A few things have changed for Nadal since he was 12 – men and women love him and his body, he can player better tennis and his English has improved…slightly. But for Rafael Nadal, he’s always been a Nike fan boy and that will never change, no way. I drank Coke when I was a little kid at a birthday party my grandparents drove me to. I can’t not drink Coke now. The drink is associated with such good memories that I really can’t let it go. Coke will never signify Columbian drug lords and blood money to me. Instead, I only imagine Adrian Brody sipping it, walking down Canal Street and summer afternoons with my grandparents.
Nadal is the same way. Ever since he was 12 (and before, surely), he’s been seeing that beautiful swoosh and has been winning bigger and bigger awards. Now, as he looks in the mirror, holding his Grand Slam trophies and his lovely lady, he will look in the mirror and see that swoosh above his head, that beautiful, beautiful swoosh.
Granted, I don’t get millions of dollars a year to drink coke, or so anything, really, but still! From this day on, I pledge not to drink Coke because when I look at the bottle I see the happy eyes of my grandparents, but because I want the sweet satisfaction of drinking a carbonated, caffeinated, overly-sugared drink. I will no longer be subjected to the ranks of those taken by brand familiarity – there’s a whole world of cola out there, and I’ve been drinking Coke!
I began writing this to talk about Nadal as a 12 year old and how awkward 12 year olds are. The romanticizing his life has gotten is amazing and there are certainly middle aged women out there talking about what a cute 20-whatever he is and what a cute 12 year old he is. Those are supposed to be different kinds of cute, though I doubt they differentiate. Really, he just seems like one of those kids who missed out on their childhoods a little bit. The kind that gets casually into something and then gets further forced into it by those around him. He’s like a child-model. Yeah, Nadal was exactly like a child model, come to think of it.
I wonder if Nadal watches these video, robotically staring at the screen and wondering what sort of cool Pogs, Animaniacs childhood he missed out on.
And I’m telling you, he missed out on a lot. It was a lot of fun.