Last Week’s Recap | Jan 31 – Feb 5, 2012

The parties were fun.

The best way for newcomers to be welcomed into the group is to attend the friendliest parties of the week. I figure, by the end of the week, what else is there for one to do but let your guard down and mingle with other tennis players on TGIF. Two newcomer friends from North Haledon and Paramus got together at the Friday party after a few years’ respite. A great addition to the group, they found us to be a friendly group, met a bunch of nice people, talked for a long while after they finished playing and said they would return.

A couple of snowbirds were in town and dropped in to see some old friends. To their surprise, they didn’t as see many as they had expected but were just as happy meeting new ones, who were just as friendly and fun.

Some of the best moments happen at check-in time.

The first to arrive a few minutes before 9 PM were 2 very cheerful newcomer friends from Fort Lee. As I checked them in and gave out their court assignments, one noticed a name on another court assignment and said something. I asked “Oh that’s your husband’s name?” She said “No, that is my husband.”

I thought it would be a major coincidence that she would know this person with a very uncommon name. I asked for her husband’s last name since she has a different last name. Lo and behold – it’s the same person. Still in disbelief I asked again in great excitement “Really, this is your husband?” She said – Yes, but he doesn’t know that she was attending the party with a friend, they don’t want to play together and he would probably be surprised. By this time I was happily surprised and pleased. Filled with excitement, I couldn’t wait for the husband to arrive.

The next to arrive were last week’s newcomer and her husband regular from NYC featured in last week’s Saturday news. I introduced the couple to the Fort Lee newcomers, who then walked around the corner to wait for their session to start. Within seconds the Fort Lee husband arrived with a newcomer friend. He attempted to walk closer to the edge of the reception desk where I normally check people in.

I blocked his path and rounded them back away from the check-in point. He had a look of shock, in reaction to my odd behavior. I began to introduce him and his friend to the NYC couple. Then I called to his wife and her friend to join us at the reception. You can just imagine the moment of truth! It was the best surprise and one of the best party nights with a twist!

Later I thought it would be fun to match the NYC couple and introduce the wife to some of the regulars that her husband know at the parties: 2 regulars from the Bronx and Cliffside Park. The Cliffside Park player (who coincidentally attended the same university as the husband) reported that the NYC husband now has competition – his wife! Just an example of how nice she is: during their match the first hour, the wife hit a volley at the opponent for a winner at a safe distance many feet away. From upstairs I could see she put her hand up to her mouth, lifted up her shoulder as if she was saying – Oops, I’m sorry. The husband is one of the nicest people, his wife is just as nice. Need confirmation? Come meet them at the parties! Everyone who has met them can vouch to that.

On a funny side, I asked a recent newcomer from Newark how she finds her work as assistant professor at Rutgers University. She told of an interesting story. She notices that during exams, 53 of 55 students in the class sit very close together. So she came up with 2 different tests and found that there are students who give the same multiple-choice answers even though they had different order of questions. Throughout her story, all I could do was picture 53 people in a football huddle and couldn’t stop laughing.

I rarely cancel parties unless the club is closed or the roads or the weather are treacherous, but I broke our record of annual Super Bowl Sunday Tennis Parties by not having one this year. We could have had one had the players signed up earlier. The RSVP’s trickled in throughout the day on Sunday, too close to the 5 PM start time. Hopefully, players will be more proactive and sign up earlier next time.

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