Scrabble Has Me Scrambled

I don’t know what it is about the game Scrabble.

I’m sure that you must know by now that I really don’t consider myself a very competitive person.  If I run a race I just pray that I won’t be dead last. I also don’t care what you have that I don’t. I’m pretty happy with and grateful for all that I do have.

I’ve also come to the understanding that my children may not win whatever event they’re competing in. That one was a bit of a stretch for me. It wasn’t that I wanted them to win it was more that it was always a bit of a shock for me when they didn’t. 

It once went something like this:

Kiwanis festival – “Did the judge not hear how much heart you played with?

Track and Field – “There’s actually someone faster than you?”

School – “Someone beat you in the math contest? But you so get math! Other kids get it like you do? Hunh.

“There’s someone in your art class who you think is better than you are? I love your art, I think that you’re the best in the universe. Whaddya mean lots of kids are better than you are?”

I innately believe in my children’s ability to excel at whatever they do. As I said I’m over it all, I no longer expect my kids to win but I am one of those mothers who gets teary at every event I attend. Whether it’s a grade 12 High School Graduation of a Kindergarten Spring Tea. If you invite me to your kid’s Spring Tea I’ll probably get teary there too.


I have come to the horrifying conclusion that there is one area in which I am very competitive. That would be the game of Scrabble and it would only be when I play against my husband.

To be honest I’m not sure why he continues to play against me. Maybe it’s because he wins EVERY SINGLE TIME WE PLAY.

It’s not the fact that he wins that gets me, it’s the way he wins. You see, he plays a strategic mathematical game whereas I play a word game. He can and he has put down four letters and gotten seventy points for it. He is the master of the double and the triple word points. he has the uncanny ability to add a couple of letters to the board to make a new horizontal and vertical word at the same time while landing on the triple word score for both words. I swear I try to do it. I try to add an S to the end of a word so that I can use it in my new word and gain more points. I try I’m just not very succesful at it.

Every time we play I start out by saying “I’m going to be a good sport tonight. I promise I won’t get mad at you. I know it’s just for fun.” Just like the Dr. Seusse character in the book What Was I Scared Of? “I said and said and said those words. I said them. But I lied them.”

At the end of every game, after I’ve had my hissy fit I apologize, in honest shock over my bad behaviour. Then I come to the decision that we really shouldn’t play Scrabble again this summer. I mean it when I say it. Then another evening comes along that seems to be the perfect time for me to demonstrate that I’ve grown up and I can do this. I stupidly suggest, “Hey, how about a game of Scrabble?” My husband grimaces and responds with “Maybe we shoudn’t.” I reassure him that I just know that tonight will be different. A quiet little voice in my head says, “Yeah, tonight you’re gonna WIN.”

I’ve really come to hate that little voice.

My Deep Olympic Question

I love the Olympics. I really do. Inspite of my dislike of the I.O.C., the hypocrisy of the “lack” of politics involved, the bias of some judging, the lack of sportsmanlike behaviour by some of the winners and the general sense that winning is everything. I love the purity of many of  the sports involved and the sheer excitement of the race or the game. As a stereotypical Jewish Mother I prefer the Summer Olympics because the winter events strike me as just too dangerous. Skeleton, Aerial Ski, Slalom, Half Pipe are you  kidding me? The parents of these athletes are made of far tougher stuff than I am.

But the summer events I can watch without my heart racing.

Volleyball, crazy fast. How do they make some of those returns?

Synchronized diving, artistry.

Badminton, I don’t get how they don’t bang into or step on oneanother.

Swimming, well, any kind of race excites me.

I just have one very shallow question. Is there any event in which a female athlete can actually have breasts? Do they ruin aerodynamics? Wouldn’t they make the swimmers just a little more floaty? These women do not have the same body type as the marathoners. I don’t get it.

Sorry if you think I’ve sunk to a new low. Sometimes that’s just the way my mind works.