Things I Know 184 of 365: I’ve got too many friends and not enough words

Words! Words! Words! I’m so sick of words!

– Eliza Doolittle

I might be in a little over my head.

I just woke up my phone to check the time.

Twenty-one people are waiting for my next move on Words with Friends.

Every time I get the chance, I chip away at my waiting games. On a good run, I can knock out five turns before the rest of life jumps in. But they keep. Coming. Back.

They keep challenging me.

I’m not even sure how it got this bad. I remember sharing my user name with maybe three people, never 21.

I’m not even very good. Of the 21 games queued up, I’m losing around 80% of them. Still, I play.

Then there are the invites at the end of the game. Just as my phone alerts me to my defeat and I click “re-match,” that same friend begins yet another game with me. In the face of such double booking, a rational person would resign from one game and keep the other game in play.

That’s just what they want you to do. Admit defeat before every playing a move? No, sir, thank you very much. If I’m to lose, it will be a beautiful and bloody battle.

Then there are the cheaters.

You know who you are…cough…Robbie…cough. Cheaters I’ve perhaps taught for two years in a row and with whose vocabularies I am well familiar. “Shoon?” Really?

Again, the rational person would resign the game knowing their vocabulary was reduced to a switchblade in the face of the nuclear armament of online Words with Friends cheating sites.

Not I.

For losses to a cheater are the sweetest losses of all. If I lose to a cheater, I can tell myself that I would otherwise have won, which, ipso facto, makes me the winner…who lost.

I’m not losing these games because I’m stupid. I’ve got words in my head. I’ve been gearing up for all 21 of these battles since I was in middle school and thought accusing friends of having “minuscule vernaculars” was the best blend of adolescent humor and linguistic insult one was likely to find.

At issue is my lack of strategy. I’m smart, but don’t play smartly. I like the words too much to toss them around like taudry tiles which have no more use to me than to help me score. Oh, I’ll score, but when I do, it will be because I’ve shaped and sculpted my letters into a Monet of syllables. Grown men will weep and children will feel a deep and abiding sense of hope.

And then, I will lose.

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