Before I begin, there are a couple of things I should tell you. We celebrated Christmas Eve’s at my daughter’s. My parents were there, my sister and brother-in-law, one nephew, and us. My sister brought my daughter a hostess gift. It was a life-sized pineapple on a pedestal, the symbol of hospitality. It was a bit heavy. It looked lovely on her coffee table. I provided the gumbo and I also received a pineapple.
The second helpful bit of info is that I played in a tennis league when we lived in Houston. I absolutely loved playing but when we moved here, there was no place to play other than the country club or the racket club and we could not afford the dues for that so I have not played tennis in over ten years. I am not a very competitive or aggressive person in everyday life, but something about being on a tennis court brings out my competitive and aggressive side.
So, the story is, my daughter got a Wii for Christmas. One of the college girls in the office was also getting one and she was so excited. We had the discussion about how older people are enjoying the games as a way to get them up and moving around a bit. All this time, I just did not get it. What was the big deal? But when we arrived early on Christmas Eve (to start heating up the gumbo), she had the game on and was playing tennis. She looked so funny swinging that little game paddle thing around, dipping and swooshing to hit the ball. Did I tell you that I love the sound of a tennis ball hitting the sweet spot on a racket? Oh I do.
Well of course I had to try my hand at this silly game. I played several matches before all the other guests arrived. My husband coached me from the couch (on all the things I was doing wrong!) until I asked if he wanted to try it and my daughters wished they had a video camera to catch all my action. It was fun! I played again before I went home and told my daughter I would return on Christmas evening after all the relatives had gone home (I thought they would never all leave!).
The second day of my tennis career revival, we laughed about how they have all the warnings about making sure you have plenty of room to play and said things like “I am so sure. All you do is stand here and wave the wand towards the ball on the TV set.” And “They have to put warnings on everything these days. Common sense will tell you how much room you need.” She got me all set up and man, I was doing great. My skill level was moving up and I had figured out how to guide the ball away from the players on the other side.
My only weak spot was in returning the serves of the other team. For some reason I could not consistently return their serves. I was determined to master this. I was moving around and shuffling my feet in preparation for receiving the serve. I was even getting slightly winded from all my enthusiasm. I was improving. But I did not notice how close I had gotten to the coffee table, the coffee table with the big, heavy, hard hospitality pineapple so prominently displayed in all its regal glory. The last serve came at me very fast. I dipped slow and backhanded the ball with a great swing and followed all the way through with my “racket”, straight into the pineapple. My middle finger of my left hand was smashed between the pineapple and the game controller. The pineapple finally moved and fell off the table. There was a big hole in it and when it hit the table’s edge, it cracked wide open. I looked down to see blood gushing from my finger and then it started throbbing. I ran to the sink to rinse it off and put some ice on it. My daughter was having a hard time trying to decide whether to laugh or to worry about my finger. It hurt. I sat down for a few minutes and being the warrior that I am, I bravely tried to play another match. I just could not return the serves so I gave it up for the night and sat and visited with my daughter. I told her I would give her my pineapple to replace her broken one.
Boys and girls, if you play Wii, make sure you always have plenty of room to play the game. If you are not careful, you could sustain an injury.
(Don't read if you are squeamish!! Today the swelling has almost disappeared but the ugly bruise is still there and I just noticed it is oozing blood around my cuticle. I hope that does not mean my nail is detaching right there.)