What One Could Learn from the Game of Life

September 9, 2012

in no manual for parenting


Bad mommy confession: I hate playing board games. I still have horrible memories of spending hours playing Monopoly that would not end, and of course I went into bankruptcy half way through the game followed by a streak of bad lucks. Five hours later I was exhausted and bitter. That’s why even though my 9-year-old has been begging me to play the game of Life for weeks, I did not grant him this one tiny wish until this afternoon.

And, as you could guess, I am glad I did and we had great fun playing it.

Things I learned from playing the Game of Life:

1. You start out with a bank loan of $100,000 if you choose the “College Career” path.

2. Teacher’s salary sucks because it starts out at 40K and maxes out at 70K.

3. See above. College Career does not necessary pay, unless you are a doctor or a lawyer. But since you have no idea which career path you would land in — a card is randomly drawn, you are better off going on the “regular career” path.

4. Being an entertainer has great potential of making a steady, 6-figure, income. I am sold!

5. Spending a lot of money buying a flashy house does not get you anything in the end. You get to sell your house back to the bank for the exact same amount of money that you paid for.

6. See above. A double-wide RV costs 300K. Therefore I am not sure why I traded my starter home, a log cabin, up for a RV. “It’s just for bragging rights, mom. You are so dumb.”

7. My kids are risky gamblers: They are not allowed into any casinos. I am submitting their names and pictures and retina scan data to the Secret Casino Bouncer Club (there is one right?) so they would be barred from entering any casino.

8. I set out playing the game determined to NOT get married. But I was dealt the card so I had to bite the bullet (or lie in it or something). With lots of whining.

“Mom, get a pink one! Be a rebel!” My oldest encouraged me.

“Oh, that would be weird.” My youngest said, unsurely.

“Well, that’s a good idea. We should represent all different types of families!” I put another pink pin in my car. So in this game I was in a same-sex marriage, and my wife and I ended up having three children (with two of them being twins).

I did have to apologize (to nobody in particular) when I mumbled, “I wish my wife is good at raising kids because I ain’t doing all that.”

See? Gender roles. I can’t get pass the stereotypical thinking even in my pretend Life. Ugh.


{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Ameena September 10, 2012 at 10:05 pm

I flipping detest board games. I just can’t do them! I can tolerate Uno but that’s about it. Glad that someone else can relate!

I set out not to get married either. In real life. And look at what happened? It appears inevitable…


Absence Alternatives September 11, 2012 at 12:57 pm

*Sigh* Since I was little, unlike most Chinese mothers, my mom told me to not get married. Then of course I HAD TO.


Jotter Girl September 10, 2012 at 9:21 am

Your wife is very cute.
Jotter Girl´s last blog post…Open letter to Barnes and Noble #2


Absence Alternatives September 11, 2012 at 12:56 pm

I sure hope that she is a good cook too.


Ry Sal September 10, 2012 at 8:33 am

so funny!
My Mom would never let me play Candyland. We never owned it and she would sigh a deep and meaningful breath of disapproval if she heard I had played it at someone else’s house.

I am determined, as soon as they are old enough, to play it everyday.
Ry Sal´s last blog post…I don’t know what’s going on with me… But it’s all David Byrne’s fault.


Absence Alternatives September 11, 2012 at 12:56 pm

LOL. And you should blog about it and take pictures and put them on Instagram too!


Life with Kaishon September 10, 2012 at 8:03 am

You are the best rebel I know : )
I want Kaishon banned from casinos also! He totally seems like a risk taker.
Life with Kaishon´s last blog post…Gone fishin’


Absence Alternatives September 11, 2012 at 12:56 pm

That smile? He’s a charmer for sure.

Yeah… you are in trouble. 😉


Naptimewriting September 10, 2012 at 12:17 am

I *am* a…
what is up with my typing lately?
Naptimewriting´s last blog post…Every day miracles for once in a lifetime


Absence Alternatives September 11, 2012 at 12:53 pm

I thought you were merely being poetic. Or emphatic about that point. lol


Naptimewriting September 10, 2012 at 12:16 am

I a board game addict. Love them. Except Candyland, adore playing games. Always have, since that’s most of what we did with my mom for entertainment. Camping? Board games. Home? Board games.

Good for you for eschewing college debt and having a same sex marriage in the game of Life. Both of those should be easier than they are.
Naptimewriting´s last blog post…Every day miracles for once in a lifetime


Absence Alternatives September 11, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Actually, I worried that maybe people would be offended since it may be interpreted as me taking these challenges lightly.

Sometimes I am afraid of writing because of identity politics: if you are not part of the community/group, perhaps you should stay away from it, even with good intentions.


Alexandra September 9, 2012 at 11:52 pm

Thanks for reminding me of allllll the cool reasons to play games with my kids.

Even though I’m like you: I dont’ like it.

I make myself do it, but I don’t like it.

BUT now you made me remember: there’s LOTS of good reasons to do it.

Besides, they really dig it.

Not about me anymore, is it?


Kickin’ post. Thank you.
Alexandra´s last blog post…ICYMI


Absence Alternatives September 11, 2012 at 12:52 pm

You mean you did not realize that nothing is ever about you any more the day you became a mom?! 😉


Absence Alternatives September 11, 2012 at 12:52 pm

That’s why I have a blog: so I can talk about me. Me. ME!!!


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