Monday, November 21, 2011

Absolutely Scrabulous

I'm 30 years old and I just learned to play Scrabble.  I know, it's like meeting a college kid who doesn't know how to drive.  I've resisted board games for years because of my propensity to being a sore loser. Since I'm trying to cross things off my list, it's time I got over it and join, even if I can't beat 'em.

The women in my family have a gift for Scrabble playing, but I never got that gene.  My mom is particularly strategic and can crush her opponents by over a hundred points.  She is so cute and seemingly harmless when she plays games, so new opponents never see it coming.  She learned from her mother, who was especially merciless at games.

I asked her to teach me.

I love vocabulary, language and word games.  I played the app with my best friend on Facebook and always got creamed.  Turns out there were a lot of rules I didn't know.

"Mom's really good," my brother warned me.

"I'm really bad," I warned her.  So we played an open hand and took it step by step with her Mr. Miyagi to my Ralph Macchio.

Did you know that different tiles have different point values?  And that you can tack one letter onto places that can make it two words, giving you points for tiles that weren't even yours?  Here I thought it was just about getting rid of all your tiles!

I got a seven-letter word in that open hand (so what if it included a trade with my mom) and learned some clever tricks.  Like always respect the two letter words.  You can't go wrong with the X tile.  No looking up words before your turn.  And if you put down a made up word and are challenged and proven guilty, no points for that round.

I'm sure my grandmother up in heaven is smiling down on the birth of a new Scrabble player.  I still have my work cut out for me.

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