Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.

First Posted: 10/15/2009

These days I feel like fast food has a monopoly on my mind and body.
If anyone were to look inside my car right now, they would either think that I own a fast food franchise or that I deeply love to eat greasy food each day.
Neither are correct.
In truth, I am obsessed with the little game pieces that come with some of the menu items at a fast food chain this month. The Monopoly game has me sunk.
I used to love fast food from this particular establishment. But after two weeks of eating it at least once a day every day, I am rather sick of the food. Im tired of ordering menu items that I dont want to eat just so I can get a ticket that could win me $1,000,000.
But I keep on playing in hopes of at least winning a new XBox. I have won a few free drinks, but I want to win something big. Unfortunately, everyone I compare game pieces with is in need of the exact same properties.
I realize that those properties are only put onto a very few cups or burger boxes across the nation. I also realize that the whole Monopoly contest is a clever marketing scheme. So why do I still fall for it?
Im sure Im not the only one out there who has wasted some extra cash buying fast food this week. My case just may be a bit more severe due to my unusually obsessive nature.
Now Im reminded of why I dont buy lottery tickets, play slot machines, or buy a video game system.
I like to win. I believe I will win. And I will play until I do.
Im sure others gamble or play games constantly for different reasons. For one it may be to get that momentary rush of excitement. Another may gamble with the desperate hopes of changing their impoverished condition. For me, its more about optimism.
I believe that I can and will win. Every time I peel back the game piece, I expect it to be just the one I need to win thousands of dollars. Even as I write this, Im thinking about what games I will get for my XBox or what I will buy with several thousand dollars.
Optimism is great, but even optimism can go too far. As I got sick to my stomach yesterday from eating fries for what felt like the hundredth time this week, I told myself it was time to stop with the optimism.
Dont get me wrong. Im still a firm believer in keeping the faith even when things seem impossible. But I dont think its healthy to keep doing something that is bad for me, doing something I dont want to do, just because theres a slim chance it could pay off.
So Im going to take a break next week from the excessive eating of fast food. Is there something you hate yourself for doing but keep on because you think one day it could pay off? Maybe you should take a break, too.
On the bright side, I have learned over the past few weeks that Mount Airy has some of the nicest, most cheerful fast food workers I have ever seen.
But Ive got to remember that lifes not Monopoly. Sometimes you dont get to collect $200 as you pass go.
Meghann Evans is a staff reporter with The Mount Airy News. She can be reached at [email protected] or at 719-1952.

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