Sometimes parents are just plain annoying.
|It didn't help that our Dads were friends, and this led to our Moms becoming friends. It's not nice when your parents are friends with the parents of your bitterest enemy.
It doesn't help either that your Dad thinks of himself as the greatest punster on the planet.
So on the day of the big face-off, he solemnly applied toothpaste on my forehead. Green toothpaste.
"DAD, what are you doing?" I shrieked.
"This toothpaste isn't good. And it's mint. So I'm putting some BAD MINT ON your head, so you'll play a good game."
My Mom and sister giggled. I went to wash my face.
Sheila had just moved in to our district. My Dad had met her Dad at the PTA meeting at school and they'd recognized each other as old buddies from somewhere or the other. It wouldn't have mattered so much if Sheila hadn't been badminton champion at her old school and was now threatening to take the only spot left on my school's badminton team. The spot I thought I had in the bag.
We were to face off that morning for a 21 pointer, and whoever won would take the space. And my Dad was putting mint toothpaste on my forehead.
"Well, if you don't get selected, you won't have to SHUTTLE for practice or matches," he went on. "It'll save you a lot of time."
"Stop it, dear, you're riling her up," Mom cautioned.
"Don't get your knickers in a net," my sister giggled.
"Dear!" Mom tried to sound aghast but she was smiling underneath.
"Listen, you people. This is an important match. It means a lot to me. Can we take it seriously, PLEASE?"
Suddenly, Dad was hugging me.
"Sweetie, we are taking it seriously, if only you'd understand. If we sat around getting tense, you'd get even more nervous. We're trying to keep you light and relaxed. This means as much to us as it does to you."
Suddenly, Dad was helping after all. He was right. They were right. Mint toothpaste was the way. Bad mint on, indeed!
Still laughing, we drove to school.
Sheila and her family were there, complete with enough pizza and soft drinks to share around as they watched us. Everyone seemed to be enjoying this, except the two of us.
Our PE teacher arrived. A few other teachers and students, including the existing badminton team, arrived. Most were on my side, since they've known me for years, But there were some who have seen Sheila play, who thought she's the better player.
We faced off.
I played well.
She played better.
To cut a long story short, she reached 21 points first.
"Well, at least you lost with PIZZAZ," my Dad said, leaping on to the court as soon as the match was over, bearing the pizza Sheila's Mom had brought. I took a moment to go to the net and shake Sheila's hand before taking the pizza from Dad.
It was delicious. It did help, to lose with PIZZAZ.