Last night I caught up with my friend of 20 years for dinner and a game of scrabble. A fairly boring, grown up way to spend a Saturday night. The exception being that the two of us are together and we instinctively revert to our childhood selves and logic, sense and intelligence fly out the window.
I am sure most of the neighbourhood could hear us howling with laughter. The type of laughter that generates more laughter, until you don’t even know why you are laughing anymore and tears are streaming down your cheeks. It all started with a superbly dumb comment from my friend that the key to winning a game of scrabble was to come up with one good letter. If she’d meant to say letter then this still would have made sense to some degree, but I knew she was referring to “word” instead of “letter” and the funny/stupid comments and mistakes escalated from there. There were outside judges brought in to adjudicate as we disagreed about which swear words were acceptable to use (if they were in the regular dictionary they were good, if they were in urban dictionary then they weren’t allowed), whether movie titles were permitted and if you counted the special squares twice (double letter/triple word etc). No one ever sticks to the original rules, so our own two versions of “House Rules” for scrabble were combined in order to suit our own purposes to win. The challenge was on between two well-educated people to annihilate each other at scrabble.
However, all traces of education deserted us as we slipped into our primary school version of our selves, as if twenty years hadn’t passed at all. In the end I won. It was an epic victory too, 375 to 202. The writing student versus the lawyer. No matter how hard she tried to claw her way back up to close the gap, or how big the tally marks became on her side of the score sheet (the logic being that if it looked like her tally marks took up the same amount of space as mine, then the score had to be close…???), there was no salvaging this game.
The result, while important for bragging rights and friendship rivalry, was not what mattered at the end of the night. The uncontrollable fits of laughter and forgetting about everything else, just as a child would when lost in a moment, was the absolute highlight. Nothing else matters when you laugh that much and it’s such a wonderful feeling to let go and laugh… just because you can.