As some of you may know, I live with a video gamer. Eric loves toys, and thanks to that recent stimulus package, we are outfitted with the latest in video gaming systems, the X-Box 360 and PlayStation 3. Now, I'm a child of the '80's too, and I grew up with Super Mario Brothers, Tetris, Paperboy, and Duck Hunt and all of those classics that led to frequent cases of "Nintendo thumb," and I'm definitely a fan of Nintendo Wii--but I just can't get into the shoot 'em up war games that Eric likes to play on the X-Box and PS3. I certainly don't think I need to be "into" everything that Eric is, but when it comes to those video games, the fact that I'm not into them creates annoyance on my part. My husband has a daily date with his video games that you could set Greenwich time by--when I come home from work, Eric (who usually beats me home) is in deep combat mode. On the one hand, this means I could do whatever I want without distraction. I could light my hair on fire and run screaming around the house, and as long as I didn't obscure his view by running in front of the t.v., his concentration would remain in the game. Seeing as how this nightly overtaking of the t.v. upsets the balanced marital stalemate between we equal adversaries, I've had to reestablish it by asking Eric to take advantage of his games when I'm not home or when I'm out for my evening walks and wait until I've retreated to the bedroom for the evening before he plays them at night. Thus far, the arrangement has been a decent compromise.
But even with all of the complaining I do about the amount of time Eric devotes to his video games, I'm a little envious as well. I have a nostalgia for the days when I was a regular gamer myself. Still, even if I was into playing video games more, we have only one t.v. in the living room, and that would lead to another upset in our stalemate. ...Then last week while cleaning house I unearthed Eric's little handheld Nintendo DS, and I thought it might have possibilities since I could play it while he was using the t.v. for his mega-graphically enhanced games. Silly me. (Can you hear the laughter of all of the married women who came before me?) Once I started playing the DS, that got Eric's attention and he wanted to play it. It's like living with my little sister all over again! He was perfectly happy with his (much more complicated, challenging, and expensive) games until I found some games to play with, and then he wanted what I had. This is a prime example of winning the battle but losing the war.
My current strategy is to wait him out. Eventually he will tire of the puny little DS system and return his full attention to his X-Box and PS3. Then--then!--I will have it all to myself. Mwha-ha-ha!