Thursday, May 07, 2015

The What If Game

I've never been one for games.  Not really.  I’ve enjoyed a good game of Solitaire on occasion.  I think crossword puzzles are jolly good fun.  I like Monopoly, as long as I don’t have to be the banker and I can use either the shoe or the dog.  Jenga is fun with multiple people and with two stacks of bricks on top of one another, both on an exploding base.  I've enjoyed a few rousing games of Cards Against Humanity (I will not apologize!  I have never laughed harder!  It's good to be rude, occasionally, and among trusted friends!).  I've never been one for sports, to play them or to watch them, though I enjoy men’s college basketball.  Golf, tennis and baseball are, to me, like watching paint dry.  But there is one game I hate, loathe and despise.  My children, especially boy-child, like to play this game often.  It is called The What If Game.

Here’s how it works:
  • What if I didn't brush my teeth?
  • What if I just picked out my clothes in the morning?
  • What if the sky wasn't blue?
  • What if I just read for ten more minutes?
  • What if that cloud over there was over our heads right now and we were the only ones getting rained on?
  • What if I slept with my feet where my head usually is?
  • What if I didn't do my homework?

Alright, I know.  Those are probably not the greatest examples, but I think you get the picture.  What if this?  What if that?  And this game has no rules, per se.  Mostly, in the mind of boy-child, the point of The What If Game is to extend an argument or not do what he has been asked to do. 

So, What If I just walked away and didn't play the game? 


(Oh, the humanity!)  Usually, at this point, there are tears already on the verge of spilling.  I understand he’s frustrated.  I truly do.  The problem here is he tends to talk so much at home without getting to the point, I tend find myself drifting to other things in my head rather than listening to him with 100% of my attention.  This is my failure, too, I know.  Eventually, I have to ask him to please stop, take a breath for goodness sake, and to simply do what I've asked him to do.  This is the point where The What If Game begins, extending his not-complying-with-mom’s-edict, culminating in “MO-OM! CAN I FINISH WHAT I WAS SAYING?” when I simply walk away, refusing to argue anymore.

The What If Game is endless and always (always) leaves all players frustrated and upset.  It’s a worthless, unproductive waste of time and I loathe it.  A much more creative, pleasant and surprising game for all involved is The Yes Ma’am/Sir Game.  I think we could save a lot of time playing this game instead of that game.


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