Monday, November 22, 2010


Have you ever played the board game Life? I think it needs a rework. As it stands now in the game, you have an inconsequential childhood and then either head to collage (good income) or a trade (bad income). Then you get married. Then you travel along and buy insurance and start stacking kid pegs into the back of your convertible and either do amazing stuff or land just short of it and pay a buttload of taxes, and eventually either end up in the poorhouse or a Georgian manse.

I know it’s just a game, but in what reality is that the road everyone should take? Since when does everyone take the same path? Or have the same object? Why is the goal at the end of the game, and why is the only goal to end up rich?

Why isn't there an option to be a Wall Street tycoon and your object the rest of the game is to reach death before the SEC tosses your ass in jail? Or how about you drop out of college but start up MicroSoft or FaceBook or any of the other evil-lite empires we love to hate and then spend the rest of your life trying to figure out how it all went so terribly right. Or you hit the church square to get married, but you're a blue peg, and you want to marry another blue peg, or you want to marry two pink pegs, or maybe your path is to be happily unmarried? Or you don't want anything to do with the church? Why can't you chose to diverge paths there, or anywhere along the route?

Or maybe you work a few jobs that you hate while scribbling at night and sell quite a few damn fine books. Then you decide to return to university after marriage and after having a child and study a subject that's your true calling. What if this new beginning is such a perfect fit that you become an instructor and help a new generation of poets and writers? Then I'd say you won the game, and it isn't even nearly over.  

We should all have the option for a new beginning. Not a return to the start, because the path so far is what prepared us for what lies ahead. Some people will take the one-size-fits-all route from birth to death, but the rest of us should have the guts to take a scenic path with all its blundering about and blessed restarts and realizations and regrets and joy and a new sense of purpose, and basically, you know, Life.


  1. I was always taught that today is the first day of the rest of your life.

    You might not be starting from where you want to start, you may have plans that will take a while to come to fruition, and of course you may have ambitions that are so far-fetched they don't stand much chance of happening (like my plan of becoming a writer - heh!).

    But as they say (in the UK) about the lottery, the only sure way not to win is not to play.

  2. Fulani - Don't be the first person to reject your writing. Give some editor the honor ;) You never know...

    Jeremy - Thanks

  3. I remember watching Xander and Anya playing Game of Life on Buffy.

    Anya wanted to do well and kept asking if she could sell her children to get more money :-)


  4. Hi Kathleen!

    I'm coming to this a little late, but this is a very good post and I enjoyed it. I never played the game of life, although I remember it being around. I was thinking they should have a special square for mid life crisis where after winning most of the game you could throw it all away and become a cowboy.


  5. Garce - Or going back to your post last week - what if you could go to each decision in your life that you question now and see where the other path took you? You'd think that you'd end up with an infinite decision tree of possible what ifs futures, but what if all paths looped back to where you are now? Only you're a cowboy.

  6. Ash - Anya sounds like a sensible person. Who made up the rules, anyway?

  7. Kathleen,

    We're the ones who give the "rules" their power.

    We can make our own!



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