The card table is set up with a cloth covering the top. The four brightly colored racks are placed in a square....one if front of each player. The snacks are put out...the water bottles are chilling. The Girlies arrive. Excited hugs and kisses are part of the greeting as we are all truly happy to see each other.
The 152 tiles are placed face down in the center of the table. The person hosting the game gets the pair of dice at their place setting. The "walls" are built.
It's Mah Jongg Monday!
Oh, how I love it!
There is always this bit of anticipation as a new game begins each week. "Will I get a good hand?"" Will I Mah Jongg (win)?"
If we get to chatting, we
always sometimes forget whose turn it was. Laughter ensues until we finally trace our steps backwards to find out who is next. We sometimes get into mild hysterics as we try to hold it together...but usually end up "losing it". We talk to ourselves....we say a few cuss words now and then...we sigh as we look at our hands and realize that we really don't have anything to work with. We tease each other when tiles are sent around during the Charleston (not the dance....don't ask!) that nobody needs....(usually the winds)...and, we always say that everyone must be trying for the same hand. But, we always end up amazed at our brilliance as we see the hands that everyone was going for.
We have named the incredibly magnificent Jokers...."Jay Jays"...and we gloat when one is randomly picked. We cheer when another player is able to replace a tile and receive a joker from another's hand....all the while thinking: "Oh, I wish that had been me!".
The good news is that we are improving. The other good news is that we have all learned together so we are pretty much all in the same boat.
The not-so-good news is that we sometimes absent-mindedly look at our hands without a clue. Or, we throw something away that we might have needed. Or, we forget to "call" a tile when it would help our hand. Do we pick tiles clockwise or counter-clockwise? These things happen more often than we dare to admit...but, we are kind to each other as we share our missteps together.
Mondays are more than just a game to all of us.
It is a chance to be together with the people that we love.
It is a chance to let loose and laugh at ourselves.
It is a time to work our "aging" minds and exercise those brain muscles.
Most of all, it is about friendship....
.....and, I wouldn't trade it for the world.... : )