It’s that time of year that all of us with latent addictive personalities anticipate – McDonald’s Monopoly game. Last year’s game was an initiation for Dude.
We had returned from Orlando where the mantra “Dreams Can Come True” assaulted at every turn. After a day or two you honestly believed in magic and that anything you want will happen.
Our rental car had been one of those cute little FIAT 500s. The car was tiny, so small, in fact,
Dude called it “baby car”. From outside it didn’t appear large enough for him and me, much less his 6’3”, 250 pound daddy!
Amazingly, the car allowed ample room for us all, plus luggage – as long as we had only one carry-on-size bag per person!
More than one eco-aware young man drooled as he discussed the model’s features with Dear Hugsband. Dude checked pricing online. A model with all the options he wanted cost a mere $35,000.
So last year’s McDonald’s Monopoly game enticed our young “Uncle Pennybags”. He approached it like he does every game — to win! When he saw the FIAT 500 prize, he was motivated to spend every dime of his allowance on the game!
His daddy and I privately debated the potential disappointment with the potential learning experience.
We remembered our first experiences with the game. The reality was that winning more than a free Coke seldom actually happens. Since dear Hugsband worked on a project for Coke including all he wants to drink, that was not an incentive.
I thought about the first winner of Colorado’s lottery. He lived in the town I grew up, Lafayette. Within a year, that new millionaire’s many girlfriends and guy pals disappeared with his funds.
My grandmother’s list each time Grandpa hired a company to drill for oil on their ranch included college scholarships, cars and new homes for her twelve grandchildren. We grandchildren missed our chance to be the Colorado version of the Ewings. Oil never flowed on their land so we paid our own ways.
We discussed limits and ultimately enabled his play. Our expectations were low for the McDonalds game but we allowed Dude to play.
One day Dude and I met my brother, Wes, and his grandchildren at McDonald’s in Castle Rock. “Mommy, we should carry my Monopoly folder with us,” Dude said and sorted through the new game pieces placing each in its appropriate slot. “Hmmm.” I mechanically responded. “See, this is Oriental Avenue.” He held up a playing piece. “I’m sure I have Connecticut Avenue and Vermont Avenue in the folder at home, so I won.” He pointed to the prize list in disbelief. The prize for all three light blue pieces is five thousand dollars! We talked about his options on the way home. “Of course, Mommy,” Dude said, “I’ll give $500 to church for a tithe.” “Hmm,” I said and tried not to get too excited. “I really wanted the ‘baby car’ but if I get five thousand dollars, that’s ok,” he said. “Now, I need to think of the best thing that could happen and the worst, so I don’t get too disappointed, if I’m wrong.”
We dreamed about what he could buy; what I would buy if it were mine; what we thought his sister and Daddy would want if they suddenly got $5K – minus 50% taxes. The hour drive home flew.
At home Dude jumped out of the Jeep and ran into the house to check his Monopoly sheet.
Like everyone else I’ve known who played the Monopoly game during the past twenty-five years, Dude discovered he did NOT have all three required pieces.
As difficult as it was to watch his disappointment, we checked this rite of passage off the list.
The game started early this year, yesterday to be exact. So, if you get Pennsylvania Avenue, he has Pacific and North Carolina Avenues and he’ll split the Fiat 500 with you.