Recently my friends stayed the night, on their way to California for vacation. My friend is from the Czech Republic and is very emotional, to put it mildly. It all started with a simple game of Scrabble. Because I haven’t played in years and his girlfriend was very experienced, she and I decided we would just start playing and I would refresh myself on the rules as we went along, and we would teach him as we went. Boy, was that the wrong decision.
The lack of a dictionary was another major impediment. The first word he tried to spell was “eco.” We both said that was a prefix and he couldn’t use it. He argued quite loudly that it was most certainly not a prefix, after asking, “What is a prefix?” The second round went no smoother, and he took his tiles and dumped them, and quit.
While she and I played on, he continued to watch and read the rules and correct us loudly at about every move. She beat me soundly, by twice as many points. I am a type A and if I can make a two-letter word and move the game forward, that is my strategy, which, of course, is a strategy only for a sound arse-kicking.
We bedded out finally about midnight and went to sleep, their two German shepherds asleep with them in the great room, mine locked in my bedroom with me, since Oz was being a bit snotty to their male, Bernarde.
This morning the dogs barked when they got up. I think Romy forgot we had overnight guests. They went for a walk and I slept in. When I finally got up a few hours later, they were at the kitchen table playing, you guessed it, Scrabble! There was less argument because she was allowing him to do some phonetic spelling: “genre” was spelled “janre.” Really, that’s how it is pronounced!
As we ate oatmeal with brown sugar (his with three egg whites and one cooked yolk on top), I helped him lose his first game. As they were getting ready to leave, he noticed a wall plate I have, where the entire world, instead of continents, is renamed things like “the Ocean of Love,” “Sea of Deceit,” “River of Revenge,” and “Peninsula of Procrastination.”
“That is where I live,” he said, pointing to Procrastination.
“I would, but I never get around to it,” I responded. We all laughed.
They packed up the car and the dogs and drove off to California, first routing their trip for me on their atlas. A few minutes later, my phone rang. “We left the peaches,” he said. “They don’t look good, but they are delicious.”
“I’ll eat them,” I told him. And I said two more things.
“Be careful,” and “I love you,” because I never want to let friends leave anymore without that reminder. The world is an unpredictable place, and I want them to know how I feel, just in case. In that matter, I no longer procrastinate.