What a Difference a Year Makes

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Each spring we eagerly await the new Mah Jongg card to see what changes have been made. Some changes are easy to remember because we play those hands with regularity. Some hands are less familiar to us. I have often heard, “Oh no, the hand I’m playing was on last year’s card!”


Last week I played a game with tiles that looked very pretty and indeed would have been a great beginning for a hand…on the 2013 or 2014 card; sixes and sevens in all three suits. Alas, the same tiles held much less promise to me in 2015. I initially got excited and believed that I was well on my way to a Mah Jongg. I scanned my card repeatedly, certain that the tiles on my rack would certainly match most of a hand on the card. I knew in what section I could find the hand. But sadly that wasn’t so; not for this year. The hand I anticipated seeing was gone; replaced by another hand I cared nothing about. Reality set in, and excitement changed to disappointment.


As regular players know, the same tiles that we so desire but can’t seem to get for one game often are plentiful for the next game, when we don’t need or want them. I have often joked that the Mah Jongg gods got to my request for a particular tile a little too late. But a year late? Perhaps the gods just found my request tucked away with a pile of 2014 cards. Oh well, maybe the hand will be back next year!

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