LAST WEEK’S RECAP | April 15 – 21, 2013

While weeknight tennis is smaller group than the weekend parties, it gives me a chance to get to know players better. This Wednesday I got to watch players on the court play for a few minutes. Because I know everyone well enough, I started to cheer for the underdogs – “You almost got it!,” hoping that it wouldn’t offend the opponents. After 3 times, the opponent from NYC said – “Do you want to go back to the other court?” So my next nebulous encouragement, looking at no one in particular – “SOMEONE almost got it!” The NYC player gave me a raised brow. Uh oh, we all smiled and it was time for me to get off the cheering stand….

I finally found out why a couple of Tenafly players were MIA this year. Two fathers are volunteer coaches for their kids’ school soccer team. Kudos to them!

A newcomer who recently moved from CT liked it so much that he decided to give us a try, playing 3 times this week. He said – “I’m dedicated :-)” He liked it so much that he’s signed up for the following week already. We’re happy to welcome him to the group and to NJ!

A few minutes after I sent out last week’s newsletter about 1:30am, I received a reply from a Friday player – “Hey Penny, fun stories to read. See you Friday, at least. Go to bed. I’m up trying to finish something I promised the Germans. They are already waking up over there.” I did check with him first to see if it’s alright to quote him. His reply – “Sure. In my line of work, it’s always daytime for somebody I’m working with. I’m always calculating what time it is somewhere in the world.” He’s always traveling abroad, married a woman from overseas and both are multi-cultural.

A player from NYC couldn’t play this Saturday and switched over to Friday. He asked me to let the other Saturday player from Guttenberg know so that they could share a drink on Friday after tennis. They’ve been playing weekly on the same court, with and against one another, this past season starting in October. It’s a nice feeling to witness friendships develop.

It just so happened that 2 players sitting next to each other during the off hour have uncommon professions. So I decided to add that aspect of it during the introduction, saying “So-and-So-#1 meet So-and-So-#2. So-and-So-#1 is a pilot.” The other player said with a slight pause “Oh….” I continued, saying – “So-and-So-#2 is a poker player” and the pilot said, also with a slight pause, – “Oh….” It was exactly the responses I had expected — intrigue. Then their conversation started, the poker player asked what kind of planes he flies. The pilot said commercial and started naming numbers like 182’s, 172’s, etc. I asked what they were but the answer was too technical. The poker player summarized – “Big planes.” Good enough for me!

A player from Chatham has been attending the party for the past consecutive weeks. I was happy he finally me the last of the 4 musketeers, who are staples at the Friday parties. I can see new friendships being formed here, as they seem to have a lot in common, especially their passion for tennis.

A recent newcomer from Morristown arrives each Friday with great energy and enthusiasm. The 26-year-old from Morristown reminds me of the 23-year-old from Westwood who had to put tennis on hold this year due to her hectic school and work schedule, and the 26-year-old who shows up ready to say hello to everyone! Their competition are the slightly older group, players from Cedar Grove, Essex Fells, Rutherford and Morristown, to name a few, but with just as much enthusiasm. Together the 2 groups fill the room with so many stories, smiles, just great energy. Oh, the 4 musketeers mainly talk tennis but do know and mingle with everyone as well, when they’re not talking tennis LOL.

I never knew why a player from Weehawken plays only 2 hours. After seeing him several times at the Saturday parties, I felt comfortable enough to ask and his response – “It was fun…. I usually can’t stay more than 2 hours. I have 2 little kids and we get up pretty early….plus I might keel over :)” Well, he hasn’t yet and won’t! Playing tennis probably gives him a second wind for the night and more energy for the next day to keep up with the little ones at. As the saying goes – “If it doesn’t break you, it only makes you stronger!”

Speaking of children, there’s been a trend of male players having children. They have a few things in common: avid players, in their 30’s, all having boys, all within a month apart, two are waiting for anyday now. One, from North Bergen, snuck out for one more night of tennis, rationalizing that he’s so close to the club and it’s the endorphin thing that causes a drug-like addiction. He avidly played (3-4 times per week) throughout the 9 months, which makes me believe that the baby will come out with a racquet in his hands ready for his first match LOL. Congratulations to these fathers and fathers-to-be!

I got to meet last of 3 good friends who met back home in India and are now living in Hoboken and Jersey City. The Hoboken started about 2 months ago and mentioned it to his friend from Jersey City, who attended this Saturday. He mentioned it to his friend also from Jersey City, who attended and paired up with his dad two weeks ago, as I noted in previous week’s newsletter. It’s so nice to see their tennis reunion and they’re all starting to play again after a long layover. They certainly play with great form, expensive kids from tons of lessons, I suspect. I can’t wait to see all 3 at the party at the same time.

A player from the Bronx who played 5 hours of tennis a few weeks ago returned for more. Besides the tennis, he likes that I know people and their stories. Well, I try to, as much as I can. It makes life and tennis parties organizing so much more fun.

Towards the end of the night I had a chance to play and partner up with a player from North Bergen, who’s son is an accomplished player. We had such a great time that he said he would partner up with me again, as I would with him also. He plays with so much enthusiasm that just being on the court with him makes me enjoy it even more.

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