I'm getting too old for this...

I am sitting here in my hotel room in Holland, Michigan with not much to do but watch HBO and miss my 360. Forrest Gump is on HBO right now so I REALLY miss my console games. I am here for almost an entire week and while I have only been here for a couple of hours I started travelling at 3am this morning. I played my last XBOX game almost 24 hours ago and its all I can think about. I WANT to play my XBOX.

I know I sound like a whiney twelve year old yet I am pretty sure twelve year old Chunky didn’t say that about his Atari 2600. I played the hell out of that 2600 but don’t remember pining for it like I am for my 360. I may need to rethink my priorities.
I’m 42, alone in a hotel room and dreaming of playing video games. I stood outside two weeks in a row freezing my rear end off to be one of the first people (in my city/time zone) to play Halo 4! Then I did it again for Black Ops II! It was -10°C while I was outside waiting for Halo 4 and a balmy -3°C for Black Ops II. Truth be told I have done the same thing every Halo release date since Halo 2 (with the exception of Halo Wars and ODST) as well as the COD series since Modern Warfare. It has been colder, much colder...-25°C and I stood out there while letting the excitement and anticipation keep me warm. 
I did the same thing when the 360 launched. I stood in line after line hoping to get one, only to be denied time and time again. There is something about doing something that ridiculous that adds to the fun...or at least it did. This year I stood out there with the same faces I see year after year and I froze. Literally. My toes, my fingers and my nose and it wasn’t even that cold! For the first time I started thinking to myself:
“What the hell am I doing here?”
“I am standing in line at midnight for a video game!”
“It’s the ‘Limited’ edition, I can do this.”
“It’s going to be awesome...it’s going to be awesome...it’s going to be awesome.”
“I have to work in 5 hours!” 
“I’m getting too old for this crap?!?!”
The next week, I still hadn’t fully recovered sleep wise from the week before (Full disclosure: I did go home and play the first chapter before going to bed for three hours and then going to work). I found that I can’t easily recover from lack of sleep like I used to. I tried to supplement. I had way too much coffee, ate a few apples but still my ass dragged around the office all day. “I’m getting too old for this” was my mantra the entire totally unproductive day. For those of you who want to suggest an energy drink of choice right about now, all I can say is I tried many and that crap messes me up like you wouldn’t believe. 
The following Monday comes around and while I seriously thought about phoning up the buddies I stand out there with and reneging on COD night, I didn’t. I stood out there for 2-1/2 hours in more clothes than the week before; it was noticeably warmer but I still froze.
“What the hell am I doing here?”
“I am standing in line at midnight for a video game!”
“It’s the ‘Hardened’ edition, I can do this.”
“It’s going to be awesome...it’s going to be awesome...it’s going to be awesome.”
“I have to be up in 6 hours!” 
“I’m getting too old for this crap?!?!”
This was my “late” shift at work (9-6) as I take the kids to school every other week so I looked forward to a couple more hours of sleep. I learned my lesson from the week before and went straight to bed when I got home. As I laid there, still frozen, wrapped in fleece blankets, my scumbag brain wouldn’t shut off.  I ended up heading down to the couch for a few hours of shuteye before Mrs. Soup came down to get herself off to work. “What are you doing down here?” she asked. “I was sleeping” came my groggy reply. “Really?....Really?” was all she could muster as I rose off the couch. “It’s my own fault, I know” I muttered as I went up the stairs. “Yes it is! You know you’re getting too old for that crap?!?!” she called after me. “I know.”
Black Ops II sat on my shelf for the better part of two weeks (soooo glad I became a Soup-cicle for it) while I played and finished the campaign and some Spartan Ops in Halo 4. It is and was everything I hoped it would be. I started Black Ops II last week (single player campaign) and, while it is exactly what I expected, it is also extremely polished and a great game. If either game was disappointing I may not be missing my 360 as much.Then again I still haven’t finished even half of Borderlands 2. Dammit! Now I miss that!
Some of you may be thinking “Why isn’t he missing Mrs Soup and the kids?” I am but I can talk to them, interact with them to an extent. The kids read me quick stories before they go to bed and I say good night to Mrs. Soup before I nod off. I can’t phone my 360 and tell it I love it and miss it. If I did, it might constitute grounds for divorce. 
Some of you may also be thinking “Why not just pack it with you?” To which I reply, “Are you nuts?!” Over 3000 kilometers each way, airport transfers through Denver and Chicago, baggage handlers that have little concern or care and lord knows what else could go wrong. That’s if I pack it. I don’t really want to have the conversation with the TSA, a rubber glove and a flashlight as to why its in my carry on either. No way. It’s too risky.
So here I sit. A grown “man” of 42 years who misses his video games while writing an article for a video game website about missing those games. I think I need to sit back, reload and think about growing up. So, after that revelation I went for a couple Crown and Cokes (or as we call them back home-rye and coke) at the Curragh as I felt disheartened. I won't say the alcohol cleared my head but I did come to a conclusion. In the immortal words of Bill Murray in Meatballs: “It just doesn’t matter”.
This is my hobby, this is my pastime and I need to be ok with it. I need not make excuses to myself or others for what I do in my spare time. I also need to be ok with saying “no” to the things that I cannot do anymore or at least can’t do as well.
When I am away I need to be ok with playing Angry Birds Star Wars on a 10” tablet instead of Halo or COD on a big screen TV. I know its not the same and without the Surface I don’t get any achievements but its what I have at the moment. Besides, have you played this version of Angry Birds? Stupid stormtrooper and sand people pigs are gonna die! You know you get the lightsaber when you tap the screen on the red “Luke” bird right? So awesome! Oh, the black Obi-Wan bird?  It has force push! You know that too? I have to get back to trying to get three stars on each level. Next week when I’m home I’ll get back to Halo and COD
I’ll never be too old for this...


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