yesterday, after i chickened out getting my first tattoo, my best friend and i some how ended up at our local mall wandering a game stop. it isn't something that happens very often, the last time i was there with him, i ended up blowing $600 and becoming a proud owner of an xbox 360 pro, grand theft auto 4 and guitar hero III. after that incident i vowed never to return again, until i found out that there was a guitar hero game for my pink nintendo ds.
in any case, we wander in, and then we diddle daddle around making idle conversation about random things that don't even pertain to video games. i think the topic of conversation had to do with my strange eating habits as of late, this was all the while inhaled my frozen yogart with strawberries and cinnamon toast crunch, but that's besides the point. we get to the back of the store and that's where i saw it out of the corner of my eye, the new world of warcraft expansion, world of warcraft: wrath of the lich king. another world of warcraft expansion kit? more dungeons and bosses and... and... leveling to 80? wasn't 70 enough?
i thought of my boyfriend. i thought of our relationship and... i think at that point my heart sank a bit.
i'm not a girl who needs her boyfriend's undivided attention all the time. in fact, i've had ex-boyfriends tell me that i was too independent for my own good and that i need to let people do things for me for a change. but for whatever reason, with dre i felt like i needed that attention, maybe it was because i've never had the competition with the other ones, and because it was a video game, it made it even worse.
i would go over to his apartment and be ignored while he was either raiding or was in a battleground. the worst part about that was it wasn't like i had dropped in during his raid unannounced, he had asked me to come over because he wanted to see me. i learned quickly that "wanting to see me" entailed me staring at the back of his head while he was talking to guild on ventrilo. great. i remember one night we were suppose to make dinner together and he swore up and down that we were going to after he was done. turns out that his raid ran late and was over around 10:30 at night, we didn't start dinner until a little after that and by the time it was done, i was too tired to even eat. he was on a pretty steady raid schedule at one point so date nights ended up being saturday nights. when his guild disbanded and he joined a different guild, that had different raid nights, our date nights changed also, at one point they didn't even exist. it didn't matter if i had made him dinner, went and bought groceries for him, or sat naked on his bed telling him that he could unleash all his unabated sexual fantasies on me, most of the time he just seemed more interested in saving up for his epic flying mount.
soon enough, the resentment started to grow and i started to become angry. instead of simply responding to anything he asked, i would snap at him. if he asked me if i could do him a favor, my response was most likely to be "why don't you ask someone from your guild do to". it wasn't just that i was angry, i was more hurt than anything. it just didn't make sense to me, what did world of warcraft have that i didn't? why was that game so much more important that i was to him??
it didn't start out that way though, i think i was pretty cool about it for a while, actually, i was more than cool about it. he spent so much time playing it and was so engulfed in it, that it made me curious. not only was he into it, but the best friend was in to it too! if the two leading men in my life were playing it, what's a girl to do? well... after eight hours of downloading and one guest pass later, i too had my very own world of warcraft account.
best friend had set up the entire thing for me. he had me roll horde, programed all my computer keys for easier game play, and even let me join the mini-guild that his friends had. he wanted to make me right at home in azeroth. i played for a few days but it wasn't all that interesting seeing as of how i didn't have anyone to go questing with. i think i may have reached level 7 before i got bored with it and left it at that. i figured that since i did put forth the effort to get to know what the game was all about that it was enough, that i can now tell dre that i didn't see the appeal of it but if he likes it then, i guess so. it wasn't as if i didn't want to try to understand what he was doing. if only right?
last christmas i got him something that i knew he would love, i got him an ipod nano. not only did i do that, i spent two days uploading music and an entire season of his favorite tv show, house m.d., just so he would have it when he flew up north to spend the holidays with his family. his gift to me came two months late and it was, you guessed it, the world of warcraft battle chest plus a wireless mouse so i can now play with him. did i also mention the six month reoccuring account?
i will have to admit that being able to play with him was a lot of fun, i'm not going to lie. we did quests together and he didn't mind that some times i would hit the follow button and earn experience points while being in the other room. i was a blood elf priest and he was a blood elf hunter... he'd kill, i'd heal, two peas in a pod. but then it became the only thing that we ever did together. we used to have movie nights that no longer happened, we used to go out and that never happened either, all the time that we spent together was me on my macbook and him on his desktop playing world of warcraft. i think in the span of about 4 months, i leveled my priest to 48, it may not be impressive on wow terms, but that was a lot further than i could have ever imagined myself getting. i was excited at first because i got to spend so much time together, but after one saturday of not leaving his apartment and playing world of warcraft for about 10 hours straight, i think i had enough.
i don't think my story is that different any girl/guy who has been in a relationship with a gamer. anyone who has been in my position would have put in the same amount of effort as i did. but what happens when that isn't reciprocated? i spent so much time and energy trying to understand this game, when he didn't even put half of that effort towards trying to understand what my interests are. i would mention something that i love to him and he would respond with "well i didn't know that", but it was because he was always so wrapped up in his game to care.
we're still together, but it hasn't been easy. there have been ups and downs and just when i think we are taking steps forward, we take a fall back. there was even a point where i was seriously contemplating about seeing someone else. although there are plenty of other issues that we need to work on as a couple, world of warcraft had always been the biggest issue. we're learning how to meet half way, i don't bother him or throw a fit when he has a raid, because i understand that he has made arraignments with 24 other people and he tries to pay a little more attention to me. if he absolutely wants me to be over there even if he's raiding then i'll bring a book or study, do my own thing while he celebrates with his raid group after their latest boss kill. he may not be great at it, but i know he puts forth effort to spend time with me on days that are important to me, like our anniversary, valentine's day and my birthday (all which landed on his raid days coincidentally).
i guess what i'm trying to say is that, all you guys or gals out there who are heavy gamers that have significant others, should try to acknowledge them once in a while. i'm not saying you don't, but they didn't make up the term "wow widow" for nothing, a lady last year didn't cite world of warcraft as a reason for her divorce for no reason. people get sucked into these things and sometimes loose site of what's important in life, like the people that love them. world of warcraft will always be there. we all know that the realms reset every tuesday night, what epic item you didn't pick up this week you can pick up the next.
so for now i can sit pretty until the expansion comes out... who knows, maybe i'll be lucky and he won't pick it up... ha! but weirder things have happened.