Finding mercy in friendship since 1988

| Alyssa Bormes | February 11, 2016 | 0 Comments

There are very few things that I have consistently done since 1988. Some of this is a mercy. Blue eye shadow is no longer among my cosmetics; shoulder pads are absent from my closet. However, since January 1988, two great friends have been in place, and we have a wonderful story.

It was our senior year of college, although my credits didn’t exactly reflect this. Melissa and I began to room together, letting the rental office know that we needed another roommate. Neither of us knew Jennifer, but it was easy to get along with her.

The three of us discovered a mutual love of Scrabble. There were countless games. When we moved apart, we kept meeting once a month to play. In 1997, we decided to record our scores in a journal. Our plan is to add them when we turn 90 to see who wins. We are half way through a second, much larger journal. If I had to guess, I would say that I am going to need a couple strong decades in order to take the title.

The journal has become much more than a repository of numbers; it holds the goings on of our lives. There have been marriages, birth announcements, baptisms, bar mitzvahs, graduations and deaths written among the pages. There was even a day when we were sure that someone would want to make a movie of our Scrabble club, so we picked the actresses that would play our parts. Just by way of an alert, the rights to the script are still available.

Dale Ahlquist once heard about our club; he was very interested in serious Scrabble play. Okay, but we use the dictionary all the time. We make up our own rules; for example, if you are 10 weeks pregnant, haven’t had Scrabble at your house in a year, and have U, I, U, I, U, I, G in your tray, you may dump the tiles without penalty. In addition, every decade or so we add a blank to the game. (Melissa has old tiles, which we have dubbed Bob, Raymond, and Charlotte; they are worth up to 25 points when used.) Oddly, Dale hasn’t been around to play yet.

In the past three decades we have laughed hard enough to think the furnace might be leaking laugh-inducing noxious fumes. From time to time we have cried with every bit of our souls. For five months during my own dark years, Jennifer gave me a place to lay my head when there was nowhere else to go.

Of the dark years, Melissa once said, you were never a bad person; you were just in bad situations. In just the past few weeks, the two of them have been to my house to help with a big project.

Mercy is ecumenical. My Baptist and Jewish college roommates have poured out mercy on their Catholic friend since 1988. All I have to say is a very humble, “Thank you, I love you.”

Bormes, a member of Holy Family in St. Louis Park, is the author of the book “The Catechism of Hockey.”

Tags: , , ,

Category: Everyday Mercies