My wife is out for the night, my middle son is at a friend's house, and I'm home with my eldest boy (10) and my little girl (7). After playing "Hey! That's My Fish!" (thanks Secret Santa), the kids are angling to go watch TV, or play video games, or something else where they'll be fed by electronic media. No other board game is sounding interesting to them. I need to move fast if I want to do something as a group.
"Why not Monopoly?" I say to myself. They've mentioned Monopoly in the past, and I've always refused hands down. I have fond memories of playing Monopoly as a kid (I played it a ton). I don't want to make Monopoly more attractive to theme merely because I refuse to play it. Plus, I don't want them saying one day when I'm dead, "yeah, Dad loved board games, but he'd never play Monopoly with me."
In my home, there is "Papa's Game Closet", which is upstairs, and the "Kids' Game Closet", which is downstairs, and the kids control. I'm actually surprised at what a mess it is. I can find three Monopoly boards, but that's it. Given that I had 2 sets and the wife had 1 set when we got married, I won't give up on finding the necessary pieces in this unlit closet.
So, we piece together a flashlight (few batteries here, empty flashlight there), and I go in! I start throwing all sorts of game pieces out, Uno cards, Monopoly Jr pieces (not good enough), mystery pieces that I can't begin to label. I'm just about to give in, when I see my wife's put a bunch of game pieces into a rubbermaid box.
Ah... all the bits! Plenty of cash, and two sets of deeds. We're in business. I put my son in charge of making sure there's a game's worth of pieces in our collection, and I set out to print the rules from BGG.
See, if I'm gonna play Monopoly, it's gonna be by the rules. Even though I can rattle off the Monopoly spaces by memory, in order, I'm not quite sure of the proper rules. So, six pages later, and I'm ready to go! We separate out the necessary allotment of houses and hotels. I consider trying to cull the Community Chest and Chance cards, but have no idea how many of each card I'm supposed to have.
My daughter's luck wasn't helping her plight, and her tears started to flow after she saw the inevitable coming. Lots of hugs were passed out, lots of explaining that this was her first game. I wanted her to finish the game though, and I couldn't see any reason to 'help' her and prolong her pain.
My "let's play to the end" attitude drains away, and I mercifully end the game. More hugs for my daughter, and even though it's late we go for a walk and I let her hold the flashlight. Remember when something so small could completely change your attitude?