The Crying Game

Let’s get real for a minute here, readers. College is tough. Really tough. Insanely tough.

Sometimes, it makes you so mad you feel like you are 2 seconds away from Hulking out and flipping over every table in the near vicinity and then running off and joining the Avengers.

Actually…that sounds pretty awesome.

Let me rephrase: sometimes, college is so hard, you randomly will find yourself in your dorm room at 2 a.m. crying harder than you did when you were 7 and watching Mufasa tumble down the cliff face for the first time in Lion King. Yeah, I know. I didn’t mean to bring up that traumatic childhood experience, but it needed to be done to really bring my point home. College is not a cake walk and if you aren’t careful, the stress can start to get to you.  

And nothing alleviates stress quite like a rousing, lighthearted game of Monopoly (the joke here, readers, is that Monopoly is as far from a non-stress inducing activity as you can get without setting something on fire or bringing in a bear).

Everyone needs a fun, healthy output; something to combat the harrowing reality that college sometimes is. It just so happens that my friends and I’s idea of fun is engaging in a sadistic warfare that pits us all against each other until, slowly and systematically, we destroy one another. In Monopoly, either you win or you die. No…wait. That’s the game of thrones. But, it’s surprisingly fitting.

Every Sunday afternoon, you’ll find me and my ragtag group of friends seated in the living room of Simplot around a game board. We may or may not be in military fatigues and war paint (depends on how we’re feeling). My best friend is one of the most chill, relaxed people I know. But, heaven help the person who decides to go toe-to-toe with her in Monopoly. If you don’t believe me, take one look at the attached picture. Look at that face. You think you’re going to come out richer for the experience after going against that? I’ve seen grown men cry and small economies collapse in attempts to beat her. I, unfortunately, have never won. Ever. Seriously. You’d think that I’d stop playing, seeing as I lose week after week. But, for some reason, like Sisyphus and his rock, I just keep coming back (that reference coming to you all the way from 530 B.C. I try, readers, I try).

The point is, Monopoly is our reward. It’s something that we can look forward to all week long. Classes may be stressful, life may be hard, but at the end of the week, Monopoly is there. Sure, as soon as it is over, we go back to studying or writing that essay or reading that book, but for those few hours, none of those things exist. All that matters is ruthlessly laughing as you take everything your opponents own until they are left with nothing.

And if that is not the American Dream at work, I don’t know what is.

- Ashley A. Miller

P.S. The title “The Crying Game” can be taken as A) an accurate description of college B) an accurate description of Monopoly C) me simply expressing my love of the 1992 Forrest Whitaker movie or D) all three (hint: it’s D).

Ashley is a sophomore Creative Writing major from Payette, Idaho.