The Game Of Life

Posted by Big Daddy Paul in Uncategorized

Malcolm and I played the Game of Life yesterday for the first time. In case you haven’t played it, it is a game that allows you to experience all the things in real life that are important (marriage, insurance, kids, bad real estate decisions) in a 30 minute board game. Malcolm enjoyed it, as it made him feel very grown up. I had a good time just watching the spectacle of it all.

I noticed immediately that none of the truly important decisions I have made in my life made it into this game. The game did not, for instance, have a space that read, “Impregnate your high school girlfriend, proceed to job at gas station.” Similarly, the game had no fork in the road where you have the chance to try heroine in college. There were no squares for bad tattoos, devastating losses in Vegas, or having your wife and mistress meet awkwardly at a double-booked dinner. Alas, some aspects of the game of Life are just not fun for the whole family, and I was pretty OK with that.

As far as the aspects of life that the game did have, I found the most interesting part of the experience to be Malcolm’s selection of spouses for each of us. I wanted to gauge his view on marriage, so when it became time for each of us to get married I asked whether we should each marry a boy or a girl. He decided that we would each marry a boy.

Batman and Elephant, the perfect couple.

Batman and Elephant, the perfect couple.

He opted to marry his friend Quinn from school, and,when I asked him about his selection, he said that it was because Quinn is his friend. That made sense to me. I, on the other hand, got stuck without explanation with some guy named Eddie. I am not sure why I married Eddie, but I just hoped that he wasn’t mean, wasn’t into NASCAR, and that he didn’t like to eat at Olive Garden.

This particular game wound up teaching Malcolm lessons I am not sure I wanted him to learn. In the game, I was rewarded for skipping college by making almost $90,000 a year as an athlete. He chased after his college degree and for $125,000 of debt, he got a $40,000 a year job as an accountant. He also learned you aren’t in control of when and whether you have any kids and that kids do nothing for you besides cost you money. Lastly, the game taught him that all the really fun stuff happens early in life, so unless your idea of a good time is winning the Nobel Prize, you better have fun while you’re young. Since I won the game, I am sure that he thought it was glamorous to be a gay ball player with husband, two charming little girls, a fine tudor house and 1.4 million dollars in the bank. I want him to know that these things aren’t all that important in the end. What’s important is that you never, ever wind up getting married to someone who enjoys eating at Olive Garden. That’s the real importance of the Game of Life, and I’ll do my best to teach him just that.

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