The Antisocial Blogger...

Some Caffeine Court blog stats:

Number of years blogging: 2

Number of bloggers I've met face to face: 0

Number of bloggers I've actually had a conversation with: 3

Pretty sad huh?

But I HAVE been making progress! As of a few months ago the number of bloggers I've actually had a conversation with was at ZERO.

So now it's time for a little contest.

Can you guess which 3 bloggers I
talked to on the phone?

I'll give you some hints.

Blogger #1 is a tennis player and mom to one gorgeous daughter. She's a world traveler and you could bounce a quarter off her husband's abs.

Here's a quote from her blog: Finally living my happily ever after in my own little tropical paradise. I am a mother first, recently married, I curse a lot, and yeah we're just a little nuts.

Blogger #2 is a complete hoot. This girl is pure energy and personality. You can't help but smile when you talk to her. Oh, and she's sooo SOUTHERN. I felt like Carmela Soprano compared to her.

Here's a quote from HER blog: "a willingly transplanted Midwestern girl living in the South." "...you'll either love me or hate me, but you'll laugh either way."

I am most ashamed that I have never met Blogger #3 in person. She lives 5 minutes from my house. She is a runner and an avid reader. She also writes for a couple of websites under an alias. We discussed attending BlogHer together this summer and one day VERY soon, we are going to meet for coffee.

And finally, a hint from Blogger #3's blog: "A place where I can vent about mommy hood without annoying my husband."

So there you have it.

Just to make things interesting, I'm going to offer a little prize to one random commenter who attempts to guess the identities of Bloggers 1, 2 and 3.

In keeping with the theme of my blog, the lucky winner will receive a $25 Starbucks Gift Card!!!

*APPLAUSE* yeah, I know, $25 doesn't get you far at Starbucks...but what do you expect from me? I'm not made of money!

Here are the rules.

1. If you happen to be Blogger 1, 2 or 3, you can't enter. (Sorry, it's the price you pay for being my friend...)

2. If you are related to me and you know the answer, you can't enter. But I WILL buy you a latte the next time I visit. If you DO guess and ruin the contest, I'll kick your butt next time I visit.

3. The contest ends Sunday, November 1st at 11:59 PM.

Now a little legal junk:

Caffeine Court is not liable for any burnt tongues or over caffeination and jitters caused by products purchased with the Starbucks gift card. Also, remember that there are alot of empty calories in some of those triple pump frappuccinos.

Contest not valid in Bangladesh, Greenland and the Czech Republic. Many will enter, one will win.

Let the games begin!!!


Torn Between Two Sluggers...

Tonight's the night...game one of the Turnpike Series...Yanks vs. Phils!! And I'm torn...I feel like Richard Williams must feel when Serena and Venus play each other in the Ladies' Finals at Wimbledon.

My two favorite baseball teams have both risen to the top, but only one will be World Series Champion.

Who do I pick? The team I loved and watched many times at Veteran's Stadium while growing up in West Chester, Pennsylvania, or the local favorite here in Northern Jersey?

Who do I choose???

I feel like Meryl Streep in "Sophie's Choice."

Sometimes life can be very, very, cruel.


The Internet and Me: A Love Story

The other night, as I sat typing away on my laptop pretending to watch the Yankees game, I realized how much the internet has meant to me over the years.

A little video montage played in my head, picture it with Kenny Rogers, singing softly in the background. Do you hear it? NO??? Try turning up the volume on your computer. Hear it now?? There you go!!

Flashback...1995, me, with my then boyfriend (now husband's laptop) dialing up and discovering the joys of AOL. 1997...engaged and planning my wedding on "The Knot."

Fast forward to 1999 and I'm sitting with an infant on my lap, looking at the Baby Center message boards and playing "Strike a Match" on Boxer Jam while nursing my new daughter.

Oh look! There I am ordering all my Christmas gifts on Amazon to avoid bringing a 3 month old to the mall! There I am again, getting scolded by my husband for having Amazon wrap all my presents for my at $3.50 per gift!!

It's now 2006 and I discover the world of blogs. See me sit at a desk reading "Suburban Cupcake."

Time flies by, it is now 2007, I look a little older, but I'm still on-line...this time starting my own blog.

The love affair continues into 2009. My blog is now 2 years old, and I have found yet another love. Facebook. Not the Facebook where I look at other people's pictures and reconnect.

Oh noooo. The Facebook that's a "Club Penquin" for adults. The world of Farmville (NOT Farm Town) Island Paradise and Bejeweled.

Oh and don't forget to notice my husband and children in the background, looking neglected.

The video wouldn't be complete without that.

I would be remiss, if I neglected to mention my BlackBerry. Words can't express the love I feel for my sweet, sweet little BlackBerry.

If find myself getting very emotional, so I leave you with Kenny....


If you want to do something right...

you HAVE to do it yourself!!

Lately there has been critiquing of certain blogs by other bloggers. It's kind of turned into a big drama, so I've decided that I'm going to critique my own blog and that way no one else has to do it for me.

Here goes:

How about Jill over at Caffeine Court? What a bore!! She is so obsessed with boots! And tennis! Who the hell CARES if she won a tennis match? Who wants to hear about the stupid byotches on her team?

What kind of psycho has THREE dogs AND a cat?!!! That's just gross.

Oh and the way she criticizes Obama! Obama is a wonderful man! She must be very, VERY selfish to oppose health care reform.

To top it off, she live in JERSEY. I mean need I say more?!!!

I won't even go into her grammar! Has she ever heard of spellcheck, or editing? What a lazy wench. She has such a messy closet. She should spend less time on Facebook and more time cleaning up her house.

And she's always posting pictures of her hair. Once again...WHO CARES ABOUT YOUR HAIR JILL!!!??? So annoying.

And her clothes! She dresses like a 12 year old boy. Get rid of the hoodies and jeans, put on something cute woman!!! Have some pride.

I could go on and on. Bottom line is, her blog sucks.

Once more thing...she has a fat stomach. Maybe she should do some sit-ups.

There you go.

If you have anything to add, just click the little comment button.


Caffeine Court: It's All About ME!!!

This is MY blog, so I'm going to talk about ME. When I'm done you can talk about yourself, OR we can keep talking about ME.

The following is stuff that I've been dealing with.

My hair: After trying to grow it long, I caved and now it's SHORT again. Oh well. I can spend a few months trying to grow it out again, and then I'm sure I'll butcher it again. That's just what I do.

My dogs: It appears that the flea infestation of my home is under control. On Monday I was ready to snap, but I soldiered on...spraying, vacuuming, shampooing and washing. Please pray for us. If they come back I might just lose my sh*t.

Tennis: Things in the tennis department are good. I might have to get a sports agent to negotiate my team play. There's already wheeling and dealing going on for the Spring season, and I'm not sure I'm prepared to handle it. It's a pressure cooker and I have alot of demands that I want met. I hope I make the right choice.

Fashion: I've had a fixation on the J. Crew catalog and I can't stop looking at it. I wonder how I would look wearing 3 chunky necklaces, a ruffly shirt, boyfriend jeans, bright ankle socks and pumps. I think I know the answer. Only 20 year old hot models can pull off that look. Middle aged housewives look asinine in 3 chunky necklaces, a ruffly shirt, boyfriend jeans, bright ankle socks and pumps.

So there you go. I'll bet this post makes you long for one of my political rants. I've been holding off on that. Why? Because some of the nuttiness that's been going on is quite frankly too much for me to take, so I'll just stick to hair, pets, sports and clothes.

Okay. Enough about me.

How are YOU?


If it's none of my business...


We live in an age where people like to live in the public eye. Facebook, Twitter, blogs. We can all be celebrities in our own little realm. The thing with being a celebrity is...we lose our privacy. ESPECIALLY when we CHOOSE to put it out there.

Here are some examples. My neighbor and his wife love (let's call them Bob and Darlene) to have arguments on Facebook.

Here is an actual example of one of their Facebook exchanges:

Bob status update: Hungover. Had too much to drink last night and told wifey she needs to lose weight. Sorry babe...I love u.

Diane: Looks like someone needs to go to AA.
Diane's friend: He's an a**hole!!
Diane: Yeah, he was drinking tequila all afternoon and then said I shouldn't wear jeans because it made my butt look big.

Hello!!! Do you people know that people read Facebook? Do we need to know about your marital conflict and drinking problem?! (Actually, it's pretty interesting...keep up the good work!)

Or, there are those who blog about INTIMATE relationship details, and then in the next post, complain that their lives are nobody else's business and that everyone should mind their own business. Hey! You just TOLD us everything, so if someone asks how you are doign, don't get all huffy. YOU put it out there!

Sooo, since I'm not a hypocrite, feel free to ask me about my dogs' flea problem, my boot obsession, or my messy house. There are other issues in my life, but don't ask about them. UNLESS, of course, I Tweet, Facebook or blog about it.

In which case, it's all fair game.



I have to share with you my latest internet find: Covet.

Here's a little description straight off their website:

Covet is your personal shopper, searching thousands of brands from hundreds of online stores to find the most coveted fashion in your style. your size. On sale. Covet's revolutionary Stylyzer(TM) visually learns your individual style preferences. Based on your subscription frequency, you'll get personalized emails full of items we think you'll love. At Covet we combine style, visual technology and the convenience of email to provide the most personalized shopping experience on the web.

How does it work?

You'll start with the Stylyzer(TM). We'll learn your preferences from a series of images that ask 'Which one is more your style?' Then you'll tell us what sizes you wear so we can shop for you. Once you've completed your registration, we'll show you your Stylyzer(TM) results. (If you're a style chameleon too complex to comprehend, don't worry. We'll let you create your own style profile.) We can get to know you even more when you complete the (completely optional but really cool) color, pattern, and silhouette preference pages. You can even tell us what brands you love (and what brands you hate). It doesn't stop there. Let's maintain our relationship via email. You'll tell us when we mess up (and send you something you don't love). Then we'll do our best to make it up to you next time.

Here were my results:

Sporty Eclectic
Sporty Modern

Sporty Conservative

I guess that means I'm quite the sporty gal....

Once you've determined your style, you get occasional e-mails with notifications of sales on fashion that they think you might like based on your profile.

Some of the brands include, Athleta, Loeffler Randall, Tory Burch, French Connection, Miss Sixty and even Mossimo at Target!!

I love the way most of their choices match my style perfectly!!

So go ahead, check it out. Taking the test is actually fun and they really nail it.

Then let me know what you think.


Boys and their Toys...

I walked out my front door a few days ago, and saw the 11 year old boy across the street holding a large rifle. (It looked EXACTLY like the one in the picture) He was pointing it at the house next door to him.

He looked up and saw me looking at him and SLITHERED into his back yard. I was baffled, so I called one of my friends who has sons who are friends with this boy.

"Is that Tommy Smith (not his real name) you're talking about?" she asked, "he was just playing with an airsoft rifle! It's no bit deal."

"An airsoft rifle?" I asked, "Are those dangerous?" "Oh no," she replied, "my boys play with them in the neighborhood all the time...as long as they have their protective equipment on they're fine."

"Oh, okay", I said. "What about if someone DOESN'T have protective equipment on? Can they get hurt then?"

She sounded annoyed. "Jill, THEY'RE BOYS...it's all about guns and knives. There's nothing you can do about it. It's a good thing you have girls."

WTF? Boys are all about guns and knives? There's nothing I can do about it? It's all cool as long as we wear our protective equipment? I don't have protective equipment! Neither do my daughters, who play on the same street where this kid was standing pointing his airsoft rifle at the house next door. My cat doesn't walk around wearing safety goggles and a bullet proof vest! We don't live in the country with 2 acres of land between each lot. We live in a neighborhood of 50' x 150' lots!

Saying boys are all about guns and there's nothing you can do about it sounds pretty f-in asinine to me. I guess when her sons are 16 and they want to smoke some pot and have a few beers she can say, "teenagers are all about getting stoned and drunk, there's nothing you can do about it!!" Duh.

Go ahead lady, buy your sons airsoft guns, and then take them out to a field somewhere and let them shoot the crap out of each other...but if I see your son point his little toy at my house, or my kids, or even my frickin' cat, I'm going to grab the gun and point it at you...and you'd better be wearing your protective equipment when I do.

After all, I'm a pissed off middle aged housewife, I'm all about keeping my children safe, and there's nothing you can do about that.


Bleacher Talk...

While we're on the subject of Pop Warner Football I thought I'd tell you a little bit about a conversation I had at a game on Sunday afternoon.

I was sitting in the bleachers with a bunch of the moms and the subject of Facebook came up. Some of the gals are my Facebook friends, but apparently they aren't as into Facebook as some people (losers like me) are. "We don't have time for Facebook" one of the ladies said. "I only did it to reconnect with some old college friends" said another. I kept my mouth shut.

Then the subject went on to TV. Some of the ladies had actually seen the Jim and Pam wedding on last week's episode of "The Office." (Despite their incredibly busy lives.) I interjected, "Wasn't it funny when they did the dance like the wedding party dance on YouTube?" Silence. None of them had ever seen the YouTube wedding party dance.

Well alrighty then...

The subject then turned to gossiping about a local couples' recent divorce and a discussion of how one of my ladies spent all day Saturday lying on the couch hungover. I guess when you're unable to get off the couch for an entire day, it's pretty hard to sit up and log on to Facebook.

I wondered what these women would think of my Twitter account, or even worse...MY BLOG. I think that would put them over the edge.

Apparently spending time drinking heavily and gossiping is way more constructive and socially acceptable than social networking sites.

It definitely makes for better conversation.

So, the next time I hang with the chicks in the bleachers, I'll be sure to stick to subjects they like, bad teachers, parties, tennis (they DO like to talk tennis), working out and shopping.

Those are the rules of the bleachers...and I ALWAYS play by the rules.


Men are from Mars...

This was the first year my daughter attended the annual "Pop Warner Dance."

She was so excited. We went to the mall and got her a awesome new outfit and she and her friends were giddy with excitement as we pulled up to the local Knights of Columbus Hall for the big bash.

Since she's only in 5th grade I thought I'd take a look inside to make sure everything was cool before I left.

As I entered the dark, loud hall, I realized very quickly that everything was most definitely NOT cool.

It was a disaster.

There were over 100 kids packed into the room, and there were three men serving as chaperones, including the man at the door. Three men and 124 rowdy 5th and 6th graders!!! Not a good ratio.

I know the male mentality. How hard could it be? Rent a hall, get a D.J., invite every kid in town and we make a huge profit for Pop Warner. NOT SO SIMPLE.

I couldn't believe my eyes. Kids were dropping like flies. The tile floor was as slippery as an ice skating rink and covered in spilt soda. Boys were pushing and shoving each other, kids were piled up on the dance floor slam dancing. Other kids were running out into the parking lot.

I was freaking out. There was no way in HELL I was leaving my daughter in that mosh pit. A friend of mine had the same horrified look on her face that I did.

We decided to take action.

We informed the men that we were going to "hang out for a bit" just to make sure things were under control. They assured us that they had a handle on things as bodies hurled past us and children bolted out the front door. "It's okay, we assured them, we WANT to help...we INSIST!"

At that point we began tending to the wounded. One boy was kicked and thrown against a wall, another fell on the slippery floor and had a black eye and a huge cut across his forehead. I felt like it was a scene out of "Platoon."

One kid spilled an entire glass of soda all over the D.J.'s computer, another kid took the raffle basket and threw the tickets all over the floor, balloons were popping and the conga line was trampling over anyone who got in the way. Did I mention the hanky panky going on in the dark corners of the dance floor? I was too busy putting ice on kids' injuries to throw cold water on the horny 6th graders. That was a job for the coaches.

By the time 9 o'clock rolled around I was ready for a stiff drink. The good news is...no one was killed and no one got pregnant.

The bad news is, my child will never attend a Pop Warner Dance EVER again.

So, how was YOUR weekend?



And that's all I have to say about THAT. Not really, but I don't know if I feel like discussing it.

It's ridiculous!!

I'm not going to say anymore....

I'm puzzled, perplexed...

Wow, my fingers have blog Tourette's.

Okay. I'll stop.

Have a great weekend!


Fashion is my Life!

Well, kind of.

You'd never know by looking at me, but I LOVE fashion.

I don't dress like a model. As a matter of fact, you'll usually find me in jeans and a sweater or fleece, but under this drab exterior lies the heart of a shopaholic.

When at the magazine rack I go right past the home decor, cooking and exercise magazines and head right towards Harper's, Lucky and Elle. I never pass up an In Style or a People Style Watch.

Sometimes I stay up into the wee hours of the morning on the laptop looking at celebrity outfits and Polyvore. Sometimes I sit on the couch, in a trance staring at the Garnet Hill and J. Jill Catalogs.

My idea of heaven is a leisurely walk through Nordstrom looking at the shoes, the jewelry, and the clothing displays. I love all the colors, the textures, I love it ALL!

My favorite stores these days are Anthropologie and J.Crew. Their products are like little works of art. I absolutely adore just about everything in those stores.

Here's a fun fact...did you know that Anthropologie Stores were designed to appeal to 30- to 40-something affluent professional women with total family annual income above $200,000? Take a look at the price tags in the store and it becomes abundantly clear.

If I had an unlimited budget I would have a closet full of cashmere ruffled cardigans, textured ribbon tees, and vintage matchstick cords.

Since I DON'T have an unlimited budget, I have to be smart about my purchases.

When I glance into my closet and see some of the bad fashion choices I've made, it depresses me. Shoes I bought on sale, that hurt my feet, stupid trendy crap that I got at H&M, stretched out sweaters from Target. CHEAP!

Then I look at some of my good choices. My Barbour Eskdale barn jacket that I've worn for YEARS. My Helen Ficalora initial charm that I wear almost everyday. My Coach Zoe bag that cost me a bundle, but that I carry ALL THE TIME. These were wise purchases, and I feel no regret that I made them.

If you've been following me on Twitter, you know I am now on a quest for the perfect pair of winter everyday boots. I could just run to the mall and grab something that's okay, but not great. I don't want to settle. I want boots that I LOVE.

I'm on a mission people.

In the meantime, I'll settle for stalking the sale racks at Anthro and J.Crew, waiting and watching for those $75 t-shirts to go on clearance and living the life of an undercover fashionista...with caviar dreams, and a beer budget.


Remember, we're all in this together...

In my last post I discussed the Nestle Family blogger event and the backlash it caused. I want to draw attention to my favorite comment on this post.

From Kate at WHIMSYBITS:

I used to do a lot of boycotting when I was younger (college age). I still think it can be a worthwhile idea...but I try to support GOOD companies instead.

I love to support local businesses and small online businesses (especially if it helps another mom!). If I read or hear about a company that has a particularly humanitarian mission (i.e. Tom's shoes...they give away a pair for every pair purchase...Kona Africa Bikes, etc.) I try to give them my business.

There is enough negativity in the world...I'd rather lend support to those that get it right than constantly looking for who's getting it wrong.

What a great attitude! Thanks Kate. You are a wise woman indeed!


Living the Simple Life

Unless you've been living under a Twitter/Blogger rock the big subject of the past few days is the Nestle Family blogger event. Nestle paid for a group of bloggers to fly out to their headquarters for an all expenses paid weekend to participate in a forum to discuss Nestle's products. I'm sure part of Nestle's goal was to get feedback from their consumers and part of it was to get some cheap PR. Whatever.

What ensued has been quite a controversy in the blog world and on Twitter. People are OUTRAGED that these bloggers attended this event and alot of angry words were thrown around.

The good news for me is that I got quite an education about some of Nestle's business practices. I knew that they have been highly criticized for marketing baby formula to third world countries, I knew a little about the controversy surrounding the company using cocoa harvested by forced labor. I didn't realize they are the most boycotted company on earth. Wow. Hey, you learn something new everyday.

This got me thinking, hmmm. What other companies should I question?

What can I feel good about buying? So I did a little research.

Here are some of the other companies with questionable practices:

Altria (Philip Morris/Kraft/Nabisco)
Campbell Soup (Pepperidge Farm, Godiva's)
ConAgra (Beatrice, Butterball, Hunts, Redenbacher)*
Equal/Nutrasweet (Monsanto)*
Nestle Purina* (Nescafe, Libby's, Stouffer's)
Smithfield Foods
Tyson Foods/IBP Meats
Archer Daniels
Burger King
Country Time
Dean Foods (Borden & other dairy brands)
Del Monte
General Foods
Hannaford Bros
Interstate Bakeries
KFC/Long John Silver/Taco Bell
Kroger Stores
Lipton [BW]
Pizza Hut
Post Foods
Procter & Gamble
Publix Supermarkets
Sara Lee
Warner Lambert

DuPont* (Lycra)
JC Penney
May's* (Robinson May, Lord & Taylor)
Abercrombie & Fitch
Big Lots (Pic'n Save)
Federated (Bloomies, Macy's, the Bon)
Fruit of the Loom
J. Crew
Jones Apparel
Lands' End
Levi Strauss
Liz Claiborne
Phillips Van Heusen
Polo Ralph Lauren
Sara Lee (Playtex, WonderBra, Sheer Energy) Target
TJ Maxx/Marshall's
Victoria's Secret (Limited Stores)
Winners (TJX Canada)

According to my research, if I want to be a responsible consumer the only clothing I can buy is Patagonia, I will have to shop at my local farmer's market or grow my own veggies. I cannot take drugs from ANY pharmaceutical company, I can only watch PBS or listen to NPR and rather than purchase gas, I need to bicycle or walk.

I don't know what the answer is. Maybe my life and the lives of countless others would be better if we all lived a simpler life and the world wasn't run by crooked politicians and unethical corporations.

I do know that calling other people ignorant isn't the answer.

Discussing these issues can help. Educating ourselves and taking action where we deem necessary CAN make a difference. (I hope.)

So let's talk. What do you think? Are there any companies you boycott? Have you learned anything from this controversy?

Are you going to change the way you shop as a result of this discussion?

Talk to me...


I'm not alone....

From yesterday's New York Times Style Section...

By Michelle Slatalla

AS I turned into the parking lot at the tennis club the other day, I pulled my visor over my face and scooched down real low in the driver’s seat so nobody on my team would see me.

They’ve been after me for weeks, and they’re like: “Mi-chelle, come on. We need you in the lineup.”

They are so peer pressure-y! They totally know I’m not ready yet because I hurt my wrist and now I have to learn to serve with my other hand. It could take years — ask anybody — for a former leftie like me to develop a right-handed serve that’s good enough for competitive play.

So I sneaked out of the car. Then I crab-walked, all hunched over, toward the privacy of the far court, where one of the club’s pros, Rafael, would help me work on my serve. I did not get far.


Oh no. Janet. My captain.

“Are you going to play in the match next week?” she yelled at me from Court Three, where she was playing doubles. I scuttled past. “Hey, come back here! Are you even on this team?”

This was so embarrassing. I pretended I didn’t notice her, which was a stretch, considering that she was barely four feet away and our eyes had locked. But whatever. I was trying to ignore her because I just wasn’t ready. I needed more time to heal.

Just then, luckily, I saw Stacey, my tennis idol and former doubles partner, standing up on the deck. She would have to protect me.

I scuttled toward her.

Then the worst thing ever happened. Stacey turned on me, too. “Yeah, are you ever going to play again?” she yelled from the deck.

Good question.

And before I answer it, I would like to make one thing clear. I know I am no longer in high school. But sometimes, tennis makes me feel as if I am.

Maybe it’s the whole team thing. The last time I felt the same overwhelming social pressure to belong to a group, I was a teenager. And not just belong — I don’t want to let the group down. I want to make a difference. It’s a powerful feeling. I know some people get it at their PTA or church or local militia or whatever. Not me.

With tennis, the team is me and I am the team. We are like a pack of wild dogs. I am sorry, but it is true. When one of us brings down a baby rhino we all get to feast on its tender, baby rhino flesh. And after that? We might get to go to the playoffs. Some day: a trophy.

Does this make me pathetic? I don’t care. This tennis team matters to me, deeply. I love you, dudes!

And yet, that is why it has taken me awhile to rejoin my pack.

“It’s been two years,” Stacey pointed out, somewhat disloyally as I clattered past her, my face crimson with shame.

“I’m ready to play,” I lie-whispered. “Any time the team needs me.”

But, dying inside, I slinked home as soon as I could. Later that afternoon, I was at my desk checking e-mail when a shock appeared in my inbox. It was from Janet.

She had put me in the lineup! OMG, OMG, OMG!

“I don’t think I can do this,” I said a few days later to Rafael, who also functions as our team coach.

“Why not?” he asked. “Are you sick?”

“No, scared.”

“Of what?” he asked.

“Embarrassing myself,” I said, kind of embarrassed to hear myself embarrassing myself in this way.

“You don’t need a hard serve to win,” he said. “All you need to do is get the ball over the net. Every time it comes to you. The winner, in tennis and in life, is usually the one with fewer unforced errors.” He sounded like Yoda, if Yoda were a tennis pro from Brazil.

I considered his advice. Hadn’t Roger Federer himself just lost the United States Open championship match against Juan Martín del Potro? Why? Because Federer had 62 unforced errors.

The unforced error is when you beat yourself. The ball comes to you and you hit it into the net. Or you hit it long. Or you hit it onto the roof of Gary Burke’s car, in the parking lot, which I do, a lot.

But the worst error of all is when you don’t even try.

On game day, I knew our opponents were going to be tough. During warm-up, the tall one kept hitting fast, spinning serves. I knocked a couple toward Gary’s parking space just to show her that she didn’t scare me. But of course, she did.

During the match, however, I stayed tough and maintained my focus. When she hit a 400-mile-an-hour drive straight at my kidneys, I played my game: the dink. Soft returns, ridiculous loopy lobs and a serve that floated across the net like a matzo ball made with love.

But a funny thing happened. My opponents kept overhitting. Meanwhile, my partner, Cheryl, and I got most of our shots in. At one point in the second set, I even heard one of our opponents hiss to the other, “But her serves are so soft ...”

“Float like a matzo ball, sting like a bee,” I thought. And wafted another of Nana’s seltzer specials over the net.

We won, 6-2, 6-3.

A few hours later, after that first incredible endorphin rush subsided — and after I had called everyone I know to shriek, “I won! I won!” into the phone, and after I had texted my daughters at college with the news, and after I did a little secret victory dance in the shower — I realized that I couldn’t wait to play again.

I was back on the Team.

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