Friday, December 8, 2006

The Nerdiest Gift (So Far)

Because my husband is a math teacher who loves his subject like most people love chocolate, I tend to give rather nerdy gifts. A good example might be The Colossal Book of Mathematics, a collection of Scientific American articles, which JG has called "the best book ever" without even a hint of sarcasm. But this year, I may have outdone myself.

One of JG’s birthday gifts this year was a year’s membership to the National Scrabble Association (NSA). That’s right, there’s an association. With it, the lucky recipient gets eight issues of the NSA newsletter, a nifty membership card, and best of all, lists of handy words for slaughtering opponents. These lists contain categories like “2-letter words that start with J” and “3-letter words that can become 4-letter words”. I’m afraid that I have made my Scrabble-playing life much, much harder.

I was going to present this token of geekhood next week in a neatly-wrapped box containing a correspondingly-nerdy tree ornament and the list of membership perks. But no, the darn newsletter had to come in the mail today and JG found out about it prematurely. Curses! So I scrambled around to grab the list and the ornament – neither wrapped, grr – and give them to JG so that he could break into the newsletter. Happy early birthday, I guess.

Well, any worries about this gift being too over the edge were clearly unnecessary. While I watched Barefoot Contessa, he sat on the couch, contently reading the newsletter, taking note of tournaments in the Philly area, and skimming the word lists, all the while making thoughtful hmm noises. I leaned over and asked, “Do you like it?”

He smiled and said, “Yeah. After I get my master’s, I might consider studying for real so that I can compete in the tournaments.”

Oh, my. This may be more than I bargained for.


janet said...

I went through a major scrabble obsession in college, but I am now "out of shape". I used to dream about it and everything. Your hubby would most definitely kick my arse, but it would be fun to watch!

MetroDad said...

I always knew I liked JG from your posts about him. But now that I know that he's a fellow Scrabble nerd, I like him even more!

If you're looking for more gift ideas, does he have a copy of Steven Fastis' book "Word Freak?" It's the definitive book on competitive Scrabble. Alternatively, you can go on Ebay to find an old-school electronic Scrabble dictionary.