LAST WEEK’S RECAP | April 22 – 28, 2013

The couple from Englewood really love tennis and play every chance they get. Together they make formidable partners. Tonight at one point, the husband dominated the net, making his volleys and overheads. After about the 10th ball, he finally missed and his wife covered by running all the way from the ad to the deuce side. She put the ball back in play, catching the opponent off guard who hit a high ball back to the husband, who again hit the ball back, surprising the opponent once more who then hit it out. Point over, the couple walked away from the net, facing and smiling at each other and giving each other high five’s. If only you could see the sweet exchanges.

Thursday was an unusually quiet night. So I took advantage of it and got to play with 5 different players in the 2 hours. Everyone had fun playing and sharing a few laughs. My partner from Hoboken used the phrase “flies like a butterfly but stings like a bee” and the opponent from Budd Lake said that the shot was “packed with a lot of punch.” For the next couple of minutes I lost concentration, thinking of my first experiences with the American idioms when I started learning English, e.g., Being behind the eight ball, It’s a piece of cake, Being under the weather. I just never understood how someone could be under something as elusive as the weather, amongst other things. “Once I came to” [another idiom] and regained concentration, I was able to finish the hour and rotated 2 more players, from Cresskill and Edgewater, with whom I played for the first time. What a pleasure playing with all gentlemen and good sports. It made for a truly fun night!

Similarly on the adjacent court were 2 players, who just met a couple of weeks ago. The newcomer from Jersey City said he’s pretty easy going and doesn’t mind playing any level. Clearyly, he was the best player of the night. The other from Hoboken is one of the most requested players. Aside from being a good player, he’s always so pleasant to be with on the court, nice etiquette. Coincidentally, they’re both French-born, are very friendly and have the wonderful trait of smiling a lot. I think it’s a French thing.

It was a nice surprise to see an old friend from Totowa, whom I’ve played against 20 plus years ago. She was quite a player back then and still is today, whipping my behind on the court easily. I had so much fun with her and her friends from Morris Plains and Whippany. It was late for the Whippany player and she could hard keep a straight face, making the rest of us laugh along with her. She served the last point and we ended on a laughing note. Despite the lack luster play from my end, everyone had fun, which goes to say that it’s about enjoying the moment rather than how great one plays, although the others did have a nice workout the previous hours in less laughing matches.

As I was describing who is who on the court, the player from Budd Lake asked which one is the husband of the player sitting in the lounge. I started my usual long description, the one from Germany, the one that’s a beer lover, etc., etc. Then finally, he asked if it’s the one in the burgandy shirt? I said yes. Then he said – Why didn’t you say that in the first place? Because it would be too easy!

A player from Hoboken brought a friend from way over yonder – Bridgewater! Quite a ways away but we made it a fun night for him, packing it with lots of tennis and playing with old and new friends from NYC, Clifton, Warren and Wyckoff. I asked him for his last name so that I could cross off the one I wrote down for him – his Hoboken friend’s last name. The Hoboken player got a kick out of it and laughed so much. Someone said – “Ha ha, she’s his wife.” The Bridgewater player said – “She’s not a bad wife. At least she works!” and everyone laughed.

When I arrived at the club, I saw a woman getting out of her car, looking and smiling at me and saying Hi. As I stood by my car, trying to unload a trunkful of supplies, I stared and said hi back, thinking hmm who is this friendly newcomer and waited for her to introduce herself. I finally walked a few steps towards her, when she started to say something and I finally realized it was a regular who comes every single Saturday, the tomboy and the psuedo wife of the Bridgewater player above. LOL – I thought I had a new customer! In her dress-up attire (for a communion), she just looked so stunning with her hair down, the nice outfit and the make-up that she didn’t even need. Funny, I’m always nicely surprised to see people in non-tennis attires. Well, the look was certainly becoming of her, from tomboy to hot babe! I only mean this in a flattering way and not derogatory.

A former regular from NYC who had been trying to make it to the parties for the past few months months finally made it tonight. Unfortunately he lasted only an hour of intense singles and was ready to call it the night. I would allow no such thing for a Tennis Buff and persuaded him to play another hour of singles with a player from Ridgewood. He gregariously agreed. He and they had a great time. He said that his son got into many sports and even wants to play basketball with him now. Dads can never pass up fleeting moments when a teenage child wants to do things with parents. Sooner than later, the child would venture off with his friends and those moments will be gone. So it’s only fitting to put everything aside.

The 2 friends who reunited in NJ the last couple of months, attended the party the same night finally. The West NY player’s wife and I enjoyed watching their match from up above. At one point he showed his mastery of soccer (his wife tells me he’s an excellent soccer player) by kicking the out ball over the net to the other side, with great control as if his foot was the racquet. He and his friend teamed up against players from NYC and Englewood for a game of brute strength of hard hitting. Why not, do it while you can! I encouraged his wife to take lessons, for she’s under 30 years young, a great age to start.

A newcomer from Wyckoff had a really great time tonight, meeting and playing different people. She liked the tennis party format, the group and the system I use for game matching using magnets with people’s names. After inquiring about the ones without the names, e.g., Angry Bird, Fat Cat, Skull and Bones, etc., she asked if she could bring her own. Of course, we like to see what people bring to represent themselves. I’m still waiting for the player from NYC to bring small beer mugs for her and her husband since the big beer mugs she brought as a joke covered nearly the entire board and everybody’s magnets LOL.

The father-to-be from North Bergen mentioned in last week’s newsletter became the proud father of a healthy and handsome baby boy, 7lbs. 11oz. this past Wednesday. Father, mother and baby are all doing fine. CONGRATULATIONS once again! He confessed he’s having tennis withdrawals. Well, that’s what happens when one goes from playing 3-4 times a week to none at all. I’m sure he’s getting a different kind of endorphin, one from fatherhood 🙂

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