Now, there are many things about Scrabble that you probably know. You make words out of letters that you draw from a bag, and you try to score as many points as possible. It can be fun, I’m told.
But when you are pathologically competitive, it’s not so much fun.
It’s not that I want to beat my husband. In fact, the two times I won felt okay, but I wasn’t rejoicing or rubbing it in (unlike his mother, who used to do a Victory Dance), I felt only a modest sense of accomplishment.
And now it’s worse than ever, because the person I want to beat is me. And I am reminded of all the things in life I’ve wanted to do well and punished myself for doing poorly. The blood runs white hot through my veins and I know the urge to self-destruct. Once I can see that I’m not going to win, I just want to quit. What’s the point?
This is not an attractive aspect of my personality.
But I’m not going to quit playing.
Did you ever read Little Women? Those girls were always playing at Pilgrim’s Progress, trying to improve themselves. And I just know that getting a grip on this Scrabble thing is part of my individuation process. (Seven years of Jungian Analysis, and I need more process? Sigh.) There has to be something I can learn from anything that sets me off (or activates a complex, as the analyst would say) in such a powerful way.
When I played Trivial Pursuit with my first husband, he always knew the answers to all the questions in every category, except perhaps Games and Sports. But he never could win, because the dice were always against him. His turns would go on and on, but he could never land on the space you needed to be on to win the little wedge. Someone with better luck would beat him.
I know there is an element of luck in Scrabble, and I can’t do anything about that. What drives me crazy is that Pure Luck has a gift for looking at a row of letters and seeing words, and I don’t.
Uh-oh. Maybe I *do* feel competitive with him .
In the immortal words of Emily Litella, “Never mind.”