Musings

Scrabble For One

I love games. I grew up playing board games with my family-Scrabble, Sorry, Ming, Uno, Monopoly, Pictionary.  You’re familiar with them. It seems that I wasn’t the best at reading the directions, though. It was discovered back in the mid-90s while settling down to Scrabble with friends that I apparently had been scoring my game wrong for the prior 15 years. And that’s why my Scrabble scores as a kid were always so unbelievably high. Whoops. To justify that gaff, it probably gave me a healthy dose of confidence in the world of vocabulary, which probably led me to do relatively well on my SATs, which then led to getting into a good university, which then led to my career, which leads to to my current life. I say that my methods of scoring have served me well.

And to this day, I’m not a big manual reader. Just ask my husband. Actually, I hate them. That’s why I have an iPhone and an iPad. No manuals. Or ok…a manual that has 2 pages. Here’s the Power button and here’s the volume button, folks. Ta-dah! In my humble opinion, that alone qualifies them as one of the best  products ever made. Right up there with air. And Tweezerman tweezers.

Scrabble is one of those games that I wish I could play better. You’re shuffling those little tiles all around on their little stand….try this letter on the end…this one at the beginning…I have a Q? And four Rs? Really? Wait…wait….wait…got a word! A great word! Then, in one delft move, the person to your right plunks their letters down on the one spot you’ve been eyeing for 3 turns and ka-pow! There goes your uber-word and you are reduced to playing the piddly 3-letter word “not”. And the “o” was already there. Not your finest hour.

And so it goes. The dog-eat-dog word of Milton Bradley.

So, what’s your word?

As I mentioned earlier this week, I was recently watching the movie Eat, Pray, Love while on the treadmill. Rain=movies in my world of exercise. No rain=outside exercising with iPod. I probably could stand to just listen to my own thoughts and breath, but that’s not my style when I’m sweating.

While in Rome, on the first leg of her find-myself adventure, Liz and her friends are sitting and eating a meal (which she has ordered entirely in Italian…. cue ooo’s from the crowd) and chatting about language. They start pinning one-word descriptions to places and it spins from there. Paris is Romance, New York is Ambition or Soot, Rome is, of course, sex. Then they go around the table asking each person what their word is. It can’t be a career-oriented word like writer, mom, financier…but something descriptive that speaks of your soul. Everyone seems to come up with something, except good ol’ Liz, who then continues to travel to two more remote locales before she can figure HER word out, which was Italian to begin with. Attraversiamo. To cross over. And, as she puts it…it has the perfect mix of Italian sounds…”the whistfull Ahh, the rolling trill, the soothing s….”. It IS a good word, I have to say.

I like the idea of everyone or each place having a word. As a relatively wordy person myself, the notion of picking a single word to describe something is on the more suffocating side, but it’s also a good exercise. In being succinct. In capturing an essence. But then again, I would imagine that your word changes over time. Was New York always sooty? It can’t possibly be the same word that defined you when you were 12 and scoring so fabulously at Scrabble, could it? In a word-no.

I’m still working on mine. Creative? Passionate? Curious? Eh, I don’t know. Curious is a decent contender at the moment, but I’m not ready to commit to it being The One. I do love the word Tahitian, but it doesn’t exactly sum me up at this point in my life. I’ll just have to reserve that one for the vanilla bean ice creams or perfume. Or my retirement years.

What is my word? My word. Or your word? Start moving those tiles around and see what you come up with. Who knows, it might use all the letters and get you that high score you’ve been wanting.

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