Monday, February 28, 2011
The Game of Life
Always a late bloomer, I was the last of my family to be married, my little green car making its way around the game board, one lone pink peg at the wheel. In the game of Life, I was a bit behind. Mary, Kate and Jack had all found true happiness and prosperity, I had adopted a dog and found work as a mechanic, opting initially to bypass college. While Mary won fame and fortune on a television talent show, I paid taxes and worked hard to support myself and my pound adopted dog at the car repair shop.
I bought my first house, missed a turn, and finally, after several passes, landed on the space guaranteed to bring me ever lasting happiness: Get Married. While everyone else was already happily betrothed to the opposite color peg, I found an opportunity to show the girls that there are choices and not everyone wants to spend their life with a blue peg. I announced that I would like to marry a woman and asked for a pink peg to join me in my green car. Kate looked up, "oh, mom married a woman. My turn!".
We continued round the board. Peg, Pound Dog and I were happy but falling into debt. When I had the chance to go back to school I took it. Several spins later I graduated and found work as a veterinarian, allowing me to pay off all our debts, diagnose all ailments acquired by Pound Dog and eventually move into a much more suitable hip penthouse apartment. But there was something missing, Peg and I had no children. While Jack, Mary and Kate filled their cars with small pegs, and then basked in the generous monetary gifts required after landing on a child space in the game of Life, Peg and I continued on, just the two of us. True, we didn't have to pay for college like everyone else, but our car seemed empty and we wanted more.
Our lives were about to change, my next spin offered me a choice: either the more direct route to retirement or a trip down the family path. Commonly known as Fertility Doctor Lane as three of the six spaces guarantee you an offspring, I embraced the chance. Hop, skip and a jump, I missed all three, and ended my stressful fertility treatment childless and behind everyone else on the board, my detour costing me time and effort not necessary for those with full cars. Defeated Peg, Pound Dog and I spun again. We adopted another dog, missed the last chance for a baby space, confusingly became grandparents and survived a tornado which threatened to destroy our high rise home. Adversity brought us closer. We didn't win the game of Life, that honor went to the singing physician Mary, but we enjoyed ourselves in the short time we were married. We prospered, we faltered, we missed opportunity and we grew about 30 minutes older together.
The irony was not lost on Jack and me, although Mary and Kate barely noticed my rainbow flag waving childless green coupe as it trailed along behind them. A greater victory, children oblivious to what might seem different to others, that counts as a win for me.