My mother loved to play Scrabble — she loved all kinds of word games where she could unjumble letters and make a fantastic word — and earn points while doing it! She took great delight in thinking of words to play on the board and get those double and triple letters – and just beat the pants off her opponent. When she taught us to play Scrabble, the rule was that you couldn’t look through the dictionary to find a word — only to check to see if what was on the board was a real word – if it wasn’t in the dictionary, then it wasn’t a word – and you couldn’t use it in Scrabble. That meant you couldn’t use swear words or slang – because for many years these types of words were not included in Webster’s Dictionary. My mother’s happiness day was when I received a new dictionary as a high school graduation gift and she found that swear words such as damn and others that are not repeatable here – were all in the dictionary! Great galloping guppies — she was going to be able to spell all kinds of great words now!
While my sister Eileen would sit for hours and play Scrabble with Mom. I found that I didn’t have the patience to wait for just the right letters – and I wanted to spell the BIG words — not those silly three-letter things — I wanted to spell something impressive, something which would give me a lot of points — something with an ‘X’ and a ‘Q’ in it! However, when I sat with Mom, all of my words would dry up and I could only come up with words like ‘ax’ or ‘it’ or ‘hug’ — I hated the game!
Skip forward about 40 years and into the world of android phones and the many applications you can load on your phone. My son, Bob who is a true computer geek finds these nifty little apps everywhere – games you can play with your friends on your phone – and he re-introduced me the game of Scrabble. Bob is not happy that he let me into his little world – and he’s not happy that I play Scrabble with him – and most of all – he is not happy that I beat the pants off him!
Yes – I have become my mother in yet another aspect of my life — I actually enjoy the electronic version of Scrabble and I have learned that the smallest words sometimes can garner the most points – and that you have to play the letters you have regardless of how silly and how small the word can be. I have also learned one more thing about my mother — I always thought she loved to play Scrabble because she loved words — but after playing Scrabble with my son – I think Mom liked playing Scrabble with us because she could beat the pants off of us! She knew a lot more words just by the fact that she had read more books and been alive longer — she knew she could beat us at this one game and prove she was still smarter than we were!
Well – now it’s my turn to remind Bob that I am still smarter than he is and someday he can do the same to one of his children – but for right now — I’m the one who has all of the pants!