Doing all this talking about keeping busy when you’re snowed in brings back memories of when my kids were little. Actually what first brought it to mind was on Monday when #1 and SIL were snowed in with us, she asked me what board games we had on hand and it’s been so long since we actually played any I actually had to go look for them! I started rattling off Scrabble, Pictionary, All About New Orleans (sort of like Monopoly but about New Orleans), Yahtzee, Trivial Pursuit, and cards, among others. Then I asked her why she wanted to know and she said “In case the electricity goes off!” I shot back “But who is going to be here to cry?”
Let me ‘splain… When our kids were little we tried to have a family game night fairly often. They had several children’s games but as they got older they wanted to be “big girls” and play adult board games. At first we’d try to let them win all the time but then still at least one of them would have to lose. Inevitably one of them would end up crying. It would always start out with everyone happy and laughing and joking and end up with someone crying their eyes out and all of us miserable. I started asking hubby why we even bothered to try to “have fun”. The kids would beg and beg to have “family fun night” but the fun always turned to misery for most all of us by night’s end.
Our family is very competitive and no one takes losing very well. Looking back, I guess they get that from us! I can’t say that hubby and I don’t kind of do the same thing. In fact, I pretty much got to the point where I refused to play games with him anymore, but, that was after our infamous “Scrabble Debacle”. I can’t even remember the last time (date wise) that we played Scrabble (I think I might have been pregnant with #3) but I remember very well the end result.
I am not denigrating hubby in any way but telling “the whole story” is crucial to the understanding the whole situation. Not by any fault of his own hubby is probably one of the worst spellers I have ever seen in my life. That is not a slam or put down to him. It is just pure and simple fact.
See, when hubby and his parents moved here from Japan and he started going to school, he pretty much had to learn to speak, read and write English all at the same time. He was never taught phonetics, but taught to read, write and spell by memorization. Because of that, he cannot spell a word unless he has previously seen it and memorized it. Even if the word is very similar to another word that he does know how to spell. He has no concept of “sounding it out” because he was never taught how to sound anything out.
With that said, you can just imagine that Scrabble is probably his least favorite game in the world. Still he used to try to play it with me because it happens to be one of my most favorite. English (and spelling) were my favorite subjects and being very competitive by nature I love Scrabble! Because of those very reasons, I can probably count on my hands how many times hubby has actually played Scrabble with me and still have plenty of fingers left over.
I always took into consideration hubby’s “disability” when we’d play and I was more than lenient with him in what I’d let him get away with. In return, I would expect him to let me by with something every once in a while. Nothing BIG… but fair is fair. And in all fairness to him, I don’t even think that most of the time I’d even let him know his word didn’t actually qualify.
The last time we played if I remember correctly I was probably beating the pants off hubby despite being extremely slack with the rules. I was letting him put down misspelled words and proper words and pretty much made up words and I’d even let him trade in his tiles and not miss his turn. We were fairly close to the end of the game and I came up with a doozie. I can’t remember what the word was but I’m pretty sure it involved an x or a z and if you play Scrabble you know those letters are worth more points. And the word I had was also landing on a triple word tile and it made two words the way it connected. I can’t remember whether it was misspelled or whether it was a proper noun now. I think it was actually one of those words that people sometimes spell differently colloquially but the proper dictionary spelling was different. And he challenged me! WTH??? Here I had been letting him slide the WHOLE game and this ONE time he wouldn’t let me slide? I tried to explain it to him and he was adamant. The whole point being that it was a triple word/double word and was worth about 100 points.
I was already beating him so it wouldn’t have made any difference but the fact that I have come up with that to begin with, I was very proud of it! And he squashed me like a bug. He was adamant that I could NOT use it. We argued the fact that I had let him slide at least a dozen times and I was only asking forgiveness for one time and then he said well I should have challenged him when he was wrong. Say what? I was getting increasingly angrier and so was he. Finally out of exasperation he jumped up and grabbed the edge of the board and flipped it over and stormed out of the room!
I was left sitting there, speechless for probably the first time in my adult life, wondering what the heck just happened. I was sitting there with my mouth hanging open, dumbfounded. Needless to say I picked up the tiles and put the game away and we never, ever, ever played Scrabble again. And we haven’t to this day. I’m so glad #3 didn’t suggest it the other day because it was too icy for either of us to storm off!