Today’s world is changing so fast that my head is spinning. How did we possibly survive before text messaging? What about pagers—those were so new and cool, back in ancient times. Remember when we had to stay home if we were expecting a phone call or wanted to watch a special television program?
Part of me longs for a simpler time, when our TV channels were few, our phones were connected to the wall by non-removable cords, and when we went on vacation, we really were away from it all–not texting, talking or skyping to folks and co-workers back home.
When we play Maj, we take a journey of sorts–a short departure from the world of shootings, spiraling health care costs, global warming and terrorism, and enter another realm–a place where we can share our problems, opinions, frustrations, and small talk. For a few precious hours, we escape the pressures of our daily lives and simply enjoy ourselves. Mah Jongg helps us maintain our sanity in a too-often insane world.
Many everyday, small dilemmas can be easily solved by enlisting help from our Maj groups: “I’m having my daughter and her family over for dinner, and I’m not sure what to serve for dessert. I’m thinking of picking up a chocolate babka from Trader Joe’s. Or is a fruit platter enough?” Before you’ve even finished stating the question, the answers will be swift and varied, and you’ll most likely end up with the chocolate babka and a fruit platter. Problem shared, problem solved.
Newsworthy events, where emotions run deep, are a must topic of Maj conversation:
“Can you believe Vin Scully’s 67-year broadcasting career for the Dodgers will be coming to an end?”
“I know– it’s truly amazing. What a class act. I can’t imagine the Dodgers, or Los Angeles, without him.”
“He was the soundtrack of our lives. There will never be anyone like him again.”
Fun, pop culture topics are certainly on the Maj must-discuss list:
“Did anyone see the Emmy Awards last night?”
“No, I missed them – but all the winners were cable shows that I don’t even watch.”
“Did you see Sofia Vergara’s dress? Oh my god – she’s gorgeous”
“I love Julia Louis-Dreyfus, but does she really deserve to win best actress 5 years in a row?”
And finally, the most debated, disturbing, consequential, and historically significant event of our time: Hillary vs. Trump. This topic is of such importance that sometimes it’s simply not mentioned during Maj games. I think an underlying angst exists within most of us, and sometimes it’s just easier to avoid the subject altogether. However if your Maj group consists of political junkies, it’s almost impossible for the conversation not to move in that direction. But beware of those Maj enthusiasts who are voting for the other candidate. This can be a shocking and discomforting discovery. In those cases, best to stick to discussing the unlucky couple who was kicked off of Dancing with the Stars!
In this complicated and ever-changing life we live, we should embrace activities that slow us down, keep us warm in a cold world and connect us to one another. Let’s all take some deep breaths, and focus on the simpler things that can make life most enjoyable.
“That would be Mah Jongg!”
In my opinion, we can’t afford not to play Maj. I welcome your comments.