On an endless afternoon in 1985, Jon pulled out this very Othello board and taught me how to play.
We played hundreds of games, but eventually the realization that he wasn’t going to win any of them meant the box gathered dust. When the kids were little it made its way back into rotation, but getting anyone to play against me was still a challenge. Rowan mostly used the pieces to make designs, drawing smiley faces or her initial or a heart.
She feigned disinterest in rules or strategies, lulling me into a false sense of security which vanished abruptly when I found myself roundly defeated.
If you’re looking for a gift idea this holiday season, I recommend Othello. Just warn the recipient to beware of hustlers.