The cry I heard the most when my kids were younger, besides “Where are my shoes,” and, “I’m hungry,” was the perennially wailed anthem: “That’s not fair!”

Early bedtimes weren’t fair. Offering one a treat and not the other wasn’t fair. Forcing them to go to school wasn’t fair. Picking up and moving from New York back to Massachusetts wasn’t fair. Nothing was fair if it wasn’t what they personally wanted. Which I suppose is how we really all feel underneath it all, but as adults at least we don’t say it out loud.

I’ve tried to illustrate over time that well, yes, life isn’t fair sometimes, but as humans we have to keep moving forward despite it. Which is of course much easier said than done, as I was reminded this week.

I’ve been waiting all winter for our mixed doubles tennis league to start. My husband and I had such a great time last season and after months of really good, challenging tennis we ended up coming in second overall at the B level. That was a great achievement for us, being new at competitive play.

So, of course, based on that success we couldn’t wait to get out on the courts this year. Finally, last week, we had our first match. The mother-son team were right at our level which is considered B. That’s good, but not an A, which is really, really, good.

We battled it out over two-plus hours until we finally prevailed. Victory! It felt great. We are on our way to the trophy, we said.

Our next match Monday night was a different story. The players were As who for some unknown reason had signed up to play Bs. What a slaughter. We were cooked in less than an hour, dragging ourselves off the court in disbelief as our opponents sailed away with big smiles.

Since then, I’ve been obsessed, because … It’s not fair! Not that everything in life is so cut and dried, but Bs are supposed to play with Bs and As with As. I’d like to blow the whistle on them, but I’m a little too old to be a tattle tale.

So, we’ll try to play up to their level and see how it goes. But it’s hard not to feel deflated at our grim prospects for a win. The trophy is cheap and probably has a lead content that could kill us. But the one on our shelf represents a season of fair play we were proud of last year. I don’t suspect that in the end this season we’ll be adding anything new to the lineup. Which, of course, is really unfair.


About Michele

I am a freelance writer with three kids, two cats, and a dog with thyroid disease. I'm bouncing back from a divorce and making the most of every day. There is so much beauty around me. I am grateful!
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