I’m not a WASP, nor do I play one on TV. Although I did grow up in WASPy Greenwich, CT…home of the lock jaw, private schools, debutant balls, and rich guys who replace all the street signs in town in the middle of the night because he thought they just weren’t attractive enough (yes…really happened). I however grew up on the other side of the tracks, so to speak; Public School, bike to school, no yacht club experience to speak of. A sad tale of woe. Ok, not so very sad…I had a great childhood.One of the fun things we did when we were in high school was to gather everyone together into a car or two and head to the polo matches. Yes, very high brow. It was fun to pretend and to rub elbows with the folks who really weren’t pretending. It turns out, high society social events are much, much, much more fun if you just don’t care about high society. So, drinks in hand, we’d lay out beach chairs and blankets and eat fast food and play backgammon and every so often look up and say “now what is going on with those silly ponies” in a a voice as close to Thurston Howell III as possible. So, now that I’m older, and now that I’m in the Bay Area where polo isn’t done on horses — but on Segue Scooters — how do I replicate that experience? Fortunately, a good friend, Jennifer, had the perfect solution. As luck would have it there is a croquet pitch off 19th Avenue. Didn’t know that? Neither did I. I also didn’t know you could “rent” the pitch and a certified professional croquet instructor/player named Reuben to teach and monitor our croquet playing. Couples dress up in fancy clothes (the fancier and gaudier the better) and each bring a bottle or three of champagne plus appetizers. A rousing barely coherent and extremely exciting round robin tournament ensues.
This is about half of the group, toward the end of the experience. While my wife and I haven’t yet won the tournament (something always seems to derail us at the last moment…probably our penchant for trying unnecessary jump shots at key moments of the game…the better to win with style points in my opinion) we have scored points each year for our state of dress, our outrageous Chip and Buffy accents, and our flair for the exciting and silly.I can’t wait for next year…because we are going to win for sure…and if we don’t, at least we’ll have plenty of champagne to drown our sorrows.