Last Week’s Recap | Jan 17 – 15, 2012

TUESDAY (Jan 17th)
After a 2-3-year break to play golf, a player from Fort Lee returned to tennis a couple of months ago and more frequently a couple of weeks ago. He’s enjoying tennis again, finding it a treat to have a moment off from being a first-time dad to a 2-month newborn. Congratulations!

A player from Wyckoff had a great time. His usual well-kept hair stood out of place as he ran for every ball and playing well as his opponents hit balls into corners, down the middle, etc. Surely he went home feeling satisfied from a great workout.

A player from Hoboken said that he would be ok with giving his spot to someone else this week. “16 hours at work each of the past two days has me a little tired.” Young people are supposed to work hard and play hard. No way was I going to give his spot away. I’m glad he played, for I enjoyed watching every minute of his match and he — an ex-college player in mid 20’s — showed no sign of fatigue.

There’s always improv going on Friday nights. One night as I was giving out court assignments in the crowded lounge and couldn’t easily locate players, the players decided to have a little fun with me. They answered to a name that wasn’t theirs. So I said will the real so-and-so please raise your hand. A regular from Roxbury then said “Will the real Slim Shady please stand up” and I couldn’t remember where that came from. He reports:

“Slim Shady is the alter ego of hip hop artist, Marshall Mathers, more commonly know by his stage name Eminem. One of his songs has the title and chorus “will the real slim shady please stand up,” a line that is in part borrowed from the game show “to tell the truth”. The song was one of his first big hits, but became ingrained in pop culture when he sang it at the Grammies while over 100 lookalikes marched into the auditorium. Like most of his songs it is full of obscenities and vulgar references to many of his pop culture peers, but it is quite a catchy tune. If I remember I will play it for you the next time I am there and on a break, I have it on my phone.” Of course, not that it has anything to do with tennis but it’s fun to pass the time by during a tennis break.

Two players from Bloomfield met 6-7 years ago and are married with a set of 3-year-old twins. Usually friendly with the rest of the group, tonight they kept to themselves the first couple of hours, like love birds during break and on the court bench after their matches. (For a happy marriage, they do not play on the same court.) It was really wonderful to see how they’re still in love after all this time.

I received 2 very nice emails when I got home after the Friday party from 2 player. The Ridgewood player reported: “Thanks Penny. That was fun. Had a great 3rd set. Funny how it works sometimes that given a certain partner or the dynamic of the group I play better and the games overall are better. But it was fun all around! Folks I played with were all nice and good sports! Thank you!” The Morristown player reported he had fun playing the whole night and there were a lot of “quality players.” He also said: “[a player] asked me to play singles with him at some place in Wayne. I did have fun on the sitting out hour talking to the guy who went to Spain and who was showing us the pictures on the iPhone. I liked him. He and I also talked about serving. Looks like we dodged the snow.”

A few weeks ago a player from PA, originally from West Orange, attended the party during the holidays. He told his former high school friend saying that it’s a friendly group and there are a lot of good players. The high school friend, from Belleville, decided to give it a try and had a great time and fit right in. A great addition to the group, he said he will return.

A newcomer from Carlstadt said she had a nice time. She has never heard of us even though her cousin from Montclair is a regular. I was surprised he hadn’t told her before.

Friday night parties have players of all ages and levels, from advanced beginner to former college level (if there is such a word), from 20’s to 70’s, much like Saturday night parties. It is a great night of tennis where people can meet other players and share a night of tennis without feeling the pressure of having to perform at a certain level.

It was like “Everybody Bring a Friend Night.” A player from Weehawken brought a former high school tennis teammate from NYC, who’s finishing up his last semester at NYU. A player from Jersey City brought 2 friends, also from Jersey City. A player from Astoria brought 3 friends from Astoria and NYC. No one brought 4 or more friends.

The 2 former college friends from Cresskill and Livingston from last Sunday continued their escapade of their recent reunion, making up for their 10-year lapse.

The Astoria newcomers really enjoyed playing and meeting new friends and I really enjoyed meeting them. Hope they will return!

In the mix of the Jersey City newcomers was a player from Fort Lee who played with them a couple of hours. He said he didn’t even like tennis growing up. He grew up in Chicago with a former college tennis player mom who coaxed him into playing. A humble good player, he is playing for exercise without caring whether he wins or loses. A great attitude!

It was a perfect and fun night to play friends against friends. I really enjoyed watching the results of that arrangement.

It was great getting to know the newcomers, watching them meet new friends. At the end of the night there were pockets of gathering place for old and new friends around the front desk, some in their usual spot on the floor in front of court 4 and others in the lounge, saying their farewell. It will be a long time before they see each other again, probably next week.

It was a fun party.

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