Monday, October 01, 2007


I am uncoordinated. Clumsy. Physically inept, if you will. It’s always been that way. As a kid I threw softballs into the ground two yards from my feet. I flailed at volleyballs and hit them into the ground too, as I turned my head and closed my eyes. I could never catch on to those jump rope games, where you jump in and then jump out as the rope turns. I always got tangled up in the rope somehow. I could only manage a bounce or two on a pogo stick before I crashed into the driveway. I can’t whistle. I can’t make a yo-yo work. Hula hoops sadly spiral down my torso and end up on the ground while I franticly gyrate. When Slag asks me to throw him the car keys, I’m equally likely to throw them five feet over his head or hit him squarely in the eye. He doesn't ask so much anymore.

And so it has always been with video games too. When I was a kid, video games were a public thing. The games themselves were refrigerator-sized, flashing, blinking, clanging boxes with screens that displayed the progress of the game to any who cared to look and, in my case, laugh. Little kids snickered as I tried to eat ghosts that WEREN’T blue and gave my Pac-Men concussions by repeatedly ramming them into virtual walls. I just never quite got the hang of the joystick. The public humiliation meant I didn’t do much practicing in the 80’s, when everyone else on the planet was learning video game fundamentals. I just never got the fundamentals.

So now it’s 20 years later and for a time I thought technology had overcome my ineptness. That’s right, I encountered a gaming product that didn’t even HAVE a joystick (at least not with the base model): a Wii! Finally, there was hope for me.

After an especially entertaining evening of Wii bowling at a friend’s place, I actually initiated an electronics purchase. (I know, Slag was shocked too.) A Google search, a couple of mouse clicks, and voila: a Wii and assorted accessories arrive on our doorstep. I love the internet.

For the first couple of weeks, I was totally into it. I wasn’t very good, but for the first time ever, I was as good as everyone else! Everybody we knew sucked at video bowling and tennis just as much as I did. Isn’t that fabulous?? And so we were all entertained for several evenings, spent drinking and ridiculing each other’s suckiness and generally having a great time.

But then…everybody got better. Everybody but me. Naturally. I should have known that it was inevitable, but I was holding onto that last bit of hope. The last tiny little bit. Now it’s gone too.

Now everybody else can throw three strikes in a row and I’m still throwing gutter balls. Everybody else is returning blistering serves and line drives with no problem while my Mii flaps its racket wildly and falls down. And then we get to see it all again during the slo-mo replay after every point. I just LOVE the slo-mo replay.

I’ve taken to practicing in private while Slag is out in his pottery studio. I keep thinking that all I need is a little focused practice without the pressure of somebody watching. But even that isn’t helping. I spent an hour yesterday afternoon swearing and flipping off the TV before giving up and announcing to no one in particular that I am a grown woman and I certainly have more important things to do than spending valuable Sunday afternoon time shooting at stupid dancing bunnies. Because I do, you know. I definitely do.


Blogger Stucco said...

Sofa King Wii Todd did... Love that!

9:15 PM  
Blogger Schmoopie said...

You are sooo funny! Best of luck to you in finding your "groove" or a game for the wii that you can do better. It's out there somewhere :)

9:16 PM  
Blogger geewits said...

Hmmm, my husband keeps saying, this is something YOU can do. (The "even" is implied.) Now I'm beginning to wonder.

1:05 AM  
Blogger Kara said...

well, what you're lacking in physical ineptitude, you're overcompensating in punnery. that title combined with the current hour of night had me in a fit of giggles. not the stupid girly ones...the good ones.

i haven't tried a wii yet. kansas has a xbox 360. two days ago he spent $60 on a game. today he said he finished it. i haven't told him that i never got past level 3 of super mario bros (and only level 2 of duck hunt). think he'll still love me?

1:20 AM  
Blogger Evil Spock said...

I love my Wii! Its so much fun to play, and its a blast with friends. Videos of you guys playing are in order!

3:29 PM  
Blogger Jazz said...

I can play with you. I'm sure I'm way worse than you are....

9:36 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

stucco, OK, I even googled "Sofa King Wii Todd" and I still don't get it. Sigh.

schmoopie, Thanks for the encouragement!

geewits, Oh, you can DO it. It's the "doing it well" part that's the problem.

kara, I'm sure he'll still love you. I don't think men want video game competition from their women. Just keep letting him feel superior, and everything will be fine.

evil spock, Keep on dreaming dude!

jazz, Maybe we should start some some of tournament for the wii-tarded. It'll be sorta like the special olympics for the uncoordinated.

10:57 AM  
Blogger Cheesy said...

Oh I think I could be Captian of that team!! Funny post gurlie... you crack me up!

10:51 PM  
Blogger Jocelyn said...

I adore this post, and not just because we were meant to be friends in our youth. I actually was so cowed by my physical ineptitude that I never even tried video games.

And now, here I am: an adult who barely knows what Wii is.

8:42 PM  
Blogger Mauigirl said...

You sound exactly like me. I was terrible at every sport and, like you, couldn't make a yo-yo, hula-hoop or jump rope work for me. The only difference between our level of aptitude is that I can whistle and I did OK at Pacman (although the stress on my elbow from the joystick gave me tendonitis). Back in the late 80's sometime my friends gave me a Super Mario Brothers video game. I was horrible at it. I've heard all about this Wii thing but have no intention of buying it. Thank you so much for validating my feelings on the subject!

9:07 AM  

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