Did you love this game as a kid? Have you played it recently?
I didn’t love it as a kid, but I played it often and then again last week. I decided to take a new approach, harnessing the wisdom and sensibility I’ve acquired over the past 40 grueling years on this planet.
I lost to my 8 year-old. And my husband.
Let me start at the beginning.
Last month I received a generous gift certificate to the grand opening of Savers, a new store in our area. I was given this perk, I suppose, because I have a strong influence over of many, many moms.
I was delighted. Free stuff! What’s Savers anyway?
I looked it up. It’s like Goodwill, but for profit. They also carry some new seasonal products, like Halloween costumes and holiday decor.
So, not sure I could spend the entire amount given to me all by myself, I recruited the ultimate shopper in our household. The Butterfly. She can spend excessive amounts of money without leaving the house. We had to change all the passwords on our electronics to keep her habits in check.
There is nothing she likes more than to walk into a store and hear the words “pick anything you want.” We were there for two hours while she examined the entire store (which is tremendous). She chose a new Halloween costume, a craft set, a doll care set, a party dress and The Game of Life (for $3.95, retail price is $24.95).
We played as soon as we got home. When I played as a kid, I was always the reckless risk taker. I pretty much always lost. My approach this time was to do everything the right way, the smart way, the way that should win.
I went into debt to go to college and ended up a lonely computer specialist with no children and a non-responsive, unemployed, emotionally unavailable husband.
Would you just look at him? All he does it sit there. He’s the blue one, in he passenger seat.
I drove a purple car though, which was a cool.
I was doing well (aside from the lifeless husband and boring job), heading for retirement when suddenly, my real husband landed on the sue another player square. This worked great for him. He needed the money to refurnish his double-wide, which he bought only to justify talking like a redneck for the rest of the night. He landed on it three more times.
I don’t think this game is fair or true to life at all.
So listen up Hasbro, it doesn’t cost $50k to set up a family website, like you charged me. There should be a limit on how many times you can sue the same player. The squares need to be updated to reflect current trends, like get an illness that your insurance company doesn’t believe in, spend $20K on treatment; a freak October snow storm drops a tree on your house, pay $15K in repairs; your uncle accidentally poisons your dog, pay $3K for blood transfusion; daughter discovers iTunes password and downloads $200 in App purchases; kids use couches as trampoline, pay $3k to replace them; husband needs new camping gear, waste $800. These are the things that happen in real life, if you’re lucky like me. And give us some hope, Hasbro! How about a square that says blog gets picked up by major publisher, becomes a bestseller, make $6,450,127.00?
A woman needs her fantasies.
In the end, The Butterfly refused to liquidate her luxury mountaintop retreat and retire from her career as a veterinarian. I ended up in a cheap retirement home with no kids to visit me, a silent husband, and constant lawsuits draining my bank account. I didn’t even have a freakin cat to keep me company.
My real husband managed to win the game, bragging like Sugar Bear after mud bogging. The Butterfly was a close second and loving her pretend life. I came in dead last, which was fine, because I was turning into a grumpy old woman waiting for death.
There are lessons here. Real lessons.
- Play games with the innocence and excitement of a child. They know it’s all about the fun. And maybe live life that way too.
- I suck at board games. If you want to win, invite me to play.
- Never pay full price for a board game. Instead, buy them at Savers, especially if you (or one of your kids) are likely to stomp on it, flip it over or open the front door and toss it out onto the lawn. That last one happened here once. I am completely ashamed of myself for it and apologized profusely. No one really misses Operation (damn that buzzer!), so it worked out for the best.
Don’t judge me. I’m still figuring out this game.
“Now the game. Your game. The one that only you was meant to play. The one that was given to you when you came into this world. You ready? Take your stance. Don’t hold nothing back. Give it everything.” – The Legend of Bagger Vance