It is almost midnight and Marty is downstairs, playing Scrabble with Scott G.There’s another Scott who plays Scrabble and sometimes comes to our club— Scott H.,–but they are very different. Scott H. is debauched, while Scott G. is a responsible husband and father with a job. He used to be a professor of classics at UIUC, but he hated the politics, among other things. His wife, Lori, got a job at Rhodes College—she’s a medievalist— so the family moved to Memphis. Their son, Nate, is nine years old but reads at a college level. Like Noel, whom I wrote about in a previous blog, he doesn’t like scary books. He likes to be called Nate or Nathanael, but not Nathan.
Marty is always in a good mood when Scott drives up from Memphis to play Scrabble. One reason is that Scott is an excellent player—his rating is over 1700—so he gives Marty serious competition, and there’s nothing Marty likes better than serious competition. Also, Scott is what Marty calls “low maintenance,” which means he’ll eat at Subway and let Marty do most of the talking. Marty mentored Scott up through the Scrabble ranks and sometimes refers to him as his protégé. He is very proud when Scott does well at a tournament. Scott gives Marty his props, so everyone is happy (unless they play each other in the same division in a tournament.)
The house was filled with Scrabblers today. We celebrated Marty’s 60th birthday, or, as he likes to tell people, his fifteenth birthday since he’s a Leap Year baby. To honor the event, we had a little tournament. I ordered a Scrabble cake, and there were prizes for best words played that describe Marty. Of course, Marty got to choose. I told a player to put down wud, which means crazy. Marty didn’t think that was very funny. Sterling was one of the words he chose. Usually the club ends at five, but this being a special occasion we played beyond that. Now everyone is gone, except for Scott, who is spending the night.
I don’t mind being by myself, listening to music, reading, knitting, writing in my blog, especially when I know my husband is happy. And I like Scott, although he regularly beats me at Scrabble.