As I wrote about before, there was a couple-year period of my life where I took a sabbatical from video games completely. I was on a total gaming hiatus, and I don't mean not playing any games, but not even owning a single video game or system. I was completely clean. When I started dating the love of my life back then, she had no idea how much I loved video games, because I was game-free at the time. After we moved in together, she started to find out a little bit about my love for games.
When the Nintendo Wii was announced, I hardly knew anything about it, or cared for that matter. I knew it was a new Nintendo system, and it some weird new type of controller, but that's pretty much it. The day it came out, I remember her and I were at Toys R Us, doing some early Christmas shopping. They had some right there on the shelves, and I said, "Oh, that's cool. I didn't even know it was out yet." And that's all I said about the system, ever. Until Christmas morning, when I received the best Christmas I have ever gotten in my life.
You see, that Christmas, I opened up a present from her, and couldn't believe what I saw. It was a Wii! By this time, the Wii was all over the news and national media, and it was common knowledge that these gaming systems were pretty much impossible to get anywhere, considering the supply and demand and the holiday shopping rush. But there one was, in my hands, bought by the best woman in the world.
I asked her how she managed to get one. To be blunt, we were still very early in our relationship with two kids, and didn't have a lot of disposable income at the time. Turns out she had been saving up her tips from the restaurant she worked at during the nights, so as not to effect the money we had for Christmas presents for the kids and such. If that was the only amazing part of the story, it would still be awesome, but oh no, that amazingness doesn't stop there!
So then she told me the story of how she actually got the Wii. One day she went to Best Buy to buy me one. They told her they were sold out, but they were getting a shipment that coming Saturday. Come Saturday, she headed down there early with our youngest boy who had just turned one about a month before then. It was a cold, rainy morning, and when she showed up, she was completely shocked to see a massive line waiting outside. She had no idea what she was getting in to, but she was hell bound on getting this Wii for me. She in line she waited, for a couple of hours, with a one year old in the pouring rain. Some kind people in line even bought her a hot chocolate to share with the little guy, because apparently he was super cranky and not enjoying the thrill of waiting in line. Finally, after a long wait, the Best Buy employees came out and started passing out tickets to purchase a new Wii. They, of course, only had a limited amount to sell, so this was their way of keeping track and avoiding madness inside the store. When they got to the people in front of her, they gave out their last ticket.
Yeah. Talk about the worst luck ever.
She almost broke down. She asked them if there was anything they could do, pleaded her case and played the guilt card to the extreme, making sure they knew how long she was out there with a baby just to buy this game system for the guy she loved. They radioed the employees in the store, asked if there was any extra Wiis laying around the back, and after a long, long wait, finally got the good news that they had one to spare, and she would get it.
Lucky her. And lucky me.
To this day, because of everything that went in to getting it, that Christmas present remains the best present I've ever gotten (aside from the ring she gave me that belonged to her dad before he died - but that's a completely different ballgame there). So tonight, I played Wii Sports, the game that came packed in with every Wii.
I bowled, only because that's the best game on there, and it was fun, But it was more about reliving the good times than it was the game itself. I love this woman, through thick and thin, only because of amazing things like this she has done unselfishly for eight years now. Despite her not being a fan of video games at all, she has still allowed me to enjoy this passion of mine, especially after she enabled me to do so in the first place.
Sometimes it's hard to see what you have until you take the time to stop and look.