I never thought I would turn to The Kardashians for help with my 11-year-old daughter.
I watched her play The Kardashian game on her phone for hours, amazed that something could keep her attention for so long. Longer than Pretty Little Liars. Longer than Supernatural. Way longer than she would talk to me.
She played after school while doing her homework, after dinner and would end the day with "just a couple more minutes" in bed.
Heck, she even played while eating breakfast; a feat that required sitting on the couch, cradling a bowl of cereal in one hand while holding the phone and playing the game with the other. I know, bad parent. Whatever.
Maybe the app held a secret code to unlock the pre-teen mind? Since our interactions lately had been reduced to requests for food, rides and money, I thought this might be a way to get inside her head. If I could play it too, maybe we could reconnect while we talked about the game, teased each other about what level we were on, and dished about the Kardashians.
I downloaded the game. It's all about becoming a famous celebrity so you can buy expensive clothes, drive expensive cars, go to expensive parties, have expensive feuds with other spoiled celebrities and maybe even marry one of them. And all along the way, Kim, and the other Kardashians, talk to you and assist you, if you play it right.
There was a bit of a learning curve for me. I started as a lowly "E" level celebrity on level "1." No one would talk to me. No one would be my friend. No one would date me. It was just like high school. So I started buying clothes and hosting parties, and before long I was jetting to Miami for photo shoots and inviting Khloe to parties at my apartment.
My youngest noticed.
"What level are you on?" she asked.
"I'm on Level 15, and I'm a C-level celebrity," I said proudly.
"Oh, I'm on 23, and I'm an A. I have 90 million followers. I just bought a jet."
Well okay. Contact was made, but I was clearly way below her Kardashian social status level. Why would my kid -- an A-level celebrity with TV deals and clothing lines and magazine covers -- want to have anything to do with me, a mere C-level mortal with average clothes that I have to wear more than once?
Clearly I had more work to do.
I devoted more time to the Kardashians. I played instead of watching Game of Thrones. I played instead of working out. I played in bed. If I could just catch up to my kid, we would have those deep conversations while walking across a golden meadow in slow motion towards a magnificent sunset, the glory of that father-daughter moment radiating in our hearts forever.
Her friends thought it was funny that I was playing. They would check in to see what level I was on, and laugh at my chosen character name of Flooby. My plan might actually bear fruit.
I worked hard at the game. I pursued higher-level friends for my Contacts list. I tried to date above my social status. I struggled to make more money by working at clothing stores until I could afford fancier threads. I made appearances at events, volunteered for charity gatherings, and took on low-level photo shoots and TV commercials. All the while, my daughter hovered just out of my reach.
Finally, after abandoning cooking, working and talking with my wife, I vaulted into the A-level scene. At long last I had attained true Kardashian game celebrity. I could call on Kim or Kourtney to help out at any of my appearances, and they would invite me to their parties. I had 90 million followers. I was all the talk on the tabloids, and my archrival Dirk Diamond would try and one-up me wherever I went. I had made it!
Now that I was a regular at the Pop Glam Club in Australia, doing cover spreads for Femme magazine in Paris, and dating and dining at the fashionable El Canario restaurant in Punta Mita, now that I had my own fashionable clothing boutique in Los Angeles and The Hamptons, and was a highly sought after model as well as famous actor on TV and the big screen, maybe now I would finally be on the same level as my 11-year-old daughter, and we could spend some quality time together.
It was time to try and talk with her again.
"Hey, kiddo. What level are you on? I'm on 25, and closing in on 100 million followers!" I gushed.
"The Kardashian Game. I'm an A-level celebrity now."
She stared at me, and then cocked her head like a dog listening to a strange noise.
"Oh, I stopped playing that weeks ago."
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