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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

How do you say that?

Let's get the most important business done first. Caroline Wozniacki has the best outfit in the U.S. Open. Not Serena or Venus this time, or Maria Sharapova. But the Polish girl. Of course! Polish women are all about style. Even in the most desperate days, designers were whipping up clever, cutting edge fashions. "Go to Chmielna, then two doorways down and into the first courtyard, through the arch to the second passageway and around the corner to your right, the third doorway and down the stairs..." Sure enough. Bold, dynamic fabrics and cuts, lovely dresses, always elegant and sensuous. To die for. So, with flounces, delicate mauve color, and smashing deeper lilac coat, of course it's the Polish girl who shows up in the loveliest tennis dress. Oops, not Polish. Danish. Caroline Wozniacki is from Denmark, wouldn't you know. Her parents are from Poland. Boy that does that sound familiar. Over the centuries Poland has lost some of its very best (but not all of them!) to emigration. Sadly, Poland has proved an inhospitable and stifling environment for too many of its own. Chopin, Madame Curie, to name only two of their most beloved native sons and daughters. Caroline's parents, Anna and Piotr are top flight atheletes and moved from Poland in the late 1980's to pursue their sports, especially Piotr who joined a professional soccer team in Denmark. Caroline was born and grew up there and so, of course, if you ask her, she's Danish. Except for tax purposes. Like so many of Europe's wealthy celebrities, now she's from Monte Carlo. The late 1980's were horrific in Poland, a depressing period when many young adults decided to give up on the possibilities of change coming soon enough to do them any good. I have Polish friends who left then for Australia, Paris, England, the States, and Sweden. Now my Polish friends are Swedish and have thoroughly Swedish kids. We find that ironic -- I was the Swedish-American about whose Swedish background much was made. Caroline is Poland's best hope for glory at the U.S. Open this year. Even if she speaks English with a strong Scandinavian accent. And, oh my goodness, a class act. For the record, Oudin and Wozniacki played an entire set of tennis in the time it took the President's special guests and Cabinet to entire the Joint Session of Congress. And they were halfway through the second before President Obama got in and started speaking. I'm not sure if that says more about our political traditions and falderal or the pace of this match. Now, let's get that name right. It is not Woz - nee - ack - ee. (emphasis on the third syllable) Say it with me, everyone, everyone: [emphasis on the second syllable] Vozh - n'y atch - ke.

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