Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Romance...and Scrabble?

Keli Gwyn here on National Scrabble Day with a confession.

Although I enjoy playing Scrabble, I'm not very good at it. My husband, on the other hand, is. In fact, he's so good that I almost didn't accept his invitation when he asked me out on our first date--all because of a Scrabble game.

A girlfriend and I had attended a gal's night out with single friends from church. As part of the event, there was a short devotion on dating by a married woman, who gave us single gals some dating tips.

One of the tips was not to try so hard. The presenter encouraged us to keep our focus on friendship first, which would give us time to get to know guys as friends before things got serious. She suggested hosting a dinner party but making sure the number of guys and gals was uneven so there was no pairing off.

My girlfriend and I thought the dinner party idea was great, so we invited three fellows. One of them was new to our singles group. His name just so happened to be Carl Gwyn.

The meal went well. Afterward, we played a board game which was--you guessed it--Scrabble. My friend and one fellow teamed up. I teamed up with another. Carl was odd man out, but he cheerfully said that was fine with him.

The game began well enough, but it soon became apparent that the two-person teams couldn't compete with our solo player. The four of us whipped our words down with impressive speed, more focused on fun than winning, whereas Carl took his time studying the board before each move and placing his tiles with care. At one point, Carl used a Q and landed on a triple-word square. He racked in some fifty points on that word alone, rocketing past us.

Along the way, I experienced an attitude shift. Because I'm a wee bit competitive, I wasn't too thrilled with being outsmarted. After all, Carl was a science teacher, and I was working as an assistant editor. I should have done better than he did, or so I told myself.

So, when Carl called to ask me out on a date, I had second thoughts. I even asked my roommates what they thought. Both gals encouraged me to give him a second chance and say yes. I did, and I soon found out what a great guy Carl is.

These days, I'm prepared to loose whenever I play Scrabble with Carl. He's still the champ, and I've made peace with that. However, I discovered Bananagrams. Since it's a game of speed, I have the advantage, and Gwynly has to work hard to keep up with me. But I don't gloat when I win. After all, he could challenge me to Scrabble and whomp me soundly. :-)
• • •
What is your favorite Scrabble memory?
Is it a game you enjoy, or do you prefer another, as I do?


  1. I don't know that I have a favorite Scrabble moment, but I love playing Scrabble. In fact, I play every day with three friends on Facebook.

  2. Loved this post, Keli! I have one friend who always wins at Scrabble. We joke that she has the Scrabble dictionary memorized. I tend to enjoy making creative words more than scoring a lot. At least that's what I tell myself, LOL.

  3. Jean, playing Scrabble online with friends can be a lot of fun. I used to do that. I tend to do better online than in person since I can take my time planning my moves--without anyone seeing me struggle. :-)

  4. Christine, it's interesting to play with someone who knows lots of the obscure Scrabble-friendly words, isn't it? Carl comes out with some of them at times and surprises me.

  5. I love to play Scrabble and did so on Facebook until it wouldn't load anymore. I now play Words with Friends. I'm a middle of the road player. I laughed when you talked about your husband beating you all the time at Scrabble. When my husband and I were first married, we lived in an old, old house that had gravity heat. Winter was frightful that year, and we wound up living mostly in one room. Each evening we played game after game of Chinese checkers. He beat me every time. To this day I will not play that game with him.

  6. Merrillee, it sounds like you have some special memories of your early married days. Playing Chinese checkers could have be fun--if your opponent hadn't won every game. =)

  7. My husband Paul always beats me at Scrabble, a game I love more than he does, so it is a bit frustrating at times when he always wins. He's more strategic than I am, I think. I enjoy most board games and really work at finding time for us to play any of them. I'm glad your room-mates talked you in to going on that date. :)

  8. Laurie, it would be frustrating to have someone, especially your husband, beat you at a game you love so much. My guy is definitely a more strategic Scrabble player than I am.

    I'm very glad I listened to my roommates and went on that date. Carl and I have enjoyed twenty-eight years of marriage so far, and I look forward to many more to come.

  9. I'm a day behind, Keli - - but wanted to say I LOVED this post!
    Hmmm....reading about your attitude toward Carl since he did better than you at Scrabble sounds like something from a romance novel *wink*. How wonderful this "story" has a happily-ever-after! :)

    I enjoy Scrabble, but enjoy some other games much more. I have such fun playing board games with my middle daughter, son-in-law, and son (when he's in town!).
    Bananagrams is one of my favorites - - and Boggle too (are you familiar with Boggle?). Thanks for this post - - now I'm in the mood to play some games, but will have to wait until the kiddos are with me (Mother's Day) since my husband doesn't really enjoy games like we do!
    Hugs, Patti Jo

  10. Patti Jo, my older and wiser self is very happy that I didn't let the competitive nature and ungracious attitude of twenty-something me get in the way of going out with Carl and discovering what a great guy he is. I might not have won at Scrabble that night, but I sure ended up with a wonderful husband.

    What fun that you're fond of Bananagrams, too. I like Boggle as well. Games like these can be such fun. My daughter used to rush to get ready for school in the morning. Her reward was playing a game with me. Those were such special times. I'll have to challenge her to a game when she returns from her European experience this June--for old times' sake. =)


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