Mah Jongg Weekend

August 16, 2010

When I was in college, I read The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, and then subsequently watched the movie.  I was fascinated by mah jongg – the game that the characters played.  I wanted to play.

So I looked for the game, but all I could find was the computer version:

Not what I was looking for, necessarily, but addictive nonetheless.  I knew this wasn’t “real” mah jongg, but I sort of forgot about my interest in the game, and moved onto playing other games.  Like Candyland, and Chutes and Ladders.

Flash forward to 2008, and a work friend said, “hey, a friend of mine wants to start a mah jongg group – any interest?”  I may have squealed in response.

I joined the group, learned how to play (American style), and in true Suzie fashion, became obsessed.  But how can you not?  How can you not love the tiles, and the intricate rules, and the purposed time spent with adult people playing a challenging game and talking?  [And 90% of the time … drinking wine.]

I started telling a non-Mah Jongg-playing friend of mine about the game.  She did the whole maybe-a-squeal-thing, and said she wanted to learn how to play, too!   When I finally found and bought a set of my own, I taught her.  I also taught Writer Dude, S~ and L~ how to play.  I no longer had to wait for everyone in what I call my work-group to be free.  I had players in my own home!  Players who lived around the corner!

It is a 4 person game, though.  If S~ or L~ were bickering, it was no fun.  WD didn’t love the game, and my friend around the corner was just one person.  I CAN play with only 2 people.  But it’s not the same.  You lose some of the game, and it is easier to win.

So my friend around the corner (J) and I started to talk the game up, and found a couple others who were interested.  Wa la!  Another group!

I’ve been playing now for 2 years, and love the game no less.  I may or may not admit to spending a certain amount of time at a certain website where I can play the real game in real time with other live players.  I may or may not have spent the Saturday that WD left for his schooling in July (my first of 10 days home alone) playing an all-day tournament on that site.  Maybe.

This weekend, one of my home-group players (as opposed to the work-group), invited us all to her weekend home in a more rural part of the state to play Mah Jongg.   We had invited more than the 4 needed for a game, thinking we could easily take turns.  We invited husbands, thinking we can have them cook for us and clean for us, and we happily invited no small kids, and only the two who weren’t at camp (Lemon and the hostess’ daughter, who is a year older than Lemon – they’ve been friends for years).

But then a few people couldn’t come.  Trips to Paris, work deadlines and visiting weekend at kids’ camps got in the way.  We ended up with 3 players – one who had actually never played before.  Fortunately, she was super-quick and then beat the pants off us for the rest of the time.

We played a lot of games, and the weather was lovely.  We played, we swam, we ate, and we drank.  The Saturday evening gathering was a little larger as neighbors joined the party.  The new player (new friend for me, old friend for the hostess) makes a mean martini, and I had a few.

The weather was absolutely glorious on Saturday.  Blue skies, breezes, and I don’t think the temp went above 80.  I am not a fan of temps above 80.  It was fantastic.  Sunday was dreary, but since it was also very cool, it was welcome.  We all (minus the ridiculously sleepy teens) sat on the porch in the morning with coffee and books in our laps, and had to migrate inside because it was cold!  Oh, the joy!

It was a great time, and I’m glad that we went.

On the way home – we were supposed to stop and get me my new iPhone.  It was a tax-free “holiday” in Massachusetts this weekend, and I thought since I’ve been planning the purchase anyway, why not take advantage?  Sadly, despite having 4 Apple stores in our metropolitan area, it was all sold out.  So I didn’t get my iPhone.



One comment

  1. […] my Mah Jongg weekend, my hostess’ daughter wrote her parents (her camp being lots more modern, and allowing […]

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