Wednesday, April 16, 2014

It's been no bed of roses, no pleasure cruise

Four years ago, my sister Hannah gave me and Stephen Monopoly for a wedding gift. Not just standard Monopoly. Monopoly *Championship Edition* which probably cost $10.00 more because it includes a plastic trophy with a slot for the current household champion's name to be displayed somewhere prominently in the home. 

For the first month or two of marriage, we played often. Among some of the other surprises one learns about one's spouse in that first year, Stephen learned that I'm kind of extremely board-game-mean. I'm not competitive about many things because I'm not really great at much. With no athletic prowess and minimal musical ability, I always hated track meets and violin competitions and only ever participated for the sake of college applications. But pull out a board game and I become a cut-throat maniac intent on destroying my opponents because I FREAKING CAN. I'm especially terrible when playing Monopoly. My family quit playing with me long ago, and after getting tired of repeatedly losing to his maniacal wife, Stephen decided it was better for our marriage if we put the board, and the trophy, away for a while. 

So our Championship Edition Monopoly sat on a shelf for nearly half a decade, unplayed and neglected. Every now and then, I'd casually mention how fun it would to maybe play Monopoly for just a few hours and Stephen, panic-stricken, would lock the closet. 

But then last week something came over my husband, and with a mischievous twinkle in his eye, he asked, "Want to play Monopoly?". Before he had a chance to give it a second thought, I had the board out, the money counted and the properties organized. I won. Cause I'm amazing. But I did notice Stephen had improved a great deal. Perhaps three years of law school taught him shrewdness. Perhaps it was easier to detect my vulnerabilities after so many years of living together. Perhaps he was just lucky. We played again the next night. And the next night. Each game more intense than the last. Both of us becoming meaner and crazier.  Like Jumanji on Redbull. Stephen won once, then I won four times in a row, just to show him his single victory was a fluke. I placed the Champion trophy atop our mantle with my name scrawled across the bottom. I was unstoppable. And then we played last night. Stephen won. Another fluke, I thought. So I asked to play again. Early in the game I acquire Boardwalk and Park Place. He was toast. But then he put hotels on all the yellows and all the magentas and soon I was paying $1,500 every time around the board, and soon I was broke. I was beat. I was forced to watch Stephen write his name on the trophy. I pouted. He put away the board, smiling, a pep in his step, I once had in mine. 

Stephen may have won two battles, but I am winning the war. When will it end? When victory is sure. Will there be blood shed? Maybe. Will it be worth it? Yes. 


  1. Dan still refuses to play with me for the same reasons. Someday. Someday.

    1. Someday he'll give in and then regret it.


Don't be shy.