When I was a kid, I looooooved board games. I'm not sure why. Maybe I really did love that throwing dice/moving counters stuff. Or maybe (more likely) I just enjoyed enjoying something I knew my mother despised. The only board games my mother would play willingly were Scrabble (which is yawntastic when you're a kid playing the adult version knowing your wordophile mother is going to win every.damn.time) and - inexplicably - Snakes and Ladders. Seriously, is there any board game more dull that that one?
My obsession was with Monopoly. It's a board game, my mother loathed it and it takes ages to play. I fantasised about it, dreamed of it, yearned for it. Occasionally, my father (when he was home and not exhausted) and I would gang up on my mother and force her into playing, sometimes it was just my father and me. But it was always rare, so I loved it.
Fast forward too-many-years-to-count. Here at home, the girls and I have TWO Monopoly sets - my original one (original as in it's London and it's the one I had as a child, in fabulous condition because it was hardly ever used) and my ex's one from his childhood (so it's of Paris, and in French Francs and has the Champs-Elysées card missing). Every so often the girls will beg me to play it.
But do you know what? While I really don't think I'm particularly like my mother at all, I have to say I'm with her on this: Monopoly sucks the life out of you. It wears you down till you can barely think, barely function, and eats up so many hours of a day that you get nothing done at all. Especially when your 7-year-old is the Bank and takes about 5 minutes to give change for every transaction (and confuses the 100s with the 1000s pretty much every time).
As you can probably guess, yesterday was that French favourite: no-school-Wednesday. And, whilst this may well be the south of France, you wouldn't fucking know it: grey skies, cool wind, threatening rain for a week now. I couldn't think of anywhere to go with the girls that wouldn't cost me their inheritance (what inheritance?), so we stayed in. This morning they watched "Rocky and Bullwinkle" (is it really so very wrong of me - or a sign of brain disintegration perhaps? - that I find this film hilarious?) and this afternoon it was either take them to the swimming pool (which I hate even more than Monopoly - I swim like a brick, loathe getting water on my face, feel claustrophobic in those horrid swimcaps you have to wear and get a headache from the noise levels) or play Monopoly.
We played Monopoly.
To be honest, I couldn't even tell you who won. I'm guessing C, as she seemed to have the most money left despite having bought shitloads of streets. We didn't declare a winner, we just stopped playing when I couldn't feel my arse any more (sitting on a parquet floor for hours is hell) and L was getting to fidgety. They seemed to enjoy it, despite the squabbling and painful money calculating procedures. I wanted to poke my eyes out with a fork.
And of course I got nothing of any significance done - Rocky and Bullwinkle sucked me in this morning, Monopoly sucked the life out of me this afternoon.
I suppose I should consider it time well spent, quality time with the girls, doing stuff together, or what have you. But Lord Almighty, why does it always have to be Monopoly?