At dinner last week with a bunch of friends - my super cool book club to be more specific - I mentioned that I'm rather addicted at the moment to Words with Friends.
Silence spilled across the table. I sensed distain, pity, discomfort. It seemed they felt sorry for me and my time-wasting ways.
Before I could leap to my own defense, conversation moved on.
And then yesterday, I read a blog post of someone I admire, justifying her own WWF habit. After I caught up on my 10 current games (including one with the writer of that post), I thought I'd explain my own habit.
I play with my brother. Before surgery he gave me a WWF hard sell but I was too busy contemplating the transplant to contemplate anything else. Afterwards though, as we hung out in the hospital for hours and hours, wincing and waiting for the next dose of pain meds (actually last part was just me), we started playing. Me on my iPhone, my brother on his iPad. He trounced me just about every game. When I'd lose by less than 100 points, I'd feel smarter than usual. We played around the clock as neither of us were sleeping through the night.
It was good to know he was there. Reassuring. After all we'd just gone through I appreciated this means of being connected.
It became one of the many ways we stayed in touch. At that point we were texting, emailing, talking on the phone, commenting on facebook posts and sending messages during word game. Keeping track of how the other was doing as we adjusted to post-transplant reality. We were so often in contact before surgery and I had wondered if that would stop as we went our separate ways.
And so WWF is more than a time drain for me. It's one way of staying close to my brother as real life seeps back in.