We have a Scrabble set on a shelf in a cabinet, but we haven’t used it for years. I play “Words with Friends”—an online version of Scrabble—and until today that was enough.
I was reading when my wife showed me her latest craft project, a cool looking box.
On one side of the lid, on top, she’d painted a watercolor palette and brush. When I turned the box so I could se​e the other half of the lid, there it was: “CREATE” in block letters. She’d used Scrabble letters.
“Cool,” I said, not yet making the connection between our Scrabble set sitting on the shelf, waiting for a game, and her creation. “Where did you get the Scrabble pieces?” I asked.
“Oh, from the Scrabble game.”
“Our Scrabble game?”
She nodded.
All of a sudden, I wanted to take the game out and play. Now I couldn’t, because she had ruined it.
She could see I was upset and said, “You can get another set of letters. They’re not expensive.”
“Right, and what do I do in the meantime? Six missing tiles! What if I have an opportunity to play ‘QUICKLY’—triple letter triple word, and a bingo to boot—but you’ve used the other C in ‘CROOK’? I miss a 148 point play, and all because of the ‘CREATE’ you played on your little box!”
I want to play now. I want to shuffle the pieces in the rack. I want to place them on the squares—double and triple, letters and words. You spoiled it.
After my heart beat slowed, I realized that I’d overreacted a little. I ordered a full set of pieces on the internet. They were inexpensive, $2.99.
They’ll be here soon.

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