Guest Post from John Pfeiffer: ALTA and Marriage? It’s Love-Love

17 Jul

Hello readers! This week I have a special treat for you! We have a guest post from John Pfeiffer of I connected with John initially through his blog. I found his writings to be of interest and hope that you enjoy our special posts this week. This will be post one of two of the series. Best, Scott Hanley.

ALTA and Marriage? It’s Love-Love (Part 1)

A little context here for any readers that have been flung around the globe. I live in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. In the south it is pretty hot, like in the neighborhood of 32* C several months of the year (I noticed quite a few overseas readers and figured I should make them feel at home-Welcome!). As a result, there are lots of neighborhoods that have tennis courts and swimming pools. With these amenities you get lots and lots of people picking up tennis in the area. So some genius noted the trend and created a city wide tennis league, otherwise known as ALTA (Atlanta Lawn and Tennis Association) which has about 80,000 members. Teams are grouped by skill level to try to keep things fun (and competitive) for everyone. Fun stuff.

ALTA rotates seasons. Fall and Spring there are Men’s teams and Women’s teams. They space matches to be on different days so spouses do not have to fight about who gets to play each weekend. Yes, some people take it pretty seriously. Lots of weekend warriors pulling hamstrings and developing tennis elbow (I once had a teammate take injections in his back to allow him to play a match. But that’s another story. Needless to say, it can be hardcore.) But in the Summer and Winter seasons, ALTA rolls out “Mixed” season, where men and women play together.

Now, there is an interesting phenomenon that takes place in the Mixed season. Actually, there are many. It is ripe with “battle of the sexes” type stuff. Some guys refuse to play because they feel the women put too much pressure on them. Some women refuse to play because they feel the men hit the ball at them on purpose to intimidate them, etc.. Some women refuse to play because their male partners are know-it-all jerks that cut them off every chance they get. But there is one wrinkle that I find to be the most interesting: husbands and wives almost never play together as partners.

This is pretty much universal around the league. Spouses simply cannot play together without getting into some sort of spat. It is hard enough to win a tennis match without carrying on a full scale fight with your own partner. Heck, my wife and I used to play together. Even when we WON, we would often fight. At some point, it just becomes easier to find another partner, someone to whom you can extend common courtesies to. Someone who you do not feel the freedom to, say, tell them how stupid they are after a bad shot.

Why does this happen? Why can’t a couple play nice together while teaming up against a common foe? Well, if I didn’t have some theories, I would be wasting your time.

Check back later this week for the second post from our guest blogger, John Pfeiffer. We’ll have that up for you on Thursday. Thanks for visiting!


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