I am someone who watches a possibly criminal amount of competitive reality television – Survivor, The Amazing Race, Top Chef, Project Runway, The Voice and The Sing-Off are all on my DVR season pass list, and I am always on the lookout for other competition shows that look intriguing, because apparently raising a hyperactive four-year-old while working full-time PLUS going to grad school PLUS somehow managing to remain married PLUS still finding the time to occasionally eat and possibly use the toilet (though never at the same time, usually) do not already keep me busy enough – but I don’t really like competitive people.
Because they keep beating me at Words With Friends (basically an online/mobile app version of Scrabble, without the trademark, the one that got Alec Baldwin into trouble on a flight recently, as if he really needed the help), and I JUST. CAN’T. TAKE. IT. ANY. MORE.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy playing Words With Friends. Usually. Most of the time. But I am getting sick and tired of losing all the time to people who play what I call “attack Scrabble”–the ones who keep playing 36-point 2-letter words that they can’t define or use in a sentence or even properly spell if they were, say, writing an email or an article for the Internet or some such.
It sounds like I am bitter and jealous, and I kind of am, but I am also extremely frustrated, because how people play Words With Friends is not the way that I ever played Scrabble, and I don’t understand the appeal. Yes, the point of playing a game is generally to win. But when I play Scrabble, the actual board game version, it’s an experience, which often features chips and dip and sometimes wine and almost always pleasant conversation. Time and care are taken, complaints are exchanged about how it is impossible to make a word with nothing but H, X, and U tiles, and laughs are had. We try to play our best words – SAT words, words that use five or more tiles, and it’s very exciting when you can use the “T” at the end of one word and the “M” in the middle of another one to make the word “TRUMP” and use a double-letter-score for the U.
In real life, that is practically cause for celebration. When that happens in the middle of a game, glasses are clinked and high-fives are exchanged and legends are born. When you play Scrabble with friends, actually play with actual friends, that brilliant move becomes the kind of thing that you talk about for years afterwards, when you play different games of Scrabble with different friends, and you see the word “TRUMP” on the board and smile to yourself and think, “I remember when.”
All I think when I play Words With Friends – which I usually play with actual random strangers – is, “When this person plays ‘QI’ is she going to get a triple-word score for it, or just a triple-letter?” Because, invariably, someone will play “QI” for a triple-word or triple-letter score, and it won’t be me, because QI IS NOT A REAL WORD IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. I don’t care what the Scrabble dictionary says.
(Okay, if you think it’s a real word, then I DOUBLE-DOG-DARE YOU TO USE IT IN A SENTENCE. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Even though all these O’s and W’s are not going to play themselves. I got time. You can’t do it, can you? OF COURSE YOU CAN’T, because it ISN’T A REAL WORD.)
So sometimes when I’m scrolling through my iPhone screens looking for something else, I’ll see the icon for Words With Friends and it will be telling me that I have like 15 moves I need to make, and I’ll basically ignore it, because I am tired of losing. I am sick and tired of looking at that stupid board and seeing only nine tiles played between the two of us and somehow I am already losing by 312 points. I’m not in any kind of hurry to lose any faster. Yes, I know this makes me a sore loser, but I think I might be okay with that. Sometimes it’s best just to cut your losses and know, deep down in your heart, that right at this moment you have the family high score in Just Dance 3, and for now, that is good enough.
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[author_info]About the Author
Rachel Gonzales (aka “rockle”) is a PrimeParentsClub.com regular Lifestyle contributor. She is the actual child in her profile picture, which was taken in 1976, so it probably goes without saying that mistakes were made. You can read more of her here on Prime Parents Club, or on her blog, rockle-riffic.