So I’m attempting to participate in NaBloPoMo. Weekends are for free writing so I used this as an opportunity to do this week’s writing prompt exercise. Thanks for the feedback on the last post; it’s certainly helping to improve my skills. As always feel free to comment on the post.
The toy I remember most, Monopoly.
Mastering Monopoly as a child was my ambition. I spent long afternoons being outlawed from my cousin’s dining room as they and my older sister, fiercely battled to own the board. I meanwhile was encouraged to draw. Though every artistic piece turned out to be a complete monstrosity, my aunty failed to see I totally lacked creative flair. I was bored and lonely, dreaming of a day when I would come of age to pass go and collect £200. In my mind, I’d win every time of course. Reality however, proved to be a little different.
My sister began teaching me the ways of Monopoly at home. On the red carpet in the lounge, I was instructed in the art of risk management and entrepreneurship. My first task was to pronounce words I’d not come across before; ‘Bank in error in you favour’ was initially: “Bank in Eric-Roy”. Please note I was about seven (maybe eight) years old at this time. Whilst I can now pronounce ‘error’, I’m still to meet Eric Roy to do some banking!
My sister was virtually impossible to beat. Though I lost almost every game my appetite for victory did not diminish. I’d like to think my strategy was progressing with every game. Truth be told, I found I wasn’t the most logical thinker. Adapting my strategy with every unexpected turn of events was tough. Especially when all I wanted, was to buy the places I had been to in London, like Trafalgar Square. In fact this was my first map of London really. Adding to the dilemma, was the urge to purchase properties based on my favourite colours. I clearly had a lot to learn about impulsive buying and the not letting my heart rule my head.
We quickly established default settings; my sister would always be car and I would be ship. She would be banker and I’d take charge of the property cards. In no time at all Monopoly had become part of our fixed routine. I did get better but I didn’t win for the longest time. She was bigger then me after all. So when it did eventually happen I was thrilled to finally accomplish this rite of passage. But we moved away and I never actually played with my cousins in that dining room where it had all began.
We moved to place where other family members enjoyed Monopoly too. Here it wasn’t just cousins, it was aunts, uncles and even my granddad. I did my fair share of winning and my position in the family hall of fame was thus established. It wasn’t just family though. My neighbours were into it too. But beating the boy next door posed a serious challenge when we played one on one. He once picked up the yellow set early on in the game and refused to do any swapping thereafter. I hadn’t come across this method of playing before. It was an unspoken rule that we would always swap. It felt as though the true trajectory of the game wasn’t being followed. Plus I was on the losing end of this. He annihilated me. I was obviously not as good as I thought I was. Though I could have killed him that day, I did admire him. Secretly I think he relished his victory, especially as I was an expressive sore loser.
We played some bitterly fierce games following that. I was determined to be avenged and our sleepover’s were not always very pretty I can tell you. It probably brought out the worse in me whilst growing up. There were tears and tantrums of course. The harder I tried to win the more I lost. I just couldn’t win. I felt like a loser. Somehow in a rational moment of insight, I realised I was focussing too much on winning and being the best. Over the course of my later teenage years, I began to enjoy the game for what it was. A game. I don’t recall winning any games against him. But I did go on to win a few with my siblings again.
Nowadays I play Monopoly Deal with my gang. It’s a new concept based on the old classic, competitive but friendly. Some of our best nights in together have been spent playing Monopoly Deal. And I don’t mind losing at all. We make temporary alliances to prevent one or other of us winning, whilst secretly having our own hand ready to clinch the win. Thankfully Monopoly hasn’t been a deal breaker in my friendships. Whilst striving to be good at it, I’ve also learnt a fair about life along the way.
2 thoughts on “The Toy I remember most…”
Oh Em Geeee! I laughed myself to tears reading this! So many memories…. I loved playing monopoly with you, we should do it again sometime soon. Sx
Haha! Thanks! Much of this is based on our childhood days, one of the few posts thats autobiographical in any sense. We need to have this Monopoly evening