Thoughts From The Crossroads

Laura Schupp resides in Zion Crossroads with her husband Rick and two cats. She would love to hear from you at


A few months ago I began learning how to play mahjong. My goodness, what a game! Both challenging and fun, and I want to tell you all about it.

The group I joined is located in Spring Creek at Zion Crossroads, and is comprised of all ladies. Men would *probably* be welcome to play too, but how many men do you know that would willingly join a roomful of women? For example, I asked Rick if he would like to go with me and it took him a full 20 minutes to quit laughing. That’s OK. What our husbands don’t know is that we have the Chippendales come in and serve us margaritas while we play. Ooh la la! Who cares if you win at mahjong or not?

Anyway, back to the subject at hand. Other than having a vague idea that mahjong takes time to learn, I had no idea how to actually play. I did know that it is a tile game with origins in China, and began being played in America (mostly by women) in the 1920’s. When I first sat down to observe others actually playing the game, I thought that they were speaking in tongues. Most of the words were English, but used in different context than I had ever heard before. “Two-crak, flower, nine-dot, red, four-bam, soap.” What in the world were they talking about? I couldn’t wait to find out.

The two most experienced mahjong players, Sandra and JoAnne, quickly took me under their wings and started showing me the ropes. Mahjong is a fairly complex game, but gradually the rules and unique language began falling into place. It helped that everyone was so kind and welcoming! And I loved the camaraderie in the room. So much laughter and happiness. Thank you ladies, one and all. I still have a lot to learn about mahjong, but having my brain cells challenged is definitely a good thing.

When I got home from playing, both of my furry little overlords ran up to greet me, happy to have their momma/servant home again. Rick asked me if I had a good time. I told him most assuredly I did, and that I would be going back. He grinned slyly and asked me how the margaritas tasted. Hey! How did he know about that? I just hope he doesn’t know about the Chippendales!

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