A year ago my mom began teaching me how to play Mah Jongg. While playing, I asked her, "Isn't there something I can use to keep track of my hands and the options that I'm considering?"
She replied, "I can give you a piece of paper. Some people use a ruler or a pencil." I was using my finger, thumb, even the side of my hand to hold the place of my Mah Jongg hand.
I said, "There has to be something."
She said, "If there is, I've never seen it."
I said, "Well, we are going to come up with something."
So, I went home and began trying different ideas, all to be shot down by her Mah Jongg friends. Sensing a lot of resistance and recognizing that if I was wanting this others would too, I forged ahead .
Mom lives an hour and a half away, so I decided to learn to play Mah Jongg by a regular Mah Jongg instructor. I signed up for a class at the local college that offered enrichment courses. There were 9 women in the class. Our instructor had played Mah Jongg for close to 3 decades.
As we would finish the Charleston, we'd attempt to make sense of the tiles on our racks. Our teacher would come to each of us, quickly switch our tiles around, and suggest a hand by pointing at it on the card. Then she'd switch the tiles around again and suggest going for "this" hand, her finger pointing to another hand that quickly blended in with the others. She'd sometimes do this a third time!
She would repeat this process with all of us. Our heads would be spinning with confusion. Inevitably, each of us would say, "Can you tell me again which hands I'm working on?"
We'd sit there after every draw, afraid of what to discard because we were so confused about which hands to work on. Well, some highlighters would be super helpful about now, I thought.
One day she said, "We could bring some sticky notes to help keep track." Light bulb! Yep, we need them!
As I was muddling my way through my 6 week Mah Jongg class, I would also drive the hour and a half north to visit my mom. We would play a very slow, steady (she was very patient with me) game of Mah Jongg for 2 players. I just felt too slow to play with her friends yet. She was unclear on exactly how to set up play for just 2 players so I looked it up on-line and there it was, this very new game called SIAMESE MAH JONGG®!
We began playing SIAMESE MAH JONGG® (2-Handed Mah Jongg), and we'd play for hours. We both loved it so much. For SIAMESE MAH JONGG® you have to double Mah Jongg, which is much more challenging and fun!
We would use my roughly designed highlighter tools. They were really helping us. Both of us! It took away the frustration of constantly losing site of the hands we were considering.
I thought again if we loved using these highlighters, others would too. So, I kept working to perfect the design and created Mah Jongg Highlighters, highlighting tools that help you easily keep track of the Mah Jongg hands you are contemplating.
Keep calm and play Mah Jongg, with our awesome highlighters. ;)