This year’s pilgrimage to the US Open was not at all what I was hoping for.
Don’t get me wrong, the matches were great. Well, most of them. And, I think. 😦
My quick sad story;
I went to the Open with my mother and my sister. We go every year. It ends up being my birthday present because it costs more to go to the Open than it does to go see a Broadway play. I look forward to this day all year. Literally from the day after the final until I am there again. Love it! This year’s schedule was different than usual. I was not thrilled about that. There were only 4 of what I consider watchable matches. I don’t do doubles or juniors. So it was 1 women’s match 1 men’s, then night, 1 women’s 1 men’s. Definitely not the array or amount of tennis that we usually get to see.
All of that aside I was still really excited. I was going to get to see some of my favs. And now I wouldn’t have divided attention. 🙂
The first women’s match ended very quickly. The person I was rooting for did not win. Bummer. We ended up having about an hour until the next match. So we decided to go back to the car to unload some of the crap that we bought. Because you can’t spend hundreds of dollars to go see the Open without coming home with a $50 t-shirt that says that you were there. 🙂 And of course there was the crap for the kids to alleviate the guilt of abandoning them for the day.
At the car I decide that I am going to leave my purse there. I hate carrying one around, and I certainly don’t like putting it on the floor in the stands. So I grab my phone, wallet, and car key and shove them in my pockets. I did make the mental note that I was leaving my medicine in the purse, in the car. I debated this and decided that the slight headache that was coming on would wait until the next time that we came to the car.
I do not like taking my headache medicine. I love that it gets rid of the headache, but it makes me tired and it sets all of my nerves on fire (ok, they just become super sensitive). Plus I just hate taking medicine. I also think that I was thinking that the next match would be pretty quick. Maybe an hour and a half. Who is this Nishikori person anyway? Wawrinka was going to crush him in 3 sets. I’m very loyal to my Suisse players.
But oh how wrong I can be. (I like to prove this over and over again.)
On the way back up to our seats I decide that if I drink copious amounts of water maybe I can stave off the headache. It’s because I’m dehydrated anyway right? And I am nothing if not optimistic. Plus, it is ridiculously hot and disgusting outside and all I’ve had is coffee.
So I say to the ladies, “Hey let’s get some water before we head back up.”
To which my mom replies, “Why don’t you drink the water that I brought first, so that I don’t have to keep carrying it around.” Sure, makes sense. I forgot that she had any.
We get to our seats and she hands me the water. It is one of those tiny 8 oz. bottles, and it is 75% frozen. UHG! So I drink what I can and spend lots of time trying to melt the ice. Of course I am dying of heat. So I use my head, neck, and legs to help. 🙂 So no really drinkable water. But now I am much cooler. 🙂 The match starts; it is not going how I planned. Damn this Nishikori person is really good. Wawrinka wins the first set. My headache is starting to get worse. No biggie. Maybe an hour until we get back to the car. I can handle it.
Swirling my ice cube, trying to get it to melt. Nishikori wins the second set. Crap. This is now going to at least go for 4 sets. Add a half hour to previously determined time line.
At this point it is obvious to the outside world that I am in pain. So my mom starts asking if she can get me anything. She offers me the drugs that she has. Tylenol, Advil, nothing that will actually help me. But she is just trying to help. I say no, because I know that when I get back to the car I am taking my Imitrex and I don’t want to have too many drugs in my system.
I am now paying more attention to my ice cube and trying to not be in pain, than I am to the match. Which sucks because it was really good tennis that I was missing.
Nishikori has now won the 3rd set. SHIT! Still holding out hope for my Suisse I am now expecting to be in for the long hall of a 3-4 hour match. Maybe if he knew how much pain I was in he would just let Wawrinka win.
My mom offers to go to the car and get my meds. I say no, I don’t want her to miss any of this. She is after all the reason that any of us even watch tennis. And this is a good match. You hold on to those. They are rarer than you would think.
Like I expected, Wawrinka makes a comeback. He wins the 4th set. Faith in the sport is restored. All is right in the world again. Except for the fact that now it is definitely going for a 5th set and I can’t even look up any more. I can’t talk, because I’m way too nauseous to open my mouth. Any movement makes my head swim and pound. I am starting to feel like I did on the plane ride back from New Orleans when I had a spinal headache. (Of course it’s not that bad, but I couldn’t think straight)
I finally decide that it is time to go to the car and get my meds. I know I’ll miss some of the match, but honestly, I’m missing it anyway. I look at my phone to see what time it is. Holly Crap! It’s 6:30. We have been sitting here since 3:30. I can’t leave now. No really, I can’t leave now. If I leave I won’t be allowed back in. The people with night tickets are already waiting outside. They are supposed to be let in at 7. Of course this had to be such an epic match. OF COURSE!
(At this point I also want to mention how far away the car is, just in case you have never been to the US Open before. Let’s start from where I am sitting. I am in row N. It starts at A and ends at Z. (those seats of course are the cheap seats at the top of the stadium. There are 4 flights of other types of seats) And yeah I’ve been in row Y before. Row Z is ALL the way at the top. I posted a picture at the beginning of this so that there is a slightly better understanding. I am like 5 stories up. Then you have to get out of the complex. It is quite large. Then you have to walk over to the actual parking lot, which is over a bridge that spans railroad tracks (at least 6) and a highway. Oh and through the train station. So I’d say about a mile. So 5 flights down and about a mile. That’s where the car is.)
I have now melted my ice cube and I drank all of the water. Now I have moved on to ice cube #2.
Swirl the cube. Pretend to pay attention to the match. Clap when everyone else is clapping.
Is it over yet?
Try to act like you are fine. You don’t want to ruin this for your sister or mother.
Swirl the cube. Pretend to pay attention to the match. Give up on clapping when everyone else is clapping.
It’s over. 7:30. Wawrinka lost. I don’t care.
I now get to walk to the car to get my meds. The swarm of people also leaving is making everything worse. I feel like I am in a whirlwind of people, and heat, and pain.
I keep my head down and follow my mom and sister. I shake my head very slowly “no” to the question are you ok. I shake it “yes” are you going to make it to the car.
“Stop talking to me and just walk!!!!” Obviously I’m just thinking this. I hold my stomach praying that I don’t throw up on everyone around me.
We finally make it to the car. This is when we change, in the car, into our night clothes. It has a tendency to get very cold 5 stories up after the sun has gone down. It’s like being in the desert. You become a puddle of sweat during the day and you freeze at night.
I finally take my Imitrex. I grab my pants and go to the back seat to change. My sister and I are now using the back seat as a dressing room. Thank god for tinted windows right? Nah, we’d do it anyway. My mom turns the car on and blasts the air conditioning. I manage to change. Sometimes you have to not think about what needs to be done and just do it.
I lean back with my eyes closed and try to tune out the world and let the medicine kick in. I’m thinking to myself, “If I can just sit here with the air conditioning on, the medicine will kick in faster. I only need like 30 min. It’s just the girls that I’m missing. And it’s Serena. She’ll win, right? And I’m not a huge fan anyway.” My mom is rummaging around the car. Opening and closing doors. Thinking again, “Stop, the light is killing me!!!!!” Why can these people not read my mind?!?!?
My sister is still sitting next to me. I hear her say “I thought that the medicine was supposed to work. You look worse now than you did at the match.” I just smile. I can’t explain to her right now that I was pretending then and now I’m just trying to get better. Because if I open my mouth I will throw up.
My mom is now getting antsy because she is missing Serena. “Are you guys ready yet?” Multiple times before I actually acknowledge her.
Ok, headache is getting better, nausea is getting worse. I can do this. I can start pretending again. Fake it until you make it. I’ve heard that somewhere before. I am now armed with the knowledge that it will get better soonish.
We walk back in. My mom and sister are now starving. It’s like 8pm. So I suggest eating down on the grounds. There is a fancy out door “food court” with giant TVs showing the match. They agree. I find an open table. Next to a garbage can, because I am expecting to need it. (not for garbage) And of course it is packed. Finding the table wasn’t easy. Think food court in a mall at Christmas time.
Serena is running away with her first set. I am barely noticing. I’m sitting at my table. Thanking god the garbage can is so close. Thinking “How gross will it be when I throw up in the can? How many nasty looks will I get from it? Will I be able to recover any kind of social graces and not feel like an ass sitting up in the stands later?” While staring at the umbrella pole in my table.
My mom shows up with her food. She got a hot dog. Gross. And I love hot dogs.
My sister shows up with her food. She got a hot fudge Sunday. YUM! Maybe I’ll get one later.
My mom also got me French fries. I start picking apart the French fries, eating them tiny bits at a time. Hoping that having some starch in my stomach will help, even the slightest bit.
They finish and decide it’s time to go up. I still feel like moving is a terrible idea. But I’m a trooper. So up we go. We are in row O for the night matches. Not too bad. Better than Y. 🙂 or W like last year. We are still early enough into the stadium that we got our free hats. Yeah! I love the free hats on the first night of quarter finals. That lifts my spirits.
We get to our seats and I’m wishing that I had brought a cup with me to throw up in.
No cup. Hold it in!
Serena is running away with the second set. Taking the whole match. I’m not paying attention. Thank god there is no one sitting in front of me.
Thinking, “Damn it! Start working! Djokovic is about to come out! I love him! No really, I LOVE HIM!”
Sharon, “Is she any better?” I shake my head from 2 seats away.
Serena wins. Shocker. Everyone but me gets up cheering.
And then like a miracle I start feeling like I can pay attention again. I can lift my head.
Djokovic and Murray are announced and come out. I cheer. I start watching them warm up. I look over at my mom and smile.
Thinking, “Calm down, don’t get to excited, it may not be over yet.”
The match starts. It’s insane. They are both so good. I tell my mom to let my sister know that I am better.
Djokovic wins the first set in a tie break.
I am totally better now.
How is that possible?
Imitrex and patients. That’s now! 🙂
My mom and I run down and get hot fudge sundaes.
We get back to our seats and my sister says, “Djokovic was the medicine that you needed.”
She is so right! Love him! The rest of the match was awesome! Djokovic won. Because he’s awesome!
All is well that ends well. 🙂 I just need to remember next time to just take the damn medicine pre-emptively.
Sorry that that turned into a book.