The Mauvettes were born late 2021 or early 2022, I can’t quite remember. It was another games night, an evening in the company of the ‘neighbour girls’ (occasionally we refer to ourselves as ‘ladies’) to compete in board games, gossip and laughter. For more than a year now it has been a regular feature on our social calendar, a way to honour our neighbourly connection and to support each other’s wellbeing, because what is more healing and soothing than being amongst friends?
The board games are a motley bunch: card games (who invented Canasta???), Rummikub, card Monopoly, Doodle Dice, Bananagrams and plenty more of obscure, never-heard-of games surfacing from back shelves in cupboards. Playing boardgames brings out the best and worst in us. Particulary Bananagrams has revealed our true colours: the teacher who questions everyone else’s words, the cheek who makes up words under the pretense of innocence, the competitor who mutters and curses under her breath about rules and results, the perfectionist who tries to outdo all the others with fancy words, the learner who can’t help but ask Google about meanings of words, the quiet naughty who makes words that make us all blush.
Letters lying in wait can be transformed in hilarious finds. Isn’t croxpin a fantastic word? And what does seg mean? We know all its different meanings and have practiced extensively in using the word (but keeping a straight face at the same time is probably impossible) in sentences when at the doctor’s, the cobbler or the farmer friend. When R. dared to play mauvette and insisted it was a colour (it wasn’t we thought then when we looked it up, but Merriam-Webster claims it is a pale purple that is redder and paler than average lavender, bluer and paler than phlox pink or wistaria, and bluer, lighter, and stronger than flossflower blue) The Mauvettes were born. The birth was delightful and crazy funny. The Mauvettes have six members: Mauvette R., Mauvette E., Mauvette S., Mauvette G., Mauvette Y., and Mauvette V. (that’s me).
The other day, one of The Mauvettes (R. again!) offered the brilliant idea (albeit not so new) to find an unknown word in the dictionary and conjure up three definitions of which only one is correct. Preparations are in full swing for the next games night, evidenced by Mauvette E.’s text the following day. She managed to turn the idea on its head and used made-up-words rather than made-up-definitions in the following text:
Thanks for coming to games night, you are some of the troviest (awesome) people and I’m so glad to have you in my life. We need therbligs (help simplifies) for learning Canasta. The dairy free cheesecake was yummy, not neapish (bland). Thank you for the dooleys (items brought to an event). It was nice to have you here on a hibernal (winter’s) night. Looking forward to next time.
Are all these words real? You have to think about that now. Hmmmm.
I thought about it, did you?