I just spent 15 minutes tearing around my house in a middle aged rage, all because I could not, once again, locate my cell phone.
This is a common occurrence in our house. I feel belligerent and rebellious about being tethered to this device. At my age, I no longer want to care for a needy baby, especially one made of glass and costing almost as much as a human newborn. My family constantly begs the question of me, “why do you even have a phone?”.
The problem with the misplacement comes because I keep the device on silent. I do this because I secretly, and with much shame and self-loathing, play Candy Crush.
There, I’ve said it. I keep it quiet so that when the game pops up, the music doesn’t erupt and alert my family to the fact that I’m not doing something selfless and focused solely on them. I frequently sigh and mutter about lowering bills and checking grades when I’m on my phone. I feign exhaustion from work emails. I do not advertise on Facebook that I need lives. I hide my secret shame.
But, like any other junkie scum, I have passed my addiction on to my offspring, roping Cricket in with the typical gateway words of “here, try this, you’ll like it”. Only with her, alone in the darkened den, after the decent family has gone to bed, do I share the level of my evil (128). Only to her can I talk freely of doughnut bombs and striped candy. Only she understands my slurred “Divine!”.
Game addiction is not new to me. When I was first pregnant, miserably and surprisingly pregnant, a good friend gave me a Nintendo to keep me and my bags of Cheddar Cheese Ruffles company. At this time, The Goose and I were living with my parents while we built a house. When The Goose would come home from work, stunning in a suit and tie, there I’d be, glassy eyed and sweaty, trying to save Princess Peach. I dreamed about eating mushrooms, the cartoon kind, not the Jefferson Airplane kind. I couldn’t pass a flower without wanting to jump on it in hopes of super powers. It became my job.
The Goose gave me a stern talking to. He has no head for games, dare I say no ability, and was, understandably, shaken by the visual of the larger and pajama clad me, surrounded by chip crumbs and slamming my mothers pound cake.
I agreed to step away from the game. Once I had been “clean” for 30 days and had moved into my new house leaving the machine behind, I came back to visit my folks walking in to find them in their matching recliners, jaws slack, knuckles swollen on the remotes, cigarette hanging from my fathers mouth with a two inch ash, while they battled the pills on Dr. Mario. It’s a sickness.
The Trophy Wife and I once shared a handheld Tetris game for 11 hours and over two states while driving back from south Florida. We traded back and forth at rest stops and gas stations, texting foul and taunting messages at each other, insulting the other’s mother and soul, while I eviscerated her with a high score that has yet to be challenged. Yes, I said it, I still hold highest score. And while the device has been dead for years, there is a picture that I can produce any time she gets mouthy about her abilities
For this reason I never got my kids any video games. I know it’s a problem, pale chubby kids sequestered away in dank basements, developing muscles only in their thumbs. The Boy played outside with fire and gas, knives and BB guns, like a boy should. Each holiday I warily offered them one, but they always declined, The Boy asking for hatchets and explosives and Cricket, from age 3, asking for agendas, white boards and software, like any good nerd.
But now the problem has reared it’s ugly head with Candy Crush. I just saw where a friend has publicly renounced the game and has sworn to abstain for 9 months, during the school year. I’m not ready to do this yet, but after looking for my silent phone all over the house this morning, only to find it tucked inside my BRA, (This begs other questions about my rack that I am not yet ready to address.) I might be able to make the first step and admit I might have a problem. Is there a 12 step for this?