I grew up in an apartment building in Jackson Heights, Queens, watching my mother play Mah Jongg with her friends. I learned the game when I was a little girl, but didn’t play with my own group until I was grown, about 30 years ago. I was in Bethpage, Long Island by then, and my neighbor across the street refreshed my memory. I think we played every Tuesday. Neither of my daughters were interested in learning, but they liked the food when the game was at my house. We always put out a big spread.
Now I play in a group with Millie. We know all about each other’s families, even if we’ve never met everyone’s children. We’re happy when everybody’s happy, and we cry together when we need to cry. We talk about our kids in between hands, but once the game gets started we talk only about that hand.
The Poconos Mah Jongg marathons are the best. They’re my favorite times. I didn’t know what to expect the first time we went up because Angie kept saying it’s just a little cabin, it’s just a little cabin, but it was like a blast from the past when we got up there. I love it because I’m totally disconnected from everybody, my kids don’t call me – it’s my time special time with the ladies. We eat when we want, we do what we want, we play when we want. I never get tired of it!