I was not a Nintendo Kid. I was not a part of the Nintendo generation. I mean, technically, I should’ve been – the NES came out when I was at the absolute right age to be enchanted by your two tiny Italian plumbers, trying to save the princess from um, someone mean.
I’d have known the NAME of this “mean person” except that my parents were all “video games are stupid! They rot your brain!”
Apparently, Nintendo, that only applied to the NES games. My brother happily played his Zork games on the computer. And the following Christmas, just as Super Mario 3 came out, I was given a Sega Genesis.
For a couple of months, I happily plugged away at my Sonic The Hedgehog game, always wondering why a wee blue hedgehog cared about getting rings or beating some evil genius villain. About the time I got Kris-Kross “Make My Video,” I realized I was the only fucking kid on the block with a Sega Genesis. Everyone else had, you guessed it, a Nintendo. Or a Super Nintendo. Or a Super Nintendo hold the lettuce sub mayo.
Sure, my system had better graphics, but Mario could wear a raccoon suit! HOW COOL WAS THAT?
Eventually, I ditched video games forever. I’m no gamer girl.
When I had kids, I expected they’d be like me – they’d prefer to read books (with pages!) rather than waste their time moving badly animated characters around the screen.
Nintendo, I was wrong. I was so, so wrong.
We got a Wii for Dave (under the pretense of being for Ben) after we moved into our house. Well played on that one, Nintendo. The Wii was used for awhile until, well, it wasn’t.
Then the kids switched to a Game Boy or DS or whatever the hell the hand-held video thingamabob was. Soon, I had not one, but two sons obsessing over beating level four or five-niner or whatever. I bit my tongue – I remembered being the only kid on the block unable to talk about how “cool” the “Mario raccoon suit” was. I remembered, Nintendo, feeling saddened that no one wanted to see my Kris-Kross “I Missed The Bus” video.
A couple of weeks ago, Nintendo, my eldest saved up all his cash to buy a new Wii. See, Nintendo, our old Wii had stopped working months before. I was not saddened, but my children, well, my children were prostrate (not prostate!) with grief.
And now, now Nintendo, we have a Wii. We have two Game Boys. We have Mario candy and Yoshi figurines. We have two boys who want a “Mario” themed bedroom. We have a mother who is banging her head against the wall, still saddened that no one wants to see her Kris-Kross video.
Nintendo, you are a crafty bitch.
So for now, you win, Nintendo.
I know Sega will make a comeback any day now. And when they do, the whole WORLD can see my mad video making skillz.
This is a guest post from my friend Barb, who wrote to me after she read my post on Monday, The Middling Place. She’d sent it to me as an email, but I strong-armed her into allowing me to share it with you, Pranksters. It’s a beautiful post about special needs parenting.
(I’ll probably steal it again for Band Back Together, because I am a jerk like that)
P.S. Barb, I love you.
I, too, live in the Middling Place. Off and on since November 1987.
We will never be able to be completely away from there. It is as much a part of you and I as our livers or kidneys. After a while, you will know when it’s time to be there, the Middling Place.
You feel the cold fog press over you as though someone has thrown burlap trimmed with heavy metal weights over your head. You try to peer out through the gaps, see the world around you, feel the sunshine on your face. Shivering, you watch the images of what may have been. Your child growing up “normally.” Walking, talking, and laughing. I’d even accept the tears.
You see her standing outside of Life, looking in at the others. They are growing, and dancing, sneaking kisses, driving and going to College without much thought. Does she know she is different? Does she feel what I see?
As the seconds and minutes and days and years tumble into the heap called ‘Life,’ you learn to control your tears and overwhelming sadness. ‘Fake it ’til you make it,’ you always say. But when that deafening call sounds within your heart, your soul, your entire being, you know can no longer ignore it.
You’re commodious: ‘I can handle anything” facade crashing noiselessly to the ground, landing as shrapnel at your feet.
You turn and limp wearily to the Middling Place.
You glance back at your parents, your husband, and your other children. You are regretful to leave them, but you have no choice. You are carried away by a force stronger than yourself and soon you relent and let it take you. You are being eaten alive. Gobbled by the ferocious monsters’ hunger, ripping at your flesh, tearing your heart out, laughing clamorously, and finally injecting you heavily with Guilt.
Blame and Fault become your champions, reminding you of the day you sat in the sun too long, or had a sip of your husbands wine or didn’t sleep enough or swam in that river. Her pain, her disfigurement, her disabilities, is of your own making.
Finally, struggling, stumbling, exhausted and weak, you get up on your feet. You straighten your clothes, wipe the tears, and fix your hair. We can’t allow her to see. She can’t know she is the reason.
Back where she is we practice, prepare educate and train, make plans and see ‘Professionals’. We try anything we are told will help her.
She begins to speak! One word, two words, three words in a row! We count for years! Warmed by the silly sentences she utters.
She’s walking now, that jilty gait, like she will spill over at any moment. You valiantly let her go on her own, cringing inside as you imagine what the possibilities are.
“I love you,” you tell her. ‘Yes’ she says. I want to snuggle her, wrap her in my arms and cover her with kisses. She rejects me, cringing as though I am poison.
One day though, she will bring some artwork, a picture of the two of us, she and I, maybe sing a song, and let me touch her hair. Clap, clap clapping loudly through the house will make you smile, because you know she is happy. Her enthusiastic attempts at jokes will make you laugh for days, repeating them to friends who will never understand.
This is our life.
We wish they were different, yet at the same time, we don’t ever want them to change. We love our babies.
They make us stronger, more insightful, more perceptive than before she was here.
Before the Middling Place.
When I was a kid, I had a fainting couch in my bedroom.
Not because I was prone to fainting or requiring long periods to regroup on a fashionable yet comfortable accessory, but because my parents had antiques – lots of ‘em.
But I was always mystified by this contraption. When I was sick, there were two things I wanted: The Price is Right and a pillow. Later, it became a bottle of green death flavored Nyquil - for all those times you want to be comatose without a traumatic brain injury (TM).
(I should really run their advertising campaigns)
Now, of course, I have kids, which means that I can’t spend the day in a Green Death Coma. Kids have these NEEDS, you know? Like FOOD. And DIAPERS. And the Wii. No more Green Death Coma for me!
Which is usually fine. Nyquil makes me gag and generally when I’m sick one of two things happen:
1) I can sleep it off
B) I can work through it.
But I’m in the middle of a nasty withdrawal from my maintenance migraine meds (alliterations for the win!)(Carbitrol, for those who care), which means that sleep is out of the question. So is doing everything from writing a coherent blog post to taking a pee without whining.
I took yesterday off, a rare occurrence, figuring that spending a day huddled on the couch with my blanket and a Hoarders marathon, taking the time to properly moan, weep, and feel sorry for myself, in the hopes that I’d feel better today. I mean, I got shits to do. Like write crappy blog posts. And use The Twitter. And walk upright! And learn particle physics! AND LOUNGE AGAINST THE MOTHERFUCKING MACHINE!
It didn’t help.
So I will be taking today off as well, obnoxiously resenting kid germs, plotting the untimely death of Mark Zuckerberg and trying to lounge against the machine…from the couch.
If only I had more Hoarders and my fainting couch back. I bet that’d get me right again.