It’s 7:30 on a Thursday night. I take off my clothes and put on my sports bra (what kind of blog do you think this is?!). This game is going to be a good one. I reach down into the bottom drawer of my dresser and pull out my absolute favorite tennis skirt. The three white stripes on each side of the little black skirt are just enough flair, but still say “I am serious.” I take out my socks and slip them on the my feet and then shove them into my sneakers. I take a look in the mirror and pull the loose strands of hair back from my face and secure them with a couple bobby pins. Now I look the part.
After a short drive from my apartment, I reach the massive Southwest Recreation Center, the University of Florida’s largest gym. Bright lights shine down on the tennis courts and people shuffling back and forth. I reach over to grab my tennis bag and realize that I’ve forgotten something, my Gator 1.
“Oh well,” I think to myself. “It can’t be too bad.”
I call the captain of our team just in case, and she assures me I should have no problem. I agree with her, I mean it is just a little credit card-sized ID for the school.
I could not have been any more wrong!
Walking confidently through the gate and onto the court, my team’s four opponents are all ready to go. Sporting their tennis bags and skirts, they were all standing around, anxious to begin playing. I walk up to the student employees and grin at my team, which is obviously glad I made it on time. All I have to do is check in. The two women, wearing prison-inmate-orange shirts, ask me if I’ve played intramural tennis before. This being my third match, I tell them, “of course.” Then they asked the deadly question, “Where’s your Gator 1?”
I explain to them how I forgot it and that its not with me and offer to drive back and pick it up.
“No,” they moan. “It’s Southwest policy.”
I begin to swell with anger. Looking down at their roster, my name and student ID are printed onto the paper. I explain that I have my Driver’s license if they would like to see it. Of course, they inform me that I have to forfeit my match, no exceptions, again reminding me about their “policy.”
This is preposterous, what kind of power trip are they on? Really, is there no possible way I can play a measly little intramural game? What’s next, a bag search? I have a weapon, it’s called a racquet!
Obviously my pleas will not sway these sticklers, but the game must go on.
One hour later, after hundreds of forehands, backhands and serves, the match is over. Thanks to our solid #1, we had a win, but a sad loss in doubles left us with our first defeat of the season.
All I know is that if the team makes it to the finals and lose because of this one match, I will always wonder what could have happened if I just remembered to bring my Gator 1.