Isn’t that Virginia Slims slogan funny? What’s even funnier is how Virginia Slims used to sponsor a women’s tennis tournament in Albuquerque. How does a cigarette company sponsor a sporting event? Does that still happen? Anyway, my sister volunteered as a ball girl for the tournament one year; and my family hosted tennis player Anne Smith 2 years in a row.
Anne grew up in Texas and her nickname was Pepper, as in Dr. Pepper. None of that diet soda for her. That woman was an amazing athlete. She had 6% total body fat and ate her cereal with half and half, not milk, every morning. Hosting Anne, our family got special VIP passes and we’d sit with her parents who’d come in from Texas to watch the tennis. I’d loved having that tournament in Albuquerque, it seemed like such a big deal for such a smallish place. We saw Arantxa Sanchez Vicario and Mary Pierce play.
But the best was watching Anne. She was our player. Her wins were our wins and her losses were our losses. She made it to the quarterfinals one year and I remember walking home behind her after the match. Terrible can’t even explain how bad I felt for her and upset doesn’t do justice to how it looked like she was feeling. Nonetheless, she showered and got it together. The real cure—our families went for New Mexican food that night. Nothing makes a painful day go away like some of that yummy New Mexican food. And yes, there is a difference between New Mexican and Mexican food.