Mood: I gotta say, I'm feeling rather complete.
Mood: Totally Rocks.
Reason for Mood: You all know, right?
So, first day of the tournament, I took my seat over at Stadium 1 for 15 minutes of one match: Rafa against... ummm... some poor soul. My seats were in the stratosphere, and I could barely see him. But at least I could see him, as in, there was only air between us.
This was my view. Rafa is the "dot" on the right.
I considered paying some exorbitant price for closer seats, but the tix would have cost like 200 dollars. I love Rafa, but my love apparently has limits of the monetary sort.
So, I could leave, saying I saw him in person. Technically.
THE DAY THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING
Then, the schedule for Tuesday came out. It showed Rafa would play his singles match in the gigantor stadium... and then... he would play his doubles match in Stadium 2! Which, is general seating! Which means, if you get there early enough, you could have front row!
So I told my parents, we WILL see Rafa. Up close. Personal. Splash zone for his sweat.
I was determined to beat everyone to the front row. We woke up early the next morning, and I felt like it was Disneyland, wrapped up in a package of Christmas, with a bow of Heaven, or something.
My mom told me it was my turn to say grace on our food, and my brain wasn't quite up to the task, so it went something like this:
(Words in italics represent what I was actually thinking, but trying desperately not to say out loud, because I take my blessings seriously).
"Ummm... bless the food (that it will give us the strength to sit through 5 matches in the blazing heat) umm... bless those (poor suckers) we left behind ... umm... bless our health (that I may wear black, and still withstand the scorching sun, because black is my fave)... and so forth."
By the time I finished, my dad was nearly in tears, laughing at my sincere effort. I told him, if he's laughing, he's not eating, and therefore he's wasting precious minutes.
After all my hard work, we got second row. We were so close to the players! Now I just had to sit through 5 or 6 matches.
What does it say about me that this guy had the same idea?
And the matches were stellar.
The annoying guy behind me would say things about the women like "Boy, she's got some caboose on her. That's a Serena caboose." And I would turn around and give him the elite tennis stare- the one that says "Stop being such a butt-munch, and have you seen your own gut? and tennis fans are supposed to be polite!" with my eyes only.
The hardest part was teaching my eyes to say "butt-munch".
The caboose guy marveled at my courage in wearing black on such a hot sunny day. Or really, he mocked me for my stupidity.
me: "Rafa's playing tonight. And black is my signature color."
caboose guy: "It absorbs the heat."
me: "Rafa doesn't care about that!"
guy: "There's no way Rafa's coming tonight."
me: "Take it back!"
But he didn't. Because, you see, nobody thought Rafa was going to show. He already had a singles match, and everyone knows that singles players don't care about doubles, so if they have two matches in a day, they will default on the doubles.
I just shook my head. "If I have to park my butt on this metal bench until it melts, he will come."
guy: "Is that like some sort of twisted take on that Field of Dreams movie?"
me (resembling a growl) : "Yes."
And then, as much as I was enjoying the matches before Rafa, they kept getting longer. and longer. This added to the speculation that Rafa would withdraw.
I started yelling things like: "Will somebody please just dominate and get off the court!"
But there were 3-setters galore. Nobody wanted to take one for the team. And by that, I mean, nobody wanted to default so I could see Rafa sooner. Nobody wanted to succomb to the heat. Bah!
By the time the match before Rafa's started, I had been in my seat for ten hours straight. Then, the ladies in front of me gave up, and donated their front row seats to the cause! Hooray!
And still, everyone was all, "You're delusional, little Chica. The scorching sun on your black shirt has made you crazy. He's not coming."
And I was all, "Whatev's"
Finally, after 12 hours in my seat, he showed.
He came. He played. And it was beautiful.
He wore his signature white long shorts, and he picked his snuggies (aka "wedgies") multiple times. (Because Rafa is so good, he doesn't care that he has to pick his snuggies between every point. His tight shorts ride up, and he wants to be comfortable, no matter what people think. How cool is that? Makes me want to pick mine.)
Anyway, many fans lost faith. And I like to think they lost sleep over their decision to give up on Rafa.
And now, dear readers, I will focus on something else in my blogs. I promise.
By the way- Rafa loved the black. Did I mention that?