Milton and I have both been glued to US Open Tennis. He is a die-hard Roger Federer fan; “Fed” to Milton. My guy is Rafael Nadel; “Rafa” to me. We are both hoping that they will meet in the men’s final this weekend but in general, we do root for each other’s guy. I am very aware that Fed is a sensational player, possibly the greatest player of all-time, a style icon, and overall, a class act. It bothers me when he loses to anyone … but Rafa.
Milton is not blind to Rafa’s greatness, either, and he appreciates his athletic prowess, but when it comes to Rafa’s style or his trademark jock strap adjustment, Milton detonates. Milton is certain that Rafa is incapable of ordering a glass of wine without tugging at whatever’s wedged in-between his butt-cheeks. I am not a fan of this habit, but I pointed out to Milton that this quirk is an element ingrained in Rafa’s style of play. What completely drives Milton over the edge is Rafa’s history of dreadful wardrobe choices. Unlike my ability to defend the constant wedgie tugging I have to agree that pink shirts, plaid shorts, muscle tees, etc., are indefensible.
This year at the US Open, Rafa has introduced some serious improvements. He’s added a powerful serve to his game, and he has also made some welcome style adjustments. He has a new haircut, and a basic black outfit trimmed in yellow. Milton, in fashion police mode, has been pregnant with comment about Rafa’s makeover. Recently, we shared this email exchange:
Milton: I know your boy is still trying, and in some ways, the black works. But what’s with the yellow, boat-like sneakers? Is he dating Sweet Caroline?
Milton: With the slimming black, and the oversized sneaks, Rafa was reminding me of someone, but I couldn’t figure out who. Then it came to me. See comparison below.
Me: Did you know that those Nikes he wears are inscribed Rafa in the back of the heel? They are ghastly.
Milton: He’s earned the right to have his name everywhere. But the yellow. He looks like a bumble bee on the Atkin’s diet.