LAST WEEK’S RECAP | April 3 – 8, 2012

The party was fun.

It was great fun to watch the matches. Unlike the busy weekend parties, I had less to do and more time to enjoy watching the nice pairings.

I started out feeling ambivalent about matching up players from the Bronx, Riverdale, Clifton and Fort Lee. But after watching only a few games, my fears turned into excitement as great points started to emerge with the perfect pairings. One player reported – “It was very evenly matched – two long sets and a tiebreaker at the end and 2 hrs were up. Good time. Yes, … [the only female player on the court] was good – she can sure smack the ball. [Another new player] was good as well.”

It looks like new camaraderie has just formed tonight with the 4 players from NYC, Edgewater and Hoboken. There were many good points, smiles, conversations (between points or changeovers), high fives and handshakes. Although I was on the top floor, it could feel the good vibes. As I stood at the exit door saying goodbye to everyone, they were all smiles and said – “See you next week!,” confirmation of my hunches about the fun times.

That same camaraderie also formed amongst players from Fort Lee, Hoboken, Jersey, North Bergen and Teaneck. They have been coming throughout the winter season and always look forward to playing each week. Interestingly, the retiree fits in with the rest of the youngsters who are in their 30’s. One never knows what’s in that box of chocolate.

A newcomer from Englewood, who has been attending the last few Saturday night parties, has just found midweek tennis. He’s having a good time returning to tennis recently and finding a niche in the Tennis Buffs family.

A regular from Jersey City was enjoying his time for a month while his family was away on a family visit. Not knowing that his family was back, I reached out to him to fill one last spot but I felt very guilty once I found out. With his easy ways and great attitude, he somehow made me feel allright. I’m glad he’s got a good sense of humor.

It was just so much fun watching everyone. They’re all my stars. Pardon my excitement but for me it was like being at the Grand Slams each week at all the parties!

A couple of Fridays ago a former regular who has been MIA for 4 years stopped by to say hello on his way home from work in Somerset. What a nice surprise, it was just great to see an old friend (he’s actually young, early 30’s) and catch up on news. Then a couple of days later on Tuesday night, another player from Jersey City returned to play on Tuesday night. It was a big coincidence that they both were part of the 4 musketeers, went away for a while and returned in the same 7-day period! It was just great.

Also couple of Fridays ago, a player from Teaneck scraped her knee badly on the court and I was quite concerned. But she said she was allright, it was more her wrist. Then she told me not to worry, she’s had it worse. Once she hurt her lip and went to her classroom the next day with a swollen lip. One of her high school students asked – “Who did that to you? Do you want me to take care of them?” What a funny gesture from a student to want to take care of his teacher, not that beating up someone is a good thing. The Teaneck player reported she’s doing fine, no broken bones. Whew, that student won’t need to be looking for Enemy #1….

A player from Rutherford keeps bringing a friend, and another friend, and so on and so on. (Remember the Faberge commercial, if you’re old enough that is?) This week she introduced a friend from Paramus, who’s just as enthusiastic about tennis as the rest of her friends. It’s just funny to watch them all become one of the Tennis Buffs. After the Paramus player replied to my email requesting for her bio, she ended with – “Tell me about you!” Now that was the first time anyone has ever asked me, which I thought was so sweet. She turned out to be as young, energectic and peppy as the way her email sounded.

A newcomer from West Orange was just as enthusiastic about tennis and happy to meet the group. He reported that “his arm was dead” by the end of the evening, he got to hit so many balls! Another nice addition to our growing group.

I like seeing exchanges between players especially when they’re gelling so well. Four players from Bloomfield, Chattam, Paramus and West Orange, were chatting on the court. The male player is expecting a baby and said something to the effect that childbirth is taxing or painful. (I can’t seem to remember the exact situation.) The player with 3-year-old twins nearly bursted out laughing – “Oh really, and how would you know that?” And she told of her experience about how towards the end of her due date, she was not going to be left at home waiting for her husband and followed her husband everywhere, who even traveled out of town, coaching sports teams. It was a very funny few minutes during the tennis match changeovers. All 4 players were laughing and gelling as a newly met group. The male player took it all in stride. He also was considerate enough to let me know in advance when he signed up for tonight that he and his wife are expecting and that if he doesn’t show up last minute, I’ll know where he is. If this happy event happened this past few days, Congratulations!

The ladies from NYC were back! As usual, when they RSVP’d during the week, I sent out feelers to all the players that like to play these ladies. And the NJ/NY players complied and had a great time.

A newcomer from Fort Lee arrived at the party and said – “I’m here to do the 8pm-1am.” What an interesting way to sign up. He’s another enthusiastic player, who heard about our parties through a sportswriter friend from Englewood. There have been so many nice additions to the group, I’m very happy with how many nice people we have gained over the years.

I asked that if there’s enough interest during the Passover/Easter Sunday, we will play. Although there was, by the time Sunday rolled around too many had made other plans. So we spent a nice Sunday doing other nice things.

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