Later tonight I'll be fulfilling another long cherished dream when I become a member of Scrabble Club 247. I've been thinking about joining a Scrabble club ever since I read Word Freak a few years ago. Before that I didn't know that scores of intelligent, competitive, disturbingly obsessive wordsmiths got together to play my favorite game. In my naivete I thought that winning my family's Thanksgiving tournament was the height of Scrabble glory. I was very mistaken. I'm looking forward to my first Scrabble club experience; I think that of all the harebrained schemes I have come up with in an attempt to make friends, this one has the most likely chance of succeeding.
I seem to follow a familiar pattern when I move to a new city; at first I'm all fresh faced and bright eyed and full of plans. I greet people on the street, I locate the neighborhood coffee shop, I take long, exploratory walks, and I search for groups to join. Over the course of the past 5 years, in 6 cities, I have researched the following: ballroom dancing lessons, cooking classes, gym memberships, basketball teams, soccer leagues, taekwondo lessons, scuba diving instructor certification, roller derby, trivia nights, writing co-ops, wine tasting clubs, choirs, Bible studies, softball leagues, volleyball teams, scrapbooking classes, painting lessons, and countless book clubs. The idea, of course, is that I will join one of these groups, meet fabulous and interesting people that are members of said group, and end up with fabulous and interesting new friends. We will engage in witty banter as we sip wine and paint ... or play basketball. Then I won't be lonely! The reality is that the few times I have roused myself enough to actually join one of these groups, the results haven't been pretty.
In Madison in 2003 I attempted to start a Madison Moose Club with my co-workers. After a few too many Moose cups two of my female co-workers started kissing one another, causing one of the guys there to run out of my apartment crying because his girlfriend was a lesbian. The party ended as the rest of my guests poured out of my apartment to chase him down, hellbent on convincing him that he should encourage his girlfriend to experiment. That was the end of Madison Moose Club. In Grinnell in 2006 I briefly joined a roller derby team. Though I was intrigued by the idea of being able to knock someone on their ass in a sanctioned arena, I quickly realized that I didn't have the edge needed to be a roller derby queen. And by "edge" I mean "desire to do meth." I also couldn't get over the fact that someone had already claimed the nickname Ivana Tripabitch. Roller derby, it turned out, was not for me.
The truth is, my initial bursts of enthusiasm inevitably end with me sitting alone in my apartment, reading a good book, blissfully happy that I'm not surrounded by weirdoes. What I can never seem to remember until the frenzy of relocating has run its course is that I enjoy being alone. I get cranky if I don't have time to myself. The other factor that renders my attempts at making friends funny rather than tragic is that I'm lucky enough to have fabulous and interesting friends. Unfortunately none of them live in Madison, so they don't do me much good when I want to sit at a cafe and judge people with some like-minded soul. Just the fact that they're out there, though, makes it easier for me to explore these new and bizarre avenues without fearing the result.
With that in mind, I'm off to take a shower and get ready for Scrabble Club 247. What does one wear to Scrabble Club? I'm thinking sequins.