You only get one chance, to make a first impression!

Wat had ik veel zin in deze dag. Het was een zonnige zondag in mei, heren 1 speelde thuis en ’s middags stond er een T-dansje op het programma. Het was mijn eerste T-dansant sinds ik alleen was en dat maakte het meteen de eerste die ik bij zou kunnen wonen zonder geforceerde tijdsdruk of zinloze huwelijkscrisis nadien.
Wij moesten al vroeg hockeyen, dus van de 12 aanwezige teamleden bleef slechts de harde kern van zes meiden over, om rond drie uur ‘s middags langs de lijn te staan bij ons eerste heren team. Daar zaten we dan, in het zonnetje, een biertje in de hand en nog een hele avond voor ons. Het was ouderwets gezellig, mede dankzij het rappe tempo waarmee onze lege bierglazen een refill kregen. Tegen het einde van de wedstrijd verslapte mijn aandacht voor het spel en was mijn blik progressief gericht op de ingang van het complex. Ik keek uit naar ‘de manager van dames 1’, waar ik inmiddels, na een handje vol dates in twee maanden, smoorverliefd op was geworden.
Daar was hij eindelijk. Ik had mijn zoveelste biertje in mijn hand, hij de eerste. Hoewel het nog wat onwennig was om elkaar te spreken met sensatiebelust HC Breda om ons heen, was ik al dermate onder invloed, dat ik er behoorlijk ontspannen bij stond. We kletsten even en gingen geveinsd nonchalant met elkaar om, tot mijn kersverse scharrel verplichtingen had bij ‘zijn’ damesteam en ik me weer bij mijn inmiddels tamelijk beschonken vriendinnetjes voegde, terwijl de muziek de jofele sfeer versterkte. De zon scheen nog op het volle terras, de muziek stond lekker hard, maar het T-dansant kwam nog niet swingend op gang. Mijn twee vriendinnen en ik hadden hier echter geenszins last van in onze licht benevelde toestand, òns feestje was al in volle gang. Op het podium stonden wij ons kostelijk te vermaken met z’n drietjes. Het ontging ons volkomen dat het tafereel dat wij onbewust tentoonspreidden, voor de vele toeschouwers een slechte persiflage van Patty Brard’s reallifesoap moet hebben geleken. Tegen de tijd dat ik de tel kwijt was en de tel me feitelijk ook worst was, liep ik mijn ‘nieuwe vriendje’ weer tegen het lijf. Ik stond slechts een schamele minuut met hem te praten toen zijn dochter naast hem verscheen. Ze was iets kleiner dan ik, een mooi gezichtje en twee opvallende kijkers. Ik herkende haar meteen van de foto’s. In mijn lichtelijk aangeschoten conditie, ontging het me echter niet dat ze geschokt van mij naar haar vader keek en toen als de bliksem het hazenpad koos. Ik keek hem even aan, maar hij stond me met opgetrokken schouders en een ‘geen idee’-blik aan te kijken. Ik liep in de richting van het toilet en zag haar zitten, huilend met de arm van haar teamgenootje om haar schouders. Ik dacht dit wel ‘effe te fiksen’ en stapte met misplaatste zelfverzekerdheid op de misère af. Zodra mijn naderende gestalte werd gespot veranderde het verdrietige gezichtje in een frons en sprak ze de woorden: “Laat me asjeblieft met rust, ik zit even met een vriendin te praten, ja”. Met de staart tussen de benen droop ik, volkomen ontnuchterd, af. Voor het gemak vergat ik het voorval en werd het een legendarische avond, hangend in de balken van het clubhuis. Mijn eerste en laatste uitbundige T-dansant. Haar jongere en dito betoverende zusje beloofde me ‘dat haar zus wel bij zou draaien’. Ze had gelijk.
Maar of ik ooit nog aan dat eerste imago zal ontkomen…? Wie weet.

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