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  • Writer's pictureEdie Montreux

Just a Word

In our team-building off-site activity this week, we had the opportunity to play Scrabble. I’m horrible at Scrabble. I blame my grandma.

Here’s how I learned how to play scrabble from my Grandma. Diagonals counted, just like in Connect-4. You could rack up all kinds of points if you started in a corner. If the corners were taken and you couldn’t find a way to play a word off the letters already on the board, you could place your word in an open space on the board. If you had a letter that could change a word, but you would have to stack it on top of another letter, stacking was acceptable.

I’m sure this is my memory of Grandma letting me get away with shit when I was a kid. My grandma never broke a single rule in her life. Unfortunately, she didn’t think she should tell ME not to break rules because she’s my grandma, not my mom. Instead of telling me how to play Scrabble, she just stopped playing Scrabble with me. I spent many hours playing by myself on her front porch, all the letters visible, making as many words as I could.

I don’t need your pity. I wrote little stories with those letters on that board. My love for words developed through solitary games. Save your pity for the girl who filled three carloads with twins in solitary rounds of The Game of Life (also me).

Between sharing stories of how I used to play Scrabble with my Grandma and asking clarifying questions to confirm the rules, I gathered a specific set of letters. I started with a Q in my first seven. Then, I accumulated three E’s. A couple of rounds later, I drew a U.


There was an open N on the board. Open, but not open. My teammate took the turn before me to place a word above my space. If I were to use the N, I would now also have to fit with the other word. (Me: “EHELOST” is three words. I can do that, right?” Group: “NO.”)

Guess which letter WAS open. R.

I was able to play Queer. Yep. After I already played “Pink” and “Tiara,” I now played “Queer.” Seriously, this was the gayest game of Scrabble I have ever seen, with just my words. I apologized to my best friend at work, who happens to be gay, as I laid out the letters.

“Why are you apologizing? It’s a word. And it’s HUGE points.”

I got to play the Q on a double-letter tile. It was my best single score of the game. However, I lost points with my former boss. “Queer? Really? Who played that?”

I’m now the girl who played “Queer,” in Scrabble. I don’t care. It’s a word. Not only that, it’s a really powerful word for my genderqueer and enby friends who don’t fit into L G B, or T. I played it for them.

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