LAST WEEK’S RECAP | April 29 – May 5, 2013

A player returned from her weekend trip to England and probably didn’t have time to stop by the bank. As she was counting out quarters and dimes to pay me, the player from Budd Lake jokingly said – “I’d better pay you now before the quarters come!” and everyone burst into laughter.

A player from Tenafly showed some trapeze and trapping skills, catching a flying tennis ball thrown into the air by his opponent (also from Tenafly) by running, jumping at the right moment, opening the pocket of his shorts and catching the flying ball. After he did this several times, the opponent told me that the ball catcher has been doing this for a while. A man with many talents….

This seems to be a common habit amongst tennis players, hanging out in the parking lot after tennis is over and the club is closed. I remember one very cold night, in the 20’s, a group of players talked in front of Tiger Tennis for nearly an hour. The player, originally from Canada, now from Nyack, wore just a fall jacket. I stayed with them for only 5 minutes but woke up very sick the next day.

This past Tuesday was much warmer and I was able to stay and talk to 3 retirees (an actuary, a businessman and a head of research at an investment firm), who live the life of leisure, whom I enjoy being around, as I secretly hope that I will gain their wisdom through osmosis. The researcher skipped yoga for the 2nd time to attend. His wife who takes yoga with him asked – What will I tell the yoga instructor this time? She could say – He’s playing hookie!

Two players from Cresskill and Edgewater seemed like old friends when they arrived and immediately started to talk. Much like how any friendships start, they just clicked after having met just a week ago.

It was a great match with players from the Bronx, NYC, Cresskill and Edgewater. When the long rally at net ended with the ball caught at the throat of the racquet by the player from the Bronx, everyone stopped to discuss the point, which is lost by the player who caught it.

A young player from Jersey City was playing really well, hitting one bomb after another. Then when he broke his streak, hitting an overhead way long to the back curtain, surprising himself and his partner, who looked at each other in bewilderment. They exchanged a couple of words, laughed it off and continued the fun.

The mixed doubles was as much fun as mixed doubles can be, competitive and yet friendly, as noticeable by the smiles on the court. The ladies from Fort Lee and Hoboken have played each other elsewhere and recognized each other. The men from Cresskill and Green Pond Lake also recognized each other from elsewhere. So it was a perfectly even match in more ways than one.

One of the evening’s highlights was when the player from Morristown brought her best friend from NYC (originally from Parsippany). They’ve done so many things together ever since they met in 7th grade (now 27 & 28 years young), attending tennis camp and doing things that best friends do. The minute they walked into the club tonight, everyone thought they were sisters. They walked the same, talked the same, laughed the same and have the same bright and happy spirit that lights up the room that everyone couldn’t help but notice them. At the 11pm hour, I was looking for them to give them the new court assignment, thinking that they had already come off the court from the previous hour. The player from Butler who met them earlier said – “You’d know if they were here, because you’d hear them laughing.” I asked why and he said – “That’s because they’re fun.” How very true.

Surprisingly, or maybe not, but the recent dad whose baby arrived a week and a half ago was already asking if there was “room for a tennis junkie” to play. A recent newcomer from NYC, also hooked on tennis said he was “DYING TO PLAY” but has friends and family staying over to do the 5-Borough Bike Tour. True die-hards LOL.

Old NYC friends from a few years ago brought another friend from NYC who to Fort Lee moved a month. The Fort Lee player was the last to arrive, a little before the 9PM start time and had time to chat and have a snack. I noticed he was eating with his left hand and asked if he was lefty like one of his friends. He said that the third friend is also a lefty, which I had forgotten. Three friends, all lefty, can start a lefty club. At the end of the party I shared that with all the friends and another player from NYC who drove them and a fun topic of conversation about lefties got started. I looked up about lefties and found interesting facts on a website:
“Between 10-12% of people on earth are lefties.” “Mothers who are over 40 at the time of a child’s birth are 128% more likely to have a left-handed baby than a woman in her 20s.”

A player from NYC got to hit one-on-one with his high school best friend from NYC, and then later with Dwight. It’s amazing how happy one can get from just hitting. He’s been just hitting for the last 3 months at the parties. I’m glad we have other people in the group who want to do same.

At the beginning of the party I was happy to see the wife of a recent from Eastchester and their friend from Yonkers, who were able to join him this week. They all had fun. At the end of the party he said he won’t be able to come to the party for a while because he will be working the late shift again. I was sad until he said that it won’t be forever because he’ll be alternating shifts with co-workers. I gave a little smile as there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. He has sort of grown on me after several weeks of seeing him and his down-to-earth personality. I hope his co-worker will like working late nights and take the shift back.

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