My daughter had an unusual request for me last weekend. “Let’s play Monopoly, Dad!”
She and I started playing Monopoly probably 15 years ago when she was still little. I am not a big game-player myself, but my daughter inherited the game gene from her mother’s side of the family. Jodi loves games, whereas, I merely tolerate them.
We went to a local store to shop for a Monopoly game to replace the one I had evidently misplaced in the move from Arkansas to Oklahoma. I felt bad because she bought it for me years ago — possibly as a Christmas present. I’m not sure. I am not the greatest Monopoly player but she and I really bonded over the game, so I was embarrassed to say we would have to buy a new one. That, and I really didn’t want to shell out for a boardgame Saturday night.
As you probably know, there are all sorts of Monopoly games on the market. I wouldn’t mind having some of the cooler ones, like “Seinfeld” Monopoly or The Godfather Monopoly (do the losers get whacked?) but those can be pricey. We were in the market for plain ole Monopoly.
I immediately voiced opposition to a new-fangled “electronic” Monopoly, which seems to use ATM cards instead of regular Monopoly money. I am too old-school to play with phony check cards. I was scouring the shelves for ordinary Monopoly when Jodi and her boyfriend, Alex, came to me with another offering — Empire Monopoly.
Or maybe it’s Monopoly Empire. Either way, I was resistent at first because it looked, well, new. I don’t get along with most boardgames; anything that looks overly complicated, with too many bells and whistles, kills my interest.
However, the game was cheap enough, and the kids really wanted to play, so I acquiesced. We brought the game home and started rolling the dice.
I mentioned my daughter has a game-playing gene. Well, it was on full display Saturday night. Like her mom, she can change from the sweetest person in the world to the most ruthless opponent imaginable. They both take their play seriously; I look on it as a game —I mean, who really cares?
Jodi set out not only to beat me and Alex but humiliate us — take all our money, buy up all the good properties and drive us into Monopoly bankruptcy court, which I was more than happy to let her do.
Then I started winning.
Empire Monopoly rules are slightly different from regular Monopoly rules. You can actually put the screws to your opponents or stop them putting the screws to you. I took full advantage of these new rules and pummeled my only child into the ground (metaphorically speaking).
I won pretty handily and even gloated a little. What I failed to consider was that Jodi, like her mother, takes losing as seriously as winning. I was in for a revenge whipping.
She laid it on the next round, tying with a solid win that left her feeling better about the evening. We played a third round and Alex won that time, breaking the tie. Afterward, I placed the game in a secure location. I’d hate to lose this one. It belongs to all three of us.