Sunday, September 16, 2012

Tennis 2012: Le Club team party

Friday night our 4.0 team celebrated the season at Jessica's house. Her husband, Dennis, grilled a tenderloin — a huge chunk of meat. Red meat and red wine (especially together) are two things that always remind me how good life is.

It appeared that cheese was the unofficial theme of the evening. Glenna brought cheese, cheese, and cheese (I don't remember the three kinds, except that I ate them all while we drank wine on the patio). And Rebekah made cheesy potatoes and a potato salad — a bit of a digression from her assigned side, hummus.

Jessica's home is beautiful, and we ate dinner by the fireplace, with Goldens Copper and Toby wandering by to check out the scene. At some point, Kim jokingly suggested that we each say something nice about each person in the room.

Rebekah got really into this, raising and waving her hand: "Ooh — and Ann: I really like how you set up courts and you include everybody!" She was not even deterred by Kim and Mary singing Kumbaya.

In the spirit of good sportsmanship, I'll be a team player. Here goes:

Ann: I'll always remember that you gave me my first shot at 4.0 and my first experience with combo. Thank you for always being so generous and welcoming.

Glenna: You have incredible poise and truly know how to calm people down. (I wasn't joking about how helpful you were at the first match.) I also respect your forehand and knowledge of cheese.

Jessica: I love your decisiveness in managing a team of strong-willed women. Thank you for captaining a great season and hosting a wonderful party. And someday I hope to hit as many down-the-line shots as you do.

Kim: We already know you're a great tennis player. But I knew we'd be friends when we talked about sandwiches and sleeping pills after my first match. I love being your token Asian friend even though I'm only good at basic math.

Kristen: In addition to having an enviable game, you never lose your mind when you play tennis. This is truly impressive and I've learned a lot from your calm, no-nonsense court presence.

Mary: You are one of the funniest people I've ever met: the garage jokes never got old. And I'm impressed by anyone who tells their opponents, "I'm not going to play a third set."

Nora: You give spot-on advice in matters of the heart. Our talk at Western was one of the high points of my season. (Of course, the way we got treated at Western was one of the low points, but why focus on the negative?)

Patrice: How lucky was I that we got thrown together four seasons ago? So many of my best tennis experiences have been with you, and you're a dear friend, Nooni.

Rebecca: You are a great player and so unbelievably cheerful. Really, I would not believe it if I didn't aleady know you from high school. And thanks for supplying the entire team with Gatorade at the Milwaukee Country Club match. You're a good egg.

Rebekah: Your excellent backhand is rivaled only by your cheesy potatoes. And your enthusiasm about this blog is so encouraging (writing can be a lonely pursuit — much less so with an audience).

Sandy: You're a terrific player, but I am even more blown away by your team spirit. You go the distance to support your teammates, and you never have an unkind thing to say about anyone (even if you did nickname me "Mother").

Tash: On and off the court, I admire your dynamic and dramatic personality. And I applaud your courage in drinking both beer and wine. Regardless of the college sayings, the grain and the grape make a daunting combination.


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