I just found out yesterday that for the first time since 1988, I will not be at this year’s US Open. My tennis software licensee, IDS, has decided they can carry the ball without me, they do not need my onsite support.
Upon hearing the news, I admit being stunned for about 2 seconds, after which I ran out the front door screaming for joy and did cartwheels down the street.
Figuratively, of course.
I’ve been anticipating this for a long time. If I never go to Flushing Meadows again in my life, I won’t miss it one bit – the slums, the smell, the crime, the filth, the noise. It’s a horrible place, and it’s a national embarrassment to hold our national championships in such a festering armpit.
I’m going skiing in Argentina to celebrate. For at least 15 years, I’ve had a hard-on to ski in August, but I never could do it because of my commitment to the US Open. This year, I can finally do it.
Frankly, I’m too old for the US Open now. It requires a lot of energy – psychic and physical – that I no longer have. It has never been fun, it’s always been the low-light of every year, although it was an interesting challenge from 1988 to about 1998. Now it just sucks, it’s a chore, and was something I dreaded every year, all year long. For 20 years I’ve said my typical year is divided up into the 4 months I spend recovering from the US Open, the 4 months I spend preparing for the US Open, the month I spend at the US Open, and then there’s one month where I try not to think about the US Open.
A few weeks ago I flew back from Brussels into JFK, and had to take a taxi over to LGA. It was a beautiful spring afternoon, yet I was fill with loathing and disgust for that part of Long Island as we sat in traffic on the Van Wyck.
My time at the US Open is done. Yay.