talk to myself until the movie started). Right before the movie started a middle aged couple came in and out of the bazillion empty seats in the theater decided they had to sit right behind me. Right behind me. Who does that? Nobody ever intentionally sits right behind someone at a theater because of the risk of view blockage. But not these two winners. They sat right behind me. As soon as they took their seats, I began to take my feet off the back of the chair in front of me and reluctantly return them to the floor. Apparently I wasn't moving fast enough because the guy behind me shouts (get your feet down). Let's recap. I'm sitting directly in front of him. Why are we shouting? Also? I already had my feet down before you opened your large popcorn filled mouth. Why are you talking to me? Needless to say, I'm slight annoyed at this point (Read: so angry I can't even see straight). As I day dream about dumping my cherry coke all over him, I hear him start to tap his cup against his plastic arm rest. Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap. Then I hear him "whisper" to his date, "It's a social experiment, let's see how long it takes her to snap." Hey Asshat! I can hear you! Are you out of your gourd? Really? Do you want me to snap? Just say the word pal. You'll have popcorn shoved so far up your nose it will fill your currently empty cranial cavity. After Mr. Mature behind me gets tired of tapping and my lack of reaction, he begins to carry on a conversation with his date, which lasts the duration of the movie. At one point I get annoyed enough to turn around to give him my death glare (which is truly frightening), but as I turn to my left I am stopped by an infuriating site. A sasquatch sized foot is propped up on the chair sitting only inches from my face. YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! I can't prop my feet up (which totally would not even be in your line of view) but you can stick your foot in my face?! How do these people find me? I spent the rest of the movie wishing I had a sharp object to drive into his smelly foot. And thus continues "Bridget's history of violence" as Kenric likes to call it.