In conversation, somebody brought up the online game Words With Friends - the Scrabble You Play When You're Not Playing Scrabble Due to Copyright Reasons.
All of a sudden the room exploded with chatter. There was discussion of the game's relative merit/addictiveness. There was talk of triple word scores and tactics and dictionaries and cheating. It turned out they were all in various states of play with at least one other person in the room.
It turns out Words With Friends is a smartphone phenomenon. But I don't have an Android or Apple phone (or iPad). I have a Windows 7 phone. That I don't play games on. Because - I don't know, I just don't play games much. So despite being a journalist, and dealing with words a fair bit, I hadn't entered anyone's radar as "a person I might like to play word games with".
This is not berating my friends, it really isn't. Words With Friends is available on Facebook, and I could have found it and played it there. But I've always chosen to ignore Facebook games, as they seem to be full of pointless point-scoring to build hobby farms, or become criminal masterminds. So Words With Friends got bundled in the category of "stuff I like to hide on my feed".
And even if I did have an iPhone, an iPad or an Android phone, chances are I would still use it for calling, texting, emailing and the odd bit of web browsing - just as I'm doing on the Windows Phone. I'm honestly the most technologically vexacious person I know. Alfred could hand me the passwords to the Bat Computer and five hours later, Bruce Wayne would return from another night cleaning up the streets of Gotham to find me checking Lamebook and attempting to compose witty tweets.
So I understand that it's my own fault for not picking up on a massively popular online game, and being proactive about playing it.
But it didn't stop me having a moment of feeling overwhelmingly, pathetically alone. That's right, as my friends chatted away, 15-year-old Natalie ran a bitten fingernail down the tent zipper of memory and came stumbling awkwardly out - spots, unintentional afro haircut and all.
|Who else likes re-runs of Yes, Minister and tea-tree pimple gel?!?!
It's not rational, I know. It's rather sad that I should have doubled in age, but not experienced the commensurate increase in wisdom and not-giving-a-crap-ness.
But I can't be the only one. Others must surely have experienced that sense of "I got nothing" when confronted by a conversation to which they are incapable of making of contribution.
What piece of pop culture has left you feeling a little bit all by yourself?