Tuesday, June 19, 2007

In a position to wreak havoc.

OK, so I have never wreaked (wroke?) havoc in my life. And here I was, poised on the brink...

My best-est friend asked me if I would join her in doing something completely queer. Since we both understand that "queer" really means odd and ridiculous rather than homosexual, I happily agreed to it before knowing what, in fact, we were doing. You see, we've done oodles of queer things and it ALWAYS ended up with us needing Depends and snorting & laughing until we cry.

So this queerness was a croquet clinic being held at 10am at a lovely place called Heritage Plantation in Sandwich. Of course, doing anything at 10am on a weekday that doesn't involve employment was enticing enough for me. I was in.

Suddenly, I was overwhelmed by visions of Great Gatsby-esque men & women sashaying across perfectly manicured lawns twirling croquet mallets whilst sipping on iced beverages. Actually the vision was a deja vu of a time when I attended Ocean Edge's Wine & Croquet Fundraiser in 2000 with the owners of Brewster Wine Cellar & Spirits and ended up on the society page of the Boston Globe. White dress, picture hat and all. True story.

What was I getting myself into this time? Initial costs were significantly cheaper ($10 not $250) and I was sure that no iced beverages would be served. Should I go? Would I really have to play croquet? This was a "sport" I had managed to avoid. Until now. Carpooling was arranged; there was no escape.

We met a friend of hers and her boss (yes, her boss is indeed that cool) in the parking lot and off we sauntered to the field. The field of perfection. Where the grass was so mind-numbingly green and well manicured that you immediately wanted to hurl yourself upon it and roll around shrieking "woll in da hay, woll, woll" ala Terri Garr in Young Frankenstein.

Snapping us back into reality was a very perky cruise-directorish woman who cheerily announced the start of the clinic. The clinic, ergo us, were to be duly honored by being led by a 2 time world croquet champion. A WHAT? There are world championships for this? Are you kidding?

As I glanced at the other attendees, who were nodding most gravely, I realized that we four were decades younger than everyone else there. Uh oh. Fun factor could be reduced drastically. As the honored champion began his elaborate instructions on the finer points of the strategy involved (strategy?!) and the proper way to handle a mallet, Susan started giggling when Sarah whispered in her ear, "he said shaft." He did not just say that. Being of the potty humorist ilk, we were of course, reduced to uncontrolled fits of giggling. There would be fun goddammit and we were the ones to make it.

Our professional then released us to our courts, with the directive "you're now in a position to wreak havoc." Havoc? In croquet? He just said havoc, right? Aha! We had ourselves a motto. We scampered off to find suitable whacking devices and targets, however, no one else followed our snickering quartet to the far corner; in fact they all moved away from us with suspicious glances. Perhaps we were going to come near them? Desecrate the sacred whiteness of croquet. Egads, NO!

The fun we had goes beyond words to explain it. There are photos but I have been threatened with bodily harm if I post them. I still am laughing - what a blast! When any of us actually made it through a wicket, a leaping high-five was the reward. I think our octogenarian co-attendees were jealous. We had proved that white girls, can indeed jump! We raced around the croquet court like wild women - laughing and truly enjoying ourselves in only a work-skipping, cell phone-free, temporarily childless, sunny summer weather kind of way.

After our 2 hour clinic was over, we were off in search of lunch in Audrey's convertible Beetle. Actually, tea. At the Dunbar Tea Shop. What else could we have possibly done after playing croquet? There was chicken curry. There were scones. And best of all, there were dishes of clotted cream. A tea pot with a tea cozy. And the stories. I think that was the best of all. All of us being smug marrieds, we exchanged "how we met" tales and laughed more. What a day.

Susan and I then scampered off and met up with her husband to make the kid & car swap. The truly best part of my day was when her kids repeatedly shrieked "Auntie Iss!" at the top of their lungs when I walked toward them. The perfect ending to a perfect day.

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