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Subject: "Dump": Figuring out how to play with a "real" grown-up rss

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Today was our day to be at my mom-in-law's house, and mostly we play games while we're there. This time, there was a period when my husband was working on a computer problem with his mom, so her partner and I sat down to play a quick game of Bananagrams.

I discovered an interesting conundrum in this game. While my opponent, Ira, is an extremely erudite man, he is a combination of elderly and very gentlemanly. This means he's a little slow in putting together the great puzzles he builds, and that, when he does get ahead of you, he fiddles with things and waits, rather than calling, "Peel." You begin to see my problem.

Here's the solution, I think, that I came up with, though I've yet to decide whether I was helping or cheating. I would finish with the letters I had, see that he was either not finished or pretending not to be to be polite (who would believe this man was a native New Yorker??), and then choose a letter to Dump so I pick myself three more letters, and carry on.

Eventually I did have to start Peeling, and this was awkward, because it's always awkward. Very often, you Peel one letter, and you can place it immediately. If you keep Peeling, over and over in rapid succession, it seems obnoxious. (My mother-in-law told me once that I was annoying because I was Peeling too often - I'm assured she was kidding.)

In the end, I did win, with a considerably larger puzzle than he had, though he did only have one letter left when I finished. I just wish I felt more comfortable about striking the balance between playing the game, because that is, after all, the point, and being sensitive to the particular limitations of senior parents, which is a very new field of study for me.
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