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Saturday, August 11, 2012

A Doomed Encounter with Dressage


Dear Simon*:

I’m writing to tell you I’m sorry that things between us had to end this way.

From the first moment I saw you, somehow I knew that our relationship wasn’t meant to be. There you were, all insouciance and carefully cultivated five o’clock shadow, at the Olympic equestrian press tribune at Greenwich Park, awaiting the start of the Grand Prix Freestyle, the individual dressage medal final. When I saw the eager young female volunteers cooing over you and asking for photos, I knew I didn’t stand a chance.

An apparently well-known columnist, you obviously were there only to check out the strange sport in which Great Britain had recently won a gold medal. We had a brief exchange, you and an equestrian-journalist colleague and I, and I could feel your lack of interest. When one of your only questions about dressage was “If he shits in the ring, does he lose points?”, I knew I’d lost you forever. I love the sport and would have been happy to share it with you; but Simon, you just didn’t seem to care.

When I opened the following day’s paper to find your assessment of dressage, I saw that my instincts had been correct. Your disdain for dressage, your lack of awareness that Great Britain in fact had not been a shoo-in for gold, your failure to spell a horse’s name correctly—these saddened me but did not surprise me. Even your mention of me as one of the “grizzled American ladies” in the press tribune didn’t come as a complete shock, although I must confess I thought it was a tad below the belt.

Simon, I would like to leave you with one parting thought. On that bright and sunny day in Greenwich, you claimed that you “do not believe in sunscreen.” Let’s wait a few years and we’ll see who’s more grizzled.

Sincerely,

Jennifer

* Not his real name.

4 comments:

  1. No worries, he probably couldn't ride a Shetland pony or a fun park horsey ride without assistance so what would he know of Dressage or anything equine. Besides he sounds like a full-on jerk.

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  2. Dressage and eventing do seem to have suffered a preponderance of derisive and uninformed commentary, this Olympics. I expected better from a country so steeped in horsemanship ... maybe the Greenwich press liaisons could have been doing a better job of informing the 'mainstream' media about the basics. Sheesh, I don't think even synchronized swimming (so primed for journalistic derision) has had to suffer what dressage has ...

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