Location: Charlottesville, Virginia
I played in a Scrabble tournament in Charlottesville, Virginia this past weekend. Tournaments are held pretty much every weekend all over the United States, something I discovered with delight once I chanced upon the competitive Scrabble circuit. I can’t go to nearly as many as I would like, but if too many months go by without one, I find a way to squeeze one in.
So first of all, this is a shout out to the directors out there who put on tournaments. They often do so without any remuneration and frequently forego playing themselves, even though they are almost always ranked players. I can’t imagine being at a tournament and not getting to shake the tile bag and try to find bingos. I used to feel such an itch to play when I coached middle school scrabble club and I would have to sit on the sidelines while the kids played. It is also a lot of work to put on a tournament – finding the venue, managing all the entry fees, doing the pairings, dealing with the inevitable director calls about overdraws and clocks that stop functioning midway through a game. And to my fellow players, who love this game as much as I do and do not think it is crazy that cwm is a word or that devoting an entire weekend to playing a word game isn’t worth the time, travel and effort.
But most of all, I want to thank David. September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness month and that translates into nonstop travel for me. This was my only weekend without a commitment at a survivor event but David understood how important it was to me to be able to play. A good husband would say I get it and let me head off with only minimal grumbling. A great husband understands that I also want to see him and Darcy. So I flew directly from Los Angeles to Charlottesville (ironically, catching my connection in Charlotte) and David and Darcy drove the 5 hours to meet me. David read and played guitar and hung out with Darcy while I played and met me for meals, then drove home on Sunday and I flew off to my next week of advocacy and speaking gigs. (I swapped my California suitcase for the new one David brought me, the only way I could swing doing carry-on for two weeks on the road. So that was a bonus.)
I think this speaks to what a great guy I married. But it also speaks to what it takes to make a strong marriage. We have a lot that we have in common and do together, and of course our kids are our greatest shared joy. But we also have separate lives and interests. Being okay with that is a big part of our happy union, and so is supporting each other even when those interests don’t coincide. David gets full credit for making sure that I get to do my thing while ensuring that our lives don’t get too separate. My weekend was rendered all the better because he was here to share it with me.