They kept the relationship quiet with the other players for almost a year.
“We didn’t want to announce that we were dating because we didn’t want teasing to happen, and we figured if that didn’t work, no one would be any wiser,” Mr. Apuzzi said.
This suited Mrs. Ten, who was afraid of rushing headlong into anything.
“I had a tough childhood so I was someone who said I would never get married,” she said. “There was no way I would become a domesticated diva.”
“But he was a generous person, a real mensch,” she added. “He was the only man to convince me that the marriage was not so bad after all.”
He was in good shape, which was non-negotiable.
“One thing I wanted in a boyfriend, he had to be in good shape,” she said. “So Albert did the trick. He was what I wanted in a friend. And now he had a girlfriend who played handball, who didn’t just wait for him to finish playing. He would play his game, and I would be on the other court to play mine.
“Besides, I was a cheap date,” she continued. “We would play handball all morning and maybe take a break and go to Rocco’s – a pizza restaurant popular with handball players -” for a dollar lunch and come back and keep playing.
“We didn’t go to clubs or bars,” she said. “We would be exhausted.”
They envisioned a wedding ceremony right on the courts, but reconsidered.
“As much as we both love handball, I don’t think we could have done that, all the moochers showing up,” she said. “No, we have decided: one day is not about handball. “