Tagged realization

Wii U Naught

Wii U - Super Mario 3D World

Remember that time I pined over the Wii U? You know, lingering a little too long in the electronics aisle of every department store, calculating the cost of accessories and desired games, searching online for the best deal…? Finally, after months or more of looking longingly at the doggy in the window, I shelled out nearly $500 on the Wii U Console and some costly Nintendo paraphernalia.

“Do you think this Gamepad needs a silicone case? How about a battery charging station for the controllers? Do you think it comes with at least one controller?” I asked A, hovering over Best Buy’s colorful display of Wii U gear.

She looked at me with that whatever-you-want smile she’s so good at, and you know, I indulged. The cashier who rung me up apologized 19 times for everything from fumbling with the bag to asking to look at my debit card. He was probably 17, dreaming of one day being so lucky as to be a big kid with a job. I was already feeling guilty—the same guilt I had talked myself out of an hour before. A had a little intervention.

“Why do you feel so guilty? You work hard.”

I couldn’t argue. She was right. When I wasn’t working, I was thinking about work, worrying about work, keeping myself awake with tagline ideas and new ways to say “delicious.” This was the lifestyle I chose… no children, no house, no major traveling, no shopping spree debt, two jobs. I am good with money: I save for what I want and shop sales. Unfortunately, my school loan debt could fill a small room with one dollar bills, but.

“But what?” she would insist.

But there are people in my life that could use more money for mortgages and daycare. What about all my friends who can’t even afford health insurance (Affordable Healthcare Act or not)? What about that scruffy 50-something that stands on the triangular median at the Walmart plaza red light with a sign that reads: “War vet with 3 kids. Will work. God Bless!” (Who am I to ask what a 50, more like 60-something man is doing with 3 kids?)

After some cajoling, A made her point. Really, I’m unmarried with nothing really to call my own but the few things in my room and the car I just paid off. I don’t get to look into the eyes of my children, care for them, tie shoes, tuck anyone in. Shit. Really, all I have is maybe the enjoyment I might get out of this Wii. That will do it.

Then, I took it back.

After a night of it—Mario and Peach bopping mushroom-headed Goombas and meandering Koopa Troopas—I sat up in bed decidedly ready to go back to my un-Wii life. It was fun, I reasoned, but not fun enough to take away from the rest of my life. Not $500-and-counting fun. I started to imagine the things I could do with $500 that I wouldn’t let myself spend otherwise: a new lens for my camera, those maroon-colored trousers from American Eagle I’d been eying up, the $55 pack of metal alphabet stamps for making my Christmas gifts… hell, I could go on a small vacation! Besides all that, it was confusing. There was a screen on my controller, about 19 more directions to move, other controllers with two parts to it conjoined by a wire. Man, I’m getting old.

I spend so much time trying to fit in all the stuff I love to do, from ukulele playing to doodling to writing, that adding another (useless and distracting) item to the list seems foolish. I’ll never play it. I’ll never take the 10 minutes just to set it up to play. So I took the damn thing back, realizing what I was really craving was some unproductive fun—without feeling guilty, without looking ahead to the next item of business or errand or chore. I’m regressing, folks.

And so I spent $16 on a Logitech controller, plugged it into my computer and played some old-school Mario 3 (Nintendo) and had a blast. Albeit, I’ve been waging about 15 minutes a day here and there, which is just enough for me. And you know what? It was more fun and much less complicated than that crazy Wii U—even if you could be Mario in a cat suit crawling around on all fours.

I hope you find your relaxing, unproductive, belly filling happy place this Thanksgiving (without the guilt)! <3

I’ve been “Searching My Soul Tonight”…

Georgia: “So what makes your problems bigger than everyone else’s’?”

Ally: “They’re mine.”

I think watching this show at such a crucial point in my life has turned me into the beloved main character, Ally McBeal. Just sayin’.

Ally: I like being a mess. It’s who I am.

I have hardly admitted this trash to myself, but seeing it on the screen with a skinny-as-I’ve-always-wanted-to-be actress playing it out—I can’t ignore it.

I’m nearly typed, “This troubles me,” but stopped myself. Ha!

mt

Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeep!

“Nuggets,” I like to call them. Those simple, unabashed moments of clarity when someone says something to you and it finally pokes through at the right moment. We’re not all always ready to accept things, you know? We have to be at a certain “point,” people say. Pencil-ended as I was on Friday, my dear friend said something that felt monumental to me. And even that sounds dramatic.

Let me also relay to you that “nuggets” don’t necessarily denote anything spectacular. We’re not talking just epiphanies here. For instance, there was a moment I realized that the scary test of the Emergency Broadcast System wouldn’t, in fact, be beeping if there were an emergency. I used to sit in anticipation— face to the TV screen, wringing my little pink hands and listening to the long drone of that too-loud alarm. Clearly, I was waiting for them to instruct us on the emergency I’d need to hide under my bed from. Then there are the many billboards and signs that I see daily but never stop to comprehend fully. For the record, Steak ‘n Shake has nothing to do with any type of new-rock dance crazy from the 50’s… they’re talking MILKshakes, not BOOTYshakes. Perhaps it’s just the strange phenomenon of hearing something so often that you never even stop to consider what it actually means. Or my IQ is just slightly high enough to enable me shoe-tying and teeth-brushing capabilities. Ha.

Anyhow, this friend of mine—so wise in the world with such brightness, like the contagious kind—she says to me… “Life is too short to spend it with people that make you feel bad.” And something finally sounded to the right parts of me.

Short, sweet and something to digest this snowy Sunday. I hope, at least, a few of you out there are at the “point” where you can gobble this up. Do yourself a favor in 2012… be near the people that make you feel great about you. Chances are, you’re an awesome person and you spend way too much time comparing/envying/letting other people dictate your self-worth. And this is no damn revolution. We KNOW we shouldn’t. But we do it anyway. So just don’t.

Easy, huh? (: