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Triathlete Blog

Play On

By January 25, 2008June 9th, 2015No Comments

If you don’t see, hear from, or hear about my husband for the next few months that is because he is downstairs. In the basement. And may never come back up.

You see, he just bought an Xbox 360. And is determined to play Guitar Hero until his fingers and eyes bleed.

It started as a joke:

“Liz, go buy me an Xbox.”

Nagged me all week long. Like I had nothing else to do with my day but go to Best Buy with all the guys in junior college that are really into AV equipment and have never kissed a girl. No thanks. Go buy your own toys.

But then it escalated:

“Liz, tomorrow I need you to go to Best Buy.”

What for?

“An Xbox.”

No! Not today, not the day before no matter how you ask for it I am not going to the store. You’re a grown man and you don’t need a child’s toy. Shut up about me and my dog. That’s an investment. The Xbox is just a toy.

Still that wasn’t good enough.

“Go buy me an Xbox.”


“Can you pick up that Xbox?”

Again, NO.

“Please get me the Xbox.”

NO! It’s for your own good, no.

For a few days, he laid low. Didn’t say a word. Then the other day it came.

“Let’s stop at Target.”

For the love of god what could you possibly need from Super Target on a Saturday. WHAT?

An XBox 360.

Oh no.

Oh yes. And Guitar Hero. And Halo. And a guitar. And……a whole heck of a lot later I find my husband in the basement with all of his new toys. Haven’t really seen much of him since. The only sign that life exists below is a noise from the downstairs that I shall call “a ruckus”.

On a few occasions I have braved the descent to the basement to see what all of the ruckus was about. Imagine this – grown man in the basement sitting in a wooden chair playing with a plastic guitar. On the screen a bunch of flashing lights, colors and cartoon man also playing the guitar.

I wonder if he realizes this man is not real? Or that it is just a game? But not to him. Up until the wee hours of the morning sacrificing recovery time for time with his…plastic guitar.

I thought he was crazy for being like this but over the holidays I realized this is some type of ritualistic innate male behavior that they cannot escape. We were at the non-Waterstraat house. I walk upstairs to look for my husband, find him in a small room holding a plastic guitar with four other men and an empty bowl of chicken wings.

Need I say more?

The other night I was at the gym. Picture this – a meathead man in the standard sweatpants and sweatshirt lifting about 100000 lbs on the bench – he takes a moment. Sits up. Starts playing…..air guitar. I am not kidding. Sat there for at least 30 seconds playing air guitar and shaking his head. And he didn’t have long hair. Lost major points for the sweatsuit, lost even more with the air guitar. Victim of bad 80’s hair metal band in his headphones or yet another Guitar Hero addict? Your call.

This weekend I also learned that there are grown men that network with these games. They sit in their basement in their comfy chair with headphones connected to some connection that teleports their game to another grown man in his comfy chair with headphones playing the same game such as Halo. So it is safe to say that my husband – his obsession with these games – he is not alone.

And he knows he’s obsessed. The other night he says to me “I am going to the basement to unpack your bike.” And then he continues with “If you come downstairs and see me playing Guitar hero, slap me.” What? Did you just give me permission to slap you? This is the best game EVER! You don’t need to know that I am going to slap you for wearing snowy shoes in the house, for making 10 more socks when I just washed an ENTIRE LOAD, for leaving a bag of potato chips AND a beer in your bathroom…..permission to slap did you say? Please, please….go on….play. PLAY!

I never did catch him. But you know it’s only a matter of time. And if you know my husband you also know he can’t carry a tune in a paper bag so it’s safe to say he also will never master this game. Which is probably why he likes it so much. A challenge he must stalk for days before he gets the win. Prehistorically this makes much man-sense.

But for me – it’s just a game. And a bunch of noise. Flashing lights. Something silly at best. But if it makes him happy and keeps him from making piles around the house then I suppose it’s ok. Play on, husband. Play on.