Every year around the middle of July my family and I take a break from our busy summer schedules, and go to a small island off of South Carolina. We toss all of our belongings into the crowded family van and drive sixteen hours to Fripp Island. There we quickly adopt the Caribbean lifestyle, and set our clocks to “Island Time” as my dad calls it. It is pretty normal for me to lose track of time, and I even find myself asking what day of the week it is. I spend most of my time on the beach or the golf course, and for the most part it’s a carefree week. But there is another part of our family tradition and isn’t always so laid back. It starts with a quiet ride home from a long day at the beach and almost always ends with the decision to play monopoly. Everyone huddles around a table as the money is counted and properties spread out. You’d be surprised at how quickly the nice family “caring and sharing” attitude is lost, and turned into everyone thinking about how to get the whole family bankrupt. It was during one of these intense games of monopoly, when I gained a lot of respect for my family. I looked across the table at my eight-year-old brother Ian. He looked at his growing tower of cash, and then smiled as he looked down at my thin pile. I remember being surprised at how well my brother was able to bargain. I watched Ian demand for another 500 dollars, arguing with my dad. I admired how no matter what anyone said he held his ground, and if for any reason he felt like he wasn’t getting what he wanted he would just say no. One by one everyone went bankrupt, Ian didn’t stop until he had cleaned everyone out but me. I took a deep breath as I rolled around Ian’s hotel covered board, remembering earlier how I had been bragging about how he didn’t stand a chance at beating me. I rolled a 3 and landed on my brothers hotel. He smiled as he took all of my money. I got ready for him brag, but all he said was good game. I immediately felt bad for bragging like I did, but also I was glad to see how my cool brother reacted. I have more respect for my brother and I think we are closer because of it. This I believe: Monopoly is a board game that has brought my family closer together, and it will stay in my family as a tradition for a long time.
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