Years ago I wrote a post on the board game Life and how it’s both stupidly unrealistic and uncomfortably realistic at the same time. There’s another version of this game for even lazier people that doesn’t involve the annoying game board and teeny little people pegs that get lost in the carpet. It’s the Life Adventures card game and the Things and I love it.
If you thought the first game was random, this game just spits on that and says “Watch this.” You get four decks of cards, a “Family” deck, a “Wealth” deck, a “Career” deck, and an “Adventure” deck. Just like real life, that’s all there is – a job, money, family, and oh the adventure of making it to the next paycheck! Actually, just like the old game, the Adventure deck has you swimming with dolphins and crap. Big deal. I want important careers and expensive things! And children because they come with points!
Oh, right, I should explain the system a bit better. There’s no deciding whether to get a degree or not, or stopping to buy a house or get married. There’s really no deciding period, it’s just whatever the deck throws at you. So if you happen to draw one of the wedding cards, boom, you just got married. As it was in the old game, it doesn’t matter if you wanted a wedding or not, you got one. Suck it up. You can avoid the wedding if you simply avoid the Family deck altogether though, but you’re really missing great opportunities for advancement and hilarity.
There is no money in this game, but don’t worry, it’s still pure capitalism. Each card you receive has a number of points on it, depending on its value. So like getting one child gives you 20 points, but triplets nets you 60 points! You can get an igloo (and be happy about it!) for 40 points, but we all want the castle because it’s worth 90 points, and also because it’s a castle and so much better than that igloo that’s melting cause it’s in Texas.
In the old game you were stuck with one job unless you had a midlife crisis. You still get those here, but you don’t have to in order to have as many jobs as you like. You can be a rocket scientist, a rock star, and an exotic zoo veterinarian all at the same time. You’d better have multiple careers, though, cause while you can have as many jobs as you want, you only get three paydays per job, and each of those is 20 points. You can get 20 points just for popping out a baby! Thank goodness this is just a game, and no one works multiple jobs or has babies for money. Talk about silly!
But you’re probably wondering, don’t you need a degree for some of those jobs, Alice? Right you are! Some cards are not playable until you have another card first. So if you want to be a rocket scientist, you have to draw a degree card first. Just one, though, so whew about those pesky doctorates. Just one degree qualifies you for every job with a degree, but some jobs don’t require one at all like rock star and President. I’m just joking, there’s no President card. There is a politician one, though, and it comes with mega points, but you like need a degree? Far out.
You also need a boat (a bathtub will do) to sail solo around the world, or a plane (private jet please) to do the loop de loop, but you can go to the moon without a spaceship no probs. Also no home improvements without a house, though you can go through the whole game with no home if you want. Just wait, though, cause I haven’t gotten to Life’s version of Chance cards yet, and that’s where things get interesting.
You get to sue people, naturally, for any card with 30 points from their life story. This could be bad if, say, all they have is a house worth at least 30 points. Or a family shark. Or a kid. If you don’t like your job, you can just swap it with someone else’s. I know I certainly wanted to swap my job with Kim Kardashian’s. You donate to charity in this game, which is great, only you are making someone else donate to charity by force. Sort of like what happened to Bill Gates when he tried to keep all his goodies to himself and social media got madfaced. You can just directly take someone’s house, though you do have to give them one in return – the igloo for the castle trade, for instance. And did I mention children?
Yeah, like everything else, those little brats are commodities. There is more than one card where you can “adopt” a child or “find a long-lost relative” and just take someone’s child away. I used to think that was called “kidnapping” but apparently I was mistaken! You can also just have a midlife crisis and swap all the cards in your hand with another player. Doesn’t matter what cards are in their hand. I bet they were saving that lawsuit and castle and set of twins weren’t they? Too bad. It’s so funny when a family member screams “Don’t take my babies!”
Since this game gets a little cutthroat (it encourages us, what do you want?), the Things and I decided to make it even more fun by playing as fictional characters. Last time we went Star Wars and I played as Jar Jar Binks complete with “Meesa this” etc. that never, ever got old. Try imagining Jar Jar getting married, or worse, reproducing. I figured that was a bit over his head, so I just had him thinking hand shaking made the babies, while his Sith wife had kids with various Dark Side guys. This led into questions of “just how hard did she shake his hand” etc., as Han Solo (Thing Two) and C-3P0 (Thing One) plotted to murder me. You’ll be happy to know that we are a progressive family, so C-3PO got to marry R2-D2 at last and together they, er, built BB-8. At least it wasn’t as ridiculous as the time I played the Emperor and married and had kids – I mean who would marry that guy, am I right?
But in the end, Life’s just a game, isn’t it? You have your ups and downs, days when you are furious at your messy igloo, and days when people adopt your children from you. Que sera, sera!
Hindsight’s 2019, and on to 2020. Boy am I glad to have 2019 in hindsight, cause it really belongs there with the exception of my new depression treatment. A lot of stupid stuff went on in 2019, and there was a lot out of my control, but also a few things I could have controlled a little better. Like I could have used better coping skills with this mad, mad world, which I’m about to address.
Last year I started watching some No-Buy videos on Youtube and reading some articles on Google. A No-Buy month, year, etc. is just what it sounds like – you don’t buy stuff for a certain amount of time. I am very aware that there are people who go on these no buy larks out of pure necessity, and I have been there myself. But most people have at least some disposable income (or take it from another category like coffee for clothing) even if they don’t have money for much else, and that’s what I’m talking about here.
At the current time, only my husband works outside of the home. I was worried for quite a while how we would make it, but ironically with our lovely system, so much was taken out of my check before by the government which then said we had to pay more taxes because we made more money (including the money they were taking out, not what we were taking home) so – it hasn’t made as much of a difference as I thought it would. In some ways, such as Thing One’s college tuition, it actually saved us money because now they consider us as poor as we were back when I worked, and the grants combined with scholarships for her grades paid for both her first and what looks like her second semester’s tuition. And we did that without Bernie paying for college, though he is certainly still welcome to do it.
Many of the people whose No Buy reports interested me had way too much makeup. There’s even an entire Reddit about this. I don’t have a problem with makeup. I don’t wear it that often now that I’m not working (and I stopped a while before then even). The only time I’ve bought much makeup was when they had a special Disney line of it. Which leads to the problem – Disney. I collect Disney dolls, especially limited edition ones which are, of course, more expensive. My mother collected dolls when I was younger, but I got onto the Disney kick while I was working in order to reward myself. My Things also have their share of dolls, as you know if you’ve read my blog very long and seen us create strange posts with them.
I am not ashamed of my dolls; I enjoy them. Everyone has something they collect, whether it’s car parts (my husband), or makeup, or baseball cards, or cell phones (you don’t need a brand new 1,000 dollar Apple phone each year sorry), etc. etc. I often collect when the thing represents something that matters to me, because I like to see, hear, and touch. I’m horrible at museums. Anyway, Disney movies matter since they all have messages (besides make me more money). I also got into collecting Game of Thrones last year since I really enjoyed the story of Daenerys – at least until that last season but moving on. I got into buying those figures too, and then into the world of Funko Pops.
Be afraid. There’s one of them for everyone, I don’t care who you are.
Since recently paying off our car, our only debt is our mortgage and medical bills. So I’m not using credit cards (we don’t own one) to finance my problem. I have dipped into our savings, though, which is not very big and consists mostly of what we got from our last tax return. We’ve been fortunate in that people like our church and family have aided with some of the bigger bills such as the dental one (I hate teeth). I’ve found that buying dolls and collectibles often comes up when I’m stressed, or sad, and gives me that brief rush – only to make me feel bad later. You see I have plenty of dolls at this point. I even sold some last year, and I intend on selling more collectibles this year.
But I’m hoping to first stop buying so many of the fancy Disney dolls. One thing that has helped me is to learn more about the psychology of shopping. It’s pretty creepy what advertisers do to lure you in, and we think we’re too smart for it, but fall for it every time. I’ve followed a youtuber who has some interesting videos, and read some books as well. I would like to spend this year enjoying what I have, decluttering my house of what I don’t, and just finding healthier habits than online shopping (which is how I buy most things I don’t need.). With what I save, I hope to put money in savings, pay off bills, and buy other things that would be nice like frames for art (the Things are good artists). My walls are rather bare and depressing at the moment.
So I’ve made some plans for the next year.
Health: Be healthier overall: keep up with mental health care and other doctor appointments (like asthma etc), more exercise, actual meal plans, better self care, and losing some weight.
Financial: Less spending on dolls and collectibles, fountain drinks, and meals out. More saving, paying off bills, improving my environment, and my self confidence (more flattering clothes, learning new stuff).
Environment: Clear out clutter, clean (and learn more about how to clean properly)
Listing them as somewhat vague yearly resolutions freaked me out, so I will divide them into months.
Month One: January
Health: 1. Continue my mental health treatment (post on that coming up) 2.Walk more – I need a specific number of steps each day. I’m still recovering from first a sinus infection, and then the antibiotics that made me sicker. But I did spend some Christmas money on a new tracker (gadgets!) which is coming on Friday. Exercise is supposed to be good for body and mind, or so they say. I’ll find out. 4. Write more. Writing is fun, and I like communicating with you guys.
Financial: 1.No spending on dolls and collectibles. 2. Fewer fountain drinks: I’ve mostly drinking the little 8 oz cans of cola rather than getting the drinks from the drive-through. This goes with health too, come to think of it. 3. Get a bill paying system together.
Environment: Work on my bedroom the most, especially my desk and bedside table drawers. Cleaning out my desk will help give me a place for keeping track of bills.
I’m not sure how this is going to work. I’ve already experienced the setback of being sick, so at least I’m prepared for that. As the year progresses, hopefully I can keep up with my goals. One thing that helps is not depriving yourself, which is why I’m not cutting out all pleasures (still have coke for instance). It also helps to have someone to keep you accountable, so I have a couple of friends, my Things, and now you guys.
Do any of you have resolutions or goals for this year?