The very best thing

The very best thing was when the phone tree called the night before and told us school was closed (it was called “Red Operation,” for some reason that I could never figure out – my mother said it was so the Russians didn’t know our school was closed, but I could also never figure out why they cared about my school so much). And if I’d happened to be at Tina’s house, sleeping over, the next morning was the very best thing too, because we could sit at her dining room table and play Mah Jong for hours: building the wall, choosing the beautiful ivory and bamboo tiles, doling out the ivory sticks of money (we were quite sophisticated, we thought, learning how to use the money). More than anything in her house I wanted that Mah Jong set – I remember I once asked her if she would give it to me, after her parents died, if she didn’t want it. (She looked a little horrified at my presumption.) Years later, I saw that my mother had somehow acquired this set, which is not as beautiful as Tina’s, but at least now I have two of the three elements of the very best thing – just missing Tina, who’s all the way out in Joshua Tree and can’t come here to play.

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This entry was posted in My so-called-life, Seasons and weather and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The very best thing

  1. Tina says:

    Sweet! Such a wonderful set of things to think about again. Interesting that my sister asked my father to send that exquisite Mah Jong set to her a couple of months before she died…and when I went out to San Luis Obispo to clear up her house and take care of her affairs, the Mah Jong set was not there. I asked around and one of her friends told me that she had sent it as a gift to a friend in Massachusetts…I hope she is loving it as much as we did. Just handling those tiles and looking at them was such a pleasure…I can still see the little concentric circles and the green and red dragons, and feel how slippery they were when we built the wall…

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