It's that time of year again. The gaming convention known as PAX-east. Sixty thousand hard core gamers gather in Boston to get their fill of every type of game you can imagine for a full three days. Many apparently roam the floor in full, authentic costume and take their alter-persona VERY seriously. They don't sleep, they game. All day and all night. Board games, dice games, card games and video games. They attend seminars and panels. They meet the makers of their favorite games. They learn what the newest games are. They get all manner of nerdy swag. They flirt with booth babes. They gather with 'their' people. It's like coming home to the mother ship. It's geektastic!
How do I know this? Because I am a PAX widow. I am married to a life-long gamer. Many of his, and now my, friends are also gamers. They have played games together for years, some of them. There is a Dungeon Master extraordinaire among them. He is on one of the panels. They are all in their glory right now, gathered in a swanky hotel suite, preparing for a slumber party of epic proportions. They all arrived with a sack full of their own games. Tonight I am sure they will return to the hotel after their dinner at the closest restaurant possible (time cannot be wasted when there are games to play!), discuss strategy for 'working' the floor when the doors open in the morning and stay up all night gaming, laughing and re-connecting.
They will walk miles in the convention hall during the day and get their fill of everything they have to offer. When the convention floor closes at night, the gaming simply moves to the hotel room! Hopefully, they will remember to eat now and then. There is but one brave geeky gamer woman among them this year. Her husband is there as well. I love her. She is brave. She is geeky in her own right and not in as much of a minority as you might think. I doubt she'll be as into the booth babes as they are, but imagine the odds otherwise!
Being a PAX widow is not as bad as you might think. People ask why I don't go. I answer, for the same reason my husband doesn't go to a convention about birth or a scrap booking weekend. He's just not into it. Don't get me wrong. I like to play games. I wish we were able to have family game night more consistently. I prefer board games and some card games. One at a time. I don't enjoy video games. I don't enjoy many of the games he likes to play with his friends I can't play for 3 days straight. I wouldn't enjoy it.
Some people ask me why it doesn't bother me that he is gone for 3 days. Really? I'm going to bed early. No one is stealing my covers in the middle of the night! I have a to do list a mile long I need to attend to. I have plenty to do!
What about the kids? How do you handle them yourself? Well, I've been their mother their entire lives. I've managed them by myself for most of their lives. I can handle it. I'm mom. It's what I do. :-)
He needs his 'guy time' as much as I need girls night. The favor will be returned some day. We understand and value the importance of fulfilling our need to hang out with our friends, to bond, to connect and to have fun together as well as on our own. I'm psyched for him. He's like a kid at Disneyland. He was so excited this morning!
Being a gamer widow is short lived. He will return Sunday evening, exhausted and giddy. He will show me his swag like a kid brags about their birthday and holiday gifts. He will tell me about the costumes and the seminars and the games with the excitement of a child. He will re-live his favorite parts because it's that important to him. I will listen, laugh and maybe roll my eyes in jest a bit. He knows that already. I can only hope he will have taken off the Jedi costume before he comes home.
He will crash hard from 3 nights of little sleep. He will resume his one night a week dedicated gaming with his buddies on Monday. He will continue to be Batman, a Jedi or some hot chick in a first person shooter game once I fall asleep at night. It's part of who he is. I knew this going in. Just like he knew about my quirks. He thinks birth is gross! can you imagine that?! :-)
I love that we have this balance and fun in our relationship and in our lives. It's part of why we connect so well. It's part of why we love each other. Who knows, maybe he'll get me to go to ONE day of the conference next year. Don't tell him I'll spend most of it at the hotel spa! :-)