Earlier, in the spring, I was wide awake late at night while everyone else was asleep. Where I live, there are four definitive seasons and in my mind, the real start of spring is the day that you can leave all the windows and doors open and you don’t freeze your arse off. I grabbed a drink and sat down and started to watch a show. It was so nice being up late when everything was quiet with the warm breeze flooding the living room that I was instantly transported to what it felt like when I was young and spent most nights awake while everyone else slept. Instant nostalgia.
The next day Mr. Tucker and I chatted after dinner. “You know, I had a revelation last night.” Oh what, he asked. “I don’t have to keep normal hours anymore. If I want, I can stay up all night and sleep all day. I mean, I wouldn’t because I want the kids to see me have a normal schedule, but it hadn’t really hit me that I don’t HAVE to.” No, you don’t! He confirmed. I ended up telling him about the spring night air and how it made me feel and of course we both lapsed into a bout of nostalgia. Then I said something to him that surprised him. “I want to get back into gaming.”
Some history about me & gaming: in the 80s my brother got a Tandy computer from Radio Shack. Suddenly, an entire world of puzzles was open to my brain and we played hours upon hours of Space Quest, Police Quest, King’s Quest and of course, the pièce de resistance: Leisure Suit Larry. I fell in love with games as a kid with a special love for Super Mario, which I played on our Nintendo.
So of course, in the 90s I settled into a comfortable love of all the new games that came out. I was especially drawn to beautiful strategic and puzzle games like Civilization and Myst but I also enjoyed a bunch of first person shooters such as Space Hulk (I still have nightmares of them coming out of the walls). I played long, long hours sitting and trying to finish the levels eventually giving up only when I was too exhausted to play anymore. I flirted with gaming on and off over the years but it wasn’t an issue for me as a single person who had nothing but time. When I met Mr. Tucker and we started dating, we only had the one computer in the house that could play the more resource-intense games. We didn’t play much those days anyway. We had a decent income and spent a lot of time out with friends or sitting on the balcony having drinks.
Enter Baldur’s Gate.
Baldur’s Gate was the first video game that I had really gotten into in a long time and it was love at first play. Mr. Tucker and I took (resentful) turns playing it on the one computer but we both played really long hours. Not as long as I used to play when I was younger but still dedicating a big chunk of our time outside of work to it. Eventually, things came to a head one night when his 10-year-old son came over for the weekend. Naturally, he wanted to play, too. I found the anger welling up inside me of having to share *MY* time with him. I have always known that I have an addictive personality, but I was so shocked the level of rage I had at a child over a stupid video game that I actually just gave up video games completely. We both kind of did. I just didn’t trust myself to not get sucked into a black hole of lost time. Since we were engaged and had plans to get married and have kids soon, it also just made sense to leave gaming behind. I would be lying if I didn’t say I missed it, but my inability to control how much I loved playing made it detrimental to my larger life goals.
Of course, life moved on and now the kid I resented over the video game is an incredible man of 27 (who, incidentally, still loves video games). His dad and I went on to have two kids that are teenagers now and who are mostly independent. That, in conjunction with Mr. Tucker’s retirement being on the horizon made me think of building a gaming box again.
Mr. Tucker got really excited when I said this! He, too, was happy about the prospect of gaming again!. Also, as adults who have a decent income we could also now afford two decent gaming setups. As a consummate researcher of all big purchases, he has spent time reviewing specs and adding/deleting things based on research and/or pricing and he is having a great time doing it. The current goal is to buy the components and build the boxes around November (we still need to save a bit).
What’s hilarious is that every game I have wanted to play in the past 16 years I have stored in my head “for later.” When I mention them to Mr. Tucker they are always SO CHEAP (because they are old, like me). So I am looking forward to replacing my current social media scrolling with gaming. I don’t spend a ton of time on social media anymore but it’s going to be great to revisit some old favourites and discover some new ones!
So I have that to look forward to this by the end of the year, which is super exciting! So while that is one thing, this spring’s nostalgia got me thinking about the things I loved about being young and having more time than money. So now that I am old and have time AND money, can I get back to that feeling I had in my youth? (link updated Friday, August 11 – LIES! I posted on Sunday the 13th). Is it possible to go back in time and have the things you loved back then AND the things you love now?