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Lunch Dates with My Foxy Friend

Posted on June 18, 2020 by under Food and Drink.    

I don’t know why “Karens” get such a bad rap. All of the “Karens” I have ever known have been warm and kind and generous. This is why I wasn’t surprised when Karen Fox and I easily struck up a friendship. Then again, Brian will counter that I shouldn’t be surprised because I think everyone is my friend even if they’re a complete stranger who smiles or winks at me one time.

I’d seen Karen before at various pickleball events. She even attended the pickleball-birthday-slash-Halloween-party that Matt Mayfield hosted for me last year. She actually wanted to have a Halloween party but Matt was throwing a pickleball birthday party for me at the West YMCA so they agreed to combine the two parties and just have one party. We knew each other then and I would have considered her a friend then but the pandemic has really brought us closer together.

You know how Jumanji and detention (The Breakfast Club?) have this weird way of bringing people together who probably wouldn’t normally hang out? I think that’s what COVID-19 did. I started doing the #BruceLeeAbsChallenge during the stay-at-home mandate because the lack of social connection (and lack of anything to do period) was taking a huge mental toll on me. I asked if others wanted to do it with me and she volunteered. We created a group text for accountability and we texted everyday. Sometimes the conversations weren’t even about our abs workouts. They would just be random (absolutely hilarious) conversations. I was also doing ZOOMba during this time and Karen couldn’t figure out the ZOOM thing (or just didn’t like how the technology worked) so she came over to my house to do Zumba in my garage with me. I totally thought she was joking until she sent me a text that morning asking for my address. Karen holds the record as my first pickleball friend to have ever set foot inside my house. Matt, my first ever pickleball friend, has never even been to my house (despite having known him the longest). I guess disasters have a weird way of bringing people together. And because she was there for me during the lockdown we got really close. She even invited me and Brian over for a delicious lasagna dinner at her house one evening. (SIDE NOTE: They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Well, it works the same for me. The best way to become my favorite person is to feed me.)

Besides meeting up for pickleball dates (we’ve arranged mixed doubles matches and womens double matches with other friends), we’ve also met up for lunch dates. Most of the time it was just sharing a burger at TJ’s which is conveniently next to our favorite park but the other day (when I say the other day, it usually means any time between yesterday and a few weeks ago – LOL) we both finished with our appointments at the exact same time so it worked out that we could meet for lunch. We decided to meet at Homegrown.


Here are a couple of pictures of our food.


Most of the time I just see pickleball friends while playing pickleball and there’s not really much time to visit and get to know each other on a deeper level. Lunch was nice that way. While we still mostly talked about our favorite sport, we visited and chatted about all sorts of other things too. It was great!


Here’s a picture of my Fox-y friend at TJ’s one day while we had lunch and rootbeer floats. We typically grab our lunches to go when we’re playing at Seneca Park but that day, while we were waiting to order our food, I was a rootbeer float go by and it called my name. So I talked Karen into dining in so we could enjoy some rootbeer floats with our lunch. Plus, it’s a lot easier to eat when you have a table. I don’t even have a chair sometimes when we’re at the park. My folding chair is always in the car but I only bring it out occasionally (when I expect to sit around a lot like on #SangriaSundays but most of the time I’m playing the whole time so it’s kind of pointless). I’ve learned not to pull it out all the time because I don’t even get to sit in it most of the time. And there’s always plenty of other chairs to rest your butt on because we’re rotating in and out and most people are willing to share.

Anyway, it’s been really nice getting to know Karen better over these last few months. As someone who has been playing pickleball a lot longer than me, I really appreciate her guidance and all the knowledge that she’s willing to share. I feel like she’s kind of taken me under her wing and has been almost like a “pickleball mentor” of sorts. As someone who is hungry to learn anything and everything, I have really enjoyed this time immensely. I suppose that is the one silver lining that has come out of the pandemic.

I guess that’s all for now. Big day today as it’s the day I get to spend all day learning from Ben Johns. Gotta start getting ready. Until next time. GNG.

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