The Tennis Syndicate

In North Texas, female tennis lovers play in a league known as Tennis Competitors of Dallas (TCD).

TCD’ers build their lives around match schedules. Each week studious tennis captains scout teams to devise their strategies. Vacations, sick kids, or Botox appointments are never valid excuses for missing a match.

I am a tennis addict and get my fix playing TCD. I love tennis more than Bridgerton, sex, or chardonnay; well, maybe not chardonnay.

I was not much of a dater in college, but when it comes to tennis, I get around. I have been on multiple TCD teams and have learned that most are run like a family, Tony Soprano style.

My current team is no different. I joined this team via backcourt conversations. A whisper, a nod, and volley later, I was in. This team is considered the up and comers, the hot moms who will rule the TCD world. Although I don’t fit the Genie Bouchard mold, I lobbed promises of victory and swore, on Arthur Ashe’s grave, that as the ol’ lady on the team, I would share my aces of wisdom.

Every family has a boss. If I was going to make it on this team, I had to know who the Tony was. The obvious choice was the team captain, Baby Face Brenda (she looks young and doesn’t share beauty tips), but she’s too nice to run the show.

Like an undercover mole, I cozied up to Lisa The Lip. The Lip is a gamer with a mean forehand who chitchats on water breaks. The tea poured out of her like winners from Rafa Nadal. According to The Lip, Sweet Sally (who is anything but sweet on the court) and TikTok Mary (who posts sexy pics on social media), the real brains of our match play are affable doubles partners no one would suspect. Turns out, Tooth Pick Polly (a player with long legs and a bum knee) and Lucy Lululemon (who always wears leggings) are our Godmothers. Nothing, on the court or off, gets past them.

In tennis, everyone is a bad tiebreaker away from retirement, but that would not be my fate.

I made Tooth Pick and Lulu an offer they couldn’t refuse. I would play, take the young players under my wing, and teach them how to take out their opponents with a good slice. My future was set.

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Michele Valdez

Michele Valdez, a slightly compulsive, mildly angry feminist, has been an attorney, volunteer, and The Mad Housewife columnist. She has four demanding adult children and a patient husband.

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