Today I want to tell you a story about Scrabble. Yes, the word game that’s been around since 1948. A game that is only played by word geeks. A game that made me fall in love with Ken. You see, on our first date, he came to my door with a red rose in one hand and a Scrabble board tucked under his other arm.
Don’t yawn! Stop that! Don’t you understand that this game brought two people together who have enjoyed a wonderful life together? Don’t you understand that people who can’t compete in any other venue appreciate a game like Scrabble where one actually has to use his/her gray matter? Don’t you understand that the combination of letters is like life playing out on a game board? (Well, maybe I did go a bit overboard with that comment.) But, needless to say, Scrabble is has played a major role in my happy marriage.
It all started one Christmas when I was ten. Santa brought me the game, and I was thrilled because I loved words from an early age. But I had a problem. Nobody but my mother would ever play with me! And of course, Scrabble isn’t a game one plays alone–at least not until the computer version came along. Until I met Ken, I didn’t have a competitive Scrabble player in my life. So, needless to say, I didn’t play too often. I was thrilled when I learned he loved the game as much as I did. So, on our first date after dinner and a movie, we played. And he beat me. I had finally met my match. And he got a second date and a rematch.
I think Ken and I love Scrabble so much because we play at the same level. We hardly ever blow one another off the board; our games are always within a few points of one another. On rare occasions, we help each other when we’re stuck. We’re competitive, but not cut-throat. We have a Scrabble Dictionary that we allow each other to look up a word. (Did I tell you that we also cheat?)
We even have several Scrabble boards for different occasions. The one we use most is the Travel Scrabble that we keep in the car. The little fold-up plastic board with its tiny tiles often makes an appearance at McDonald’s or Burger King after a burger and fries. And you can bet when we were able to travel, the Scrabble game was the first thing we put in our luggage. In fact, when we sailed through the Panama Canal, we would play everyday after breakfast in the same spot by a large window, watching the ocean go by and other passengers would stop by to see who was winning. At the end of the ten-day cruise, we were tied.
One of my best finds at the thrift shop was a couple of Scrabble Mugs I purchased for 50 cents each, so when we have our dining room matches, we can sip coffee and nibble on a cookie “officially.”
Even with MS invading Ken’s brain, he still beats me about every other time we play. In fact, I think when he can’t play any longer, I will retire the game and probably never play again. You see, this game is that special for the two of us.