Friday, September 2, 2011

(Star Status Guest Post) The Success Game, A Game We All Know Too Well

Have you ever noticed how addictive Monopoly is. You already know that you're playing to get around a card board and gain more money. In the process you're spending money on houses. The more you buy, the more it seems like you're winning. Now when you end up in jail and the other players are still playing, it's devastating. While you may own as many houses as them or have more money than them, your time in that jail gives them the opportunity to be equal to or better than you. While that's just a game that when we're done we stick in a closet, there's another game we play that's non-stop. It's very similar to Monopoly, but it effects our everyday moves and it involves more than buying houses and going to jail. Instead it involves men, women, and the "L" word. Allow Mrs. Starlicious to tell you about her version of Monopoly called The Success Game.

Introducing you to Russian Roulette’s First Cousin, Mrs. Starlicious

We all play the game.

No, not the pointless one that meme-tards play where players lose every time they think about it (you just lost, by the way), or the power-struggle that we romantically call dating—I’m talking about something different.

This is the success game.

This game isn’t about the rise to success, although it is about ambition. This isn’t some honorable contest of perseverance like achieving the American dream. This is something much more base and improper. It isn’t about accomplishing things based on your own goals, but impressing others. It’s about things like keeping up with the Joneses and showing up to your class reunion looking fabulous.

The game isn’t always about the crowd, however. Most of the time it’s about two people—the ex and the enemy. Sometimes they are they are one and the same. The influence they have over our lives is one that we would never admit—even to ourselves. We think that we do what we do for the noble cause of self-actualization; however, as soon as we see these foes it all becomes clear.

We see Mr./Ms. Ex/Enemy and noble intentions don’t feel like enough. Even if we are perfectly happy with our patch in the quilt of life, we see these people and suddenly want to add more embroidery. Our job that we are so grateful and blessed to have suddenly seems like a bottom-rung position.

My reasoning for this is that contentment is boring. People define success as being almost god-like. You have to glow, and you can’t smile; you have to grin. You have to bounce with happiness. I think that to simply be at peace, to simply be content, is just not enough for some people. That’s why we have to make the simple fact that we’re alive and doing alright sound like we’re jumping off the San Francisco bridge into a pile of cash.

Also, and this is just more of my opinion, women have the harder time of trying to win this game. Men can simply gather up money, or the illusion of money, and it can cancel out everything. All men have to do is flash a nice watch or roll up in an expensive vehicle. Not only that, it is very easy to fake money. A man can rent a nice car, or visit Chinatown for that fake watch. 

The Holy Success Grail (HSG) for women is much more difficult to obtain. We have to have a man. A man, of course, is much more harder to get than money—even in this economy. A woman can’t fake a man because unfortunately and fortunately, she has to have his consent.

Not only that, it is harder to please Mr./Ms. Ex/Enemy with a man. Mr./Ms. Ex/Enemy are notoriously picky anyway (didn’t I just say even contentment isn’t enough to please them), and the quality of your significant other is the apex of their anal-ness. It isn’t enough that you have one; you have to have the perfect one—he’s under the same success scrutinizer that you are. He can’t even have the normal HSG for men. He can’t just be rich—he has to be handsome, supportive, kind and romantic, at least in public. A rich jerk won’t work, neither will a handsome guy who’s dead broke He also has to appear to be madly in love with her, and her with him. Their mutual happiness has to ooze through their pores, take the form of a fist, and punch Mr./Ms Ex/Enemy in the face with all its lovey-dovey goodness.

What is also so messed up about the women’s HSG is that if they don’t have it they automatically lose, unless Mr./Ms. Ex/Enemy is also single. If she’s single and wildly rich with a great career, Mr./Ms. Ex/Enemy can walk away thinking about how sad it must be surviving with only the most expensive vibrator to keep her warm at night. Even if she’s wildly rich and has the HSG by her side, he better be more successful than she is. If not, the sugar mama rumor gets passed around like a cheap trick.

This is why so many women are down on themselves about being single, or even why we hate being single. Even if we are perfectly happy and successful, we always have to worry about running into Mr./Mrs. Ex/Enemy. A single hater, by bringing up the fact that she can’t keep a man, can bring down Halle Berry, with all her looks and money. No matter if we have it all, we never really win until we have the right guy. It doesn’t even matter if we can say truly that we are “single and loving it”; it will always come across as a brave and boldfaced lie.

It’s a dangerous double-standard. Women can’t feel as if they are truly successful, as if they have truly made it, until they have a man. It turns love from a wonderful blessing into a the most pressing and frustrating item on a to-do list.

The only thing that we can do is sing some Maxwell—“Let’s Not Play the Game”.

Mrs. Starlicious, also known as Jessica Green, is an alumni of Florida A&M University, a victim of the corporate world, a dreamer, and just getting warmed up. Stay tuned for more. 

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