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Chutes and Ladders

February 6, 2011

Remember that old school game Chutes and Ladders? You spin the spinner (which would so often get stuck on “4”), and then you move the according number of spaces along the board, and if you land on a ladder, you can smugly skip up a row or several, from 51 to 67 or the terrific 28 to 84. Conversely, if you land on a chute, you slide down, from 47 to 26 or something. But the fundamental flaw of this game is that unlike real life’s windfalls and setbacks, it’s far more fun to slide down a chute than to climb up a ladder. [And here we have a prime example of how one could question Sharon-as-a-child being fun at all, critiquing life metaphors—no, expecting life metaphors in every Milton Bradley box.]

Today was a fun metaphoric game of Chutes and Ladders. Which do you think are the chutes and which the ladders?

I woke up early: 5:30. I worked out. I didn’t leave in time to do initiatories at the temple before doing a session.* I didn’t leave in time to do a session. I discovered that I did leave without my phone. They didn’t have enough workers to do initiatories when I got there. I went back downstairs to do baptisms and confirmations. As soon as I had changed clothes, the temple worker I could go upstairs and do initiatories instead. I stayed downstairs for baptisms. Because I’d forgot my phone, I didn’t have time to do baptisms, just confirmations. In the process of changing clothes at the church next to the temple, I inadvertently went into the men’s room. No one else was in there. I went back home for my phone.

In spite of the rain, my hair was cooperating. I was late for lunch. Already worried about being late, I missed my subway stop. I waited for the subway longer. I gave up on the subway. I got turned around in Grand Central Station. I walked farther in the rain because I was at Grand Central Station instead of where I was supposed to be. I made my friend wait in the rain. We left the rain and got lunch. We had sushi. We had good conversation.

Our conversation was so good that I was late to meet my other friend at the bakery. I took the wrong way to the subway. I got on the wrong subway line. I realized I was on the wrong line in time to fix it. Already late, I took the wrong way out of the subway. I turned around and walked into the rain. I arrived very late and much like a drowned rat. I had a lovely conversation and made a new friend who was also there.

I took the right way to the subway this time and got on the right train. Because of construction, the train wasn’t stopping at my stop. I got off and switched trains again. I made it to our church’s Chinese New Year celebration—late. I saw a friend as soon as I arrived. I saw and sat by another friend after getting my food. I had a terrific conversation with her. I enjoyed the Lion Dance. I met a blogfriend I’d never actually met before.

I came home and after dawdling a bit, I turned in an abstract to a conference. I talked to my roommates and wrote this post.

And tonight I’ve wondered if the chutes or the ladders made the day more fun. Or maybe it’s just the zigzagging up and down. If you’ve had a hard time keeping up with the score, I won the game. It was a great day. You know what really put it over the top? When I first walked into the temple, the cute lady worker told me I looked “hot.”

* (Initiatories are one kind of ordinance done in the temple. A “session” refers to an endowment session, another kind of ordinance.)

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Vaughn permalink
    February 7, 2011 8:57 pm

    The fun part about climbing the ladders is stepping on the top rungs that say, “This is not a step.” It’s like the rain clouds saying, “You are not going to have a good hair day.” Then stepping on the non-steps is like saying back to the cloud, “Well that makes you ugly AND stupid!”

  2. Kit permalink
    February 9, 2011 11:31 pm

    Why am I not surprised that child-Sharon was using a board game as a metaphor for life 🙂 It made me remember your concern for your eternal salvation around a similar age…that reminds me I should get back to worrying about my own 😉

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