That STUPID Game Called Life

Published Date: April 20th, 2010
Category: Weekly Thought

I got to experience life today. The game of LIFE, that is. Do you all remember that game? With the fun, clicking circle you spun in the middle of the game board? The one with the little cars that have the holes for you and your spouse and all of your children? G was home sick today, so we ended up playing board games. And he was adamant we played LIFE.

Within the first two moves, he had skipped college to become a computer consultant, was making $70,000 a year, had home and auto insurance, and had purchased 2 stocks. I, on the other hand, was $50K in debt and slugging my way through college.

At first I felt like I should really encourage him to not skip college, but then when the kid purchased his 4-bedroom colonial home and I was BARELY able to afford my log cabin in the woods as a low-paying policeman I thought,

“WHAT?!Come on!”

Plus, I kept spinning the number 8, which automatically gave him $10,000 for one of the stocks he purchased. And I realized, maybe this whole college thing is now a bad idea, considering how expensive it is. Most kids are starting off their adult life in debt thanks to $20-$30K a year for college tuition and expenses. You don’t need a college degree to become a real estate or travel agent, so why not?

As we continued playing and I continued sucking, G was racking up dollar after dollar. I found myself getting grumpier and grumpier.

Yes, I know it was only a game. And yes, I know that I am now 37 and he is only 5 and that none of this should matter. But it seemed so realistic to me in this bad economy where people who are making bad decisions (like buying houses they cannot afford) are getting breaks and aid to get out of debt. And the suckers (like us) who played by the rules and paid our dues are barely getting by.

The game of LIFE was showing me something that I have now realized with too much conviction:

Life just isn’t fair.

That is until G hit the “mid-life crisis/pick a new career” spot. When you reach this spot on the board, you have to give up your old career and salary and pick a new career and salary from a stack of cards. And what do you know—every card he picked, he needed a college degree, and so he would have to pick again. And again.

He picked accountant, to which I gleefully said,

“Nope—can’t have that one little boy! You didn’t go to college, remember? Pick another one!”

He chose the doctor card, to which I yelled,

“Looks like you need a degree for that one as well. Too bad! Pick again!”

And then he picked artist. No degree needed for that one. I was still in my prime, because I was SURE he was going to pick a $15,000 or $25,000 a year salary card.

Nope. The kid somehow became an artist with a $100,000 a year salary.

As I slumped back into my seat and the child proceeded to hit TWO SALARY spots within one turn and therefore made $200,000 with one spin he said to me,

“This Life is good, Mama!”

Let’s just hope life really works out like that for you in the end, my dear.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 20th, 2010 at 12:17 pm and is filed under Weekly Thought. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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