Game Time

My sister-in-law and her husband recently paid us a visit. They hadn’t seen the new house yet, and since they lived in New Hampshire near us and knew the infamous House on Haunted Hill (see the three part blog, “I Never Would Have Bought This House . . . “) I was happy to have them stay in this one.

We were celebrating my sister-in-law’s birthday, so we needed to have fun, and a great way to do that is to act like a kid. I got out our Monopoly board.

The only version I have is in French, which gave me a distinct advantage since I was the final arbiter as to the meaning  of Community Chest and Chance cards.

It took me a while, but I eventually discovered that the group was not playing by the same rules I was. When I land on a piece of property, I look first to see if it’s for sale, then decide if I want to buy it, and if it’s owned my someone else, I fork over the bucks, or in this case, the francs.  Not these folks. When a player landed on a property owned by another, the goal was to pass the dice to the next player before the land owner could call for payment. The three of them–my husband and visiting relatives–said that was the way they had always played the game. I was shocked. In truth, I was having some bad luck both with the dice and in drawing cards (my translation of them notwithstanding), but I began to wonder how much rent due me might have gone unpaid. I refused to cross over, however, even making it a point to say, “That’s yours; how much do I owe you?” when landing on somene’s property. P.S. I went bankrupt first.

We decided the next day that perhaps we should play outside. There’s a great tubing hill nearby, called Gorgoza, off of I-80. Since I needed to finish a writing project, I stayed home (I was not sulking, honestly). When they returned, they said it was tremendous fun, and judging from the pictures, I believe them.

One of the many nice parts about Utah in the winter is that you can play outdoors even at night, in the form of tubing, night skiing, ice skating, and other activities. But if your inclination is not to get physical with your surroundings, you can still enjoy by simply viewing them. One night my husband took us all to Heber City to see the ice castles(, where owner Brent Christensen talked about how the magic is created. (We’re going back again soon, since more sculptures are being fashioned, now that the weather is colder.) The falling snow added just the right pixie dust . . .

Our visitors are back in North Carolina, and we are back to our normal routine, in which playtime does not figure as prominently as when we have guests. But every once in a while I think about that Monopoly madness, and wonder if I am really odd man out here, in my approach. So although usually I leave it to you, esteemed reader, to make a comment or not, today I am asking you to please let me know what rules you play by: pay promptly or rapid roll. I can’t wait to hear from you.


About Tricia Pimental

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Tricia Pimental's second memoir, A Movable Marriage, has received 5 Star reviews from both Epic Book Quest and Readers' Favorite. It's available on Amazon in both Kindle ( and print ( versions. She is also the author of two Royal Palm Literary Award Competition-honored books: Rabbit Trail: How a Former Playboy Bunny Found Her Way, and Slippery Slopes. Other work has appeared in International Living Magazine; A Janela, the quarterly magazine of International Women in Portugal; and anthologies compiled by the Florida Writers Association and the National League of American Pen Women. A member of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and a former Toastmaster, Ms. Pimental resides in Portugal. She can be reached at and on Twitter @Tricialafille.
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4 Responses to Game Time

  1. Jennifer Szwec says:

    As always, Tricia, your blog was phenominal! I am so suprised that you were the only ‘Honest Joe’ at the Monopoly board! You were right on, I believe. Of course, if time and patience allowed, you could use your Monopoly experience as an analogy for the standard ‘What’s Wrong with Society?’ discussion that people love to discuss!

    • Terri Maksou says:

      I play monopoly the same way you do Tricia- it’s been a while though! I think those “so called” relatives were trying to bamboozle you!!!

  2. Sallyann says:

    Tricia, this is a great post! As one of the “so called” relatives, I really must reply regarding the Monopoly question. I did bring this up to the other two “so called” relatives – since, of course, I am the youngest of the group, and cannot be held responsible for all of their wild actions. When I was growing up and playing those long-drawn out Monopoly games that would last for hours, I was not the one who read the rules. I just followed what the older people told me were the rules. (Since then I’ve become much less of a follower – as you know. But at the time, I’m sure you can imagine that “they” were quite persuasive.) So I thought maybe we should look it up to be sure. “They” naturally did not need any third party affirmation and were certain on the rules. But with seeing these posts, I had a need to find the official rules. So, here they are, I looked at the “Official Monopoly Board Game Rules (1997)” link at the bottom of the page and sure enough, here is what I found:
    …The owner may not collect the rent if he/she fails to ask for it before
    the second player following throws the dice.

    I know that we “so called” relatives can be a little wacky in many respects. But I was reassured that we did not actually make this up. Now, all that said, Monopoly is often played with variations and house rules. And, certainly, my dear, gentle, and unassuming sister-in-law’s way to play the game is much more kind and some may say, civilized. So I do give kudos to Tricia as always!

  3. No offense taken on anyone’s part, T! I’m glad you participated. XO

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