Holiday Shopping

 

A friend of mine has a kid who likes video games.  So buying a Christmas present for him should be easy peasy for someone like me.  The trouble is, he already owns them all.

“So Jake, what do you want for Christmas?”  I asked him.

“Fidget spinners!”

“You already have some.  You’re twirling one right now.”

“You don’t “twirl” a fidget spinner, you SPIN THEM!  And I want more!  They have some that glow in the dark and some that are metal and some that ….”

“What about video games?  Don’t you want any video games?”

“I don’t think they have any new ones.”

“What?  Of course they have new ones, there’s a whole industry that makes new ones all day long!”

“I already have them all.”

“No you don’t.”

“Have you even spun a fidget spinner on your nose?  It’s so cool watch this.”

So there I was, sitting on a sofa with a kid who apparently owned all the video games in the world and all he wanted to do was to spin things on his nose.

Back in my day I got one new Nintendo game every few months.  I literally had to pick up poop in the backyard to earn my allowance and I had to save that allowance for months to afford a new game.  So there was always a ton of games I wanted but couldn’t get yet.  They made games faster than I could buy them (this is different than my life as an adult where I buy them faster than I can play them).  So when Christmas came around boy oh boy did I have a list of things I wanted!

I think I spent as much time reading about games I didn’t have in Nintendo Power magazine as I did playing the ones I actually owned.  By the time I’d finally get a game I had already memorized the maps and the key combos.  I knew how to play the game before I unwrapped it.  I had been planning for the moment I would plug in the cartridge for months.  I had STUDIED for it.  When I didn’t like a game it was because I had already played it in my imagination long before I got the real thing and I liked the version I made up better.  It was a harsh lesson in expectations and disappointment, one that I instantly forgot the next time I saw an ad for a new game.

Wanting the games was as much a part of the hobby as playing them was.

This kid doesn’t know how good he has it.  He doesn’t have to do chores to save money to buy his games.  I think his only chore is doing his homework.  Homework isn’t a chore, I mean it is a chore but it isn’t a chore you have to do to get your allowance.  It’s a chore you have to do anyway and you don’t get paid for it.  (Which is actually kinda backwards because things I did for money as a child are the housekeeping chores I do as an adult for free whereas school is more analogous to my day job which I do get paid for).  He doesn’t have anything to look forward too.  He already has them all.  At least the ones he wants.

I guess I could buy him a fidget spinner.  They’re pretty cheap.  And with the money I save maybe I’ll buy myself that new Lego Marvel Superheroes 2 game for the Switch, it looks SUPER good.  And then Jake and I are BOTH happy.

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