Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Whitetailopoly Almost Destroyed My Relationship

   Months ago DU and I were sauntering down the isles at Bass Pro when we spotted a long, white box with the woods Whitetailopoly written across it.  Being ones who love board games, we immediately snatched it up.  We continually made attempts at playing the game but unfortunately, those who we unsuccessfully urged to play weren't complacent.  The poor game collected dust until last night when a series of cataclysmic events merged and almost ruined my relationship.

    Christmas went by in a lightning-quick flash.  Presents seemed to open themselves as plates chock-full of delicious vittles that only appear on holidays disappeared into thin air.  Once Tuesday morning had rolled around, my mom was ready to go home.  We had forced-fed her real BBQ, fried pickles, cheerwine, grits, biscuits, duck, and a literal ton of home-cooked goodness.  The dogs loved her, we loved her and she seemed happy with my decision to make my home in the south.  As we dropped her cheerwine loving self off at the airport, I got a little upset.  Okay, I was crying pretty hard.

    Although we didn't know it, all my tears were fruitless.  But we're not there yet. We're still in the car, watching me cry my little eyes out as planes took off over our heads.

   In an effort to get me to stop crying about how much I already missed my mom, DU suggested that we go up to the mountains.  This strategy was spot-on.  It went something like this:

    My girlfriend is weeping.  Although not outwardly wailing, she definitely is upset.
              My girlfriend is not going to work today. Hence, I could do something to make her smile.
                       My girlfriend likes things covered in snow, being cold, and looking at nature.
                             My girlfriend also likes dogs.
Snow + Mountains + Puppies + Together Time = 
Girlfriend stops crying

   Fortunately, his execution of the above equation was flawless and I immediately ceased acting like I was 8.  Smiling with the realization that I got to spend time with my mom, that Christmas was amazing and I'd get to spend time with DU, I jumped when my phone started ringing.  My mom's quasi-upset voice told me that her flight had been canceled because of  the blizzard in the northeast and could we possibly come back and get her?  Quickly over my sadness, we turned around. 
   I know my mom pretty well. Going through a divorce, relocation, college, etc together can either break or strengthen a mother-daughter relationship.  We experienced the latter so when I pulled up to the airport, I could tell all she wanted to do was get home and sleep in her own bed.  Making light of the situation, she asked if DU and I could clear out of the house for a couple of hours.  She said she loved me but needed some alone time could DU and I go do something while she stayed home and cleaned?  A fantastic compromise if I've ever heard one, we set off to go to the mall.  DU suggested a movie so we went on an impromptu date-afternoon.

   Hours later, we arrived to the cleanest version of our house I've ever seen. Mom was cuddled on one of the couches with Oscar as we settled into the big couch for a nice, relaxing night.  The entire boyfriend's family Christmas experience was new to both me and my mom, as DU's family is the first my mom has ever met. So, a calm, collected night to just hang out was needed especially after the canceled flight fiasco.

  I, of course, ruined that calmness when I suggested we play Whitetailopoly.

  I'll pause now to explain I'm not the best loser.  I win in the most gracious manner known to man. However, when I lose. I don't like it.  I get angry.  I revert to a state of childlike dependency and pout when things don't go my way.  Kindergarten taught me nothing except that life is better when I consistently win at everything.  So, after the whirlwind weekend and my mom's exhaustion, playing the board game seemed like a good idea at the time.  But, as we shall see, I should have just suggested more wine and an early bedtime.

  We settled around the coffee table in the living room to set up the game.  I immediately noticed that the game is a piece of hunting artwork.  Choosing from the pieces was tough enough, Do I want to be a shed? A tripod? A bullet? A bow? Is that a doe? The normal quartet of railroads is replaced with various taxidermy shops.  Boardwalk, Park Place and their fellow colored spaces are nowhere to be found in Whiteailopoly.  Instead are whitetail guide services and outfitters from across the country.  Utilities no longer spring forth water and electricity. Who needs those when you have firepower? Yes, friends, this glorious game turns Martin bows and TC firearms into necessities.  Best of all, instead of going to jail, the unlucky player gets their hunting license revoked and is sent to the Division of Wildlife for three turns.  Oh how glorious the game unfolded.

  Then came to dolling out money.  When DU forced me into being the banker, the game, in my eyes, started to go downhill.  I can barely count to ten let alone try to figure out how much 8 cabins cost after taking out $500 and subtracting $200 for passing go.  I hemmed and hawed trying to relinquish my title of banker but to no avail.  I quickly remembered that being the banker automatically makes it easier to steal money so I complained a few more times to shield any accusatory glances and then I fully concentrated on making sheepish grabs for the faux currency.

  The beginning of the game went perfectly.  DU was sent to jail and had to pay turn after turn for new ammunition, shoulder mounts, and a new bow.  His frustration mounted as mom and I gleefully rounded the board turn after turn, amassing card after card of property. 

  And then the game changed.  After securing one of the taxidermy shops, I figured the game was in the bag and yet again my prematurely victorious brain was screaming defeat and sounded oddly like a Hitler propaganda speech. YOU SEE THAT?? MUAHAHHAHAH.  MY LANDS WILL MULTIPLY AND I WILL BE THE LEADER OF ALL!! I WIN! THE WORLD IS MIIINNNEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  Then DU landed on the second taxidermy shop. Then the third. His little, stupid piece then landed on the fourth.  My anger must have muddled my thought process because when he offered a purple property for $350, I scoffed and quickly said no- even though I needed it.  Silly me then offered the last railroad for the purple property. I watched as the nail was securely hammered into my coffin when DU accepted the trade.  Soon he was raking in the fake money as turn after turn landed us on his taxidermy shops.

  I figured that if I were the first to strike in building cottages, I'd win.  So, I built up my series of properties.  Rubbing my hands together in the way that only diabolical bad guys in cartoons do, I waited for the dice roll that would turn the game into malleable putty in my hands. 

  Just as my eyes filled with the grandiose parade that would follow my victory, DU filled his properties with gleaming, pearl colored lodges.  Putting my tiny little cabins to shame, I glared at him.

  I spent too many turns in jail but no one noticed.  Being sprung from my entrapment with a new hunting license in my hand, I boldly rolled the die.  The number landed me right on DU's newly constructed lodges.  Price to hunt?  $1100.

  I looked at him with the most amount of intense anger I could muster. Again reverting back to my 3rd grade mentality, I pouted and made a big deal about throwing my stupid cabins back in the box..  DU, visibly confused by my attitude, took the money in a sincere way after asking why I was acting ridiculous.  In retrospect, what I should've said in order to keep him around was, "Of course I'm being ridiculous, that's what I'm getting across, hunny.  I love winning and when I don't, I automatically turn into a 4 -year-old who wants a Dora The Explorer lunch box but gets Rock 'Em Sock 'Em robots instead.  I'm sorry, take my money and win the game. I love you."  But hindsight is always 20/20 so what did I say? "Its fine".  Oh Lisa, that is never the right thing to say.  Those two little words conceal a bomb full of anger that is just waiting to explode. 

  Of course the game's vibe turned from happy family time to a recreation of World War II.  I paid DU and the game went on.  But just as fate would have it, the dice placed me exactly within the confines of the property as before.  Another $1100 that I didn't have transformed in the blink of an eye into the means of my expulsion from the game. 

  Fury coursed through my veins like adrenaline when seeing a big buck or a gaggle of geese. I gave the meager $16 I had left, threw my properties into auction and allowed myself to dramatically fall on the couch.  DU and mom, tickled pink by my outward expression of anger, played along happily until a victor was crowned. Not one to gloat or belittle his conquered peoples, DU bowed out of the living room. 

  I followed begrudgingly in his wake.  I apologized for acting like a brat and calmly explained my I-must-win-all-the-time-disease. He looked at me like he briefly contemplated ending our courtship but thought better of it.  My apology was taken well and it seems as of now that Whitetailopoly has not ruined my relationship. But it came close.

  Games that include some sort of monetary gain, accumulation of assets, construction of hotels, cabins, etc, and a high level of competition cause me to transfigure into a bratty, angry, winning-hungry, bitchy alter-ego. So, while the game is perfectly fantastic and should be a staple in every hunter's household, it will go back on its shelf in order to collect dust long enough for me to get over my recent loss.

  Until then, I'll stick with Scrabble.  As writing is my forte and my prowess in playing non-existent words is unparalleled, I never lose. Wanna play?


Trey said...

Wow! I didn't know there was another me out there!! I'm the same way! Let us never play a board game together for National Security's sake! :)

Ian Nance said...

Wow....I've nearly ruined mine with actual trips. This plague shall never curse my home!

SimplyOutdoors said...

My relationship was almost ruined during a few spirited games of Wii bowling. I hate losing!

Maybe we can start a support group?

Nick Pinizzotto said...

Great story! We have Whitetailopoly as well and I think I enjoy the cool names and pieces more than the game itself. Better luck next time.