What an XBOX Taught Me About Life

I recently caved and bought an Xbox.  It was a glorious, very frustrating day of my life.  Glorious, because that was the day I purchased Skyrim.  Frustrating, because everything that could have gone wrong, did.

I’d been thinking about getting an Xbox for a while.  And by “a while” I  really mean over three years.  Ever since I played at a friend’s house, I knew that I wanted one.  But I never had the money and I always justified it, saying that I was “a Nintendo person” and that I didn’t need an Xbox because I had Zelda–what more could you possibly want?

Now that I have a steady job, I have more money floating around.  It’s weird because I can actually get some of the things that I want instead of just having what other people (aka: family) gave me.  I don’t have to wait for Christmas to get a new pair of shoes.  I can go buy them myself, right this second if I want to!

It’s kind of liberating, but also kind of terrifying.

I’ve started being really afraid of spending money because once it’s gone, there’s no getting it back–so if something bad happens that requires money to fix I’d be in serious trouble.  So I wasn’t going to spend any money at all when I took a friend to a nearby gamer-type store.

Nope.  No money at all–but then I was suddenly distracted by my 3-year-long unrealized wants.  I decided I was getting an Xbox.  Finally.

Against my better judgment, I went up to the counter and asked for the one I wanted.  I knew that as soon as the words were out of my mouth there was no going back.

I stood there patiently, waiting for the Xbox I knew would be mine soon.

Patiently….patiently……a little less patiently……

I stood there for over an hour while I waited for them to ring me up.   First bad thing that happened: check.

Enthusiasm slightly dampened (but not extinguished!), I carted the package of wonder to my humble abode, where I opened it gleefully to find….

Not what I ordered.  This is not what I ordered!  Did I make a mistake?  Did they make a mistake?  Someone definitely made a mistake.  This is not the newest model, I specifically wanted the newest model–surely this can’t be right.

So I took it back to the store.

They said it was fine.  That the box said it was the right product so it must be right.  That they had others in the back but they’d be just like the one I already had–would I like the special limited edition crackerjack-filled shiny $400 one coming out half a year from now?  It’s a special editionnnnnn.

Now, I was not familiar with this particular game store.  But I was familiar with another one just like it someplace else.  So I called them.  Turns out I was right.  I decided to turn in my new/old Xbox and go visit the other store to make things right.  The only thing was that I wouldn’t make it to the store before they closed for the night.  I would have to wait until the next day.

So I wound up sitting at home, Xbox-less, staring at a very expensive paperweight the game I had purchased that day.  I had been so excited, but I was so very sad at that moment.

The next day I got my Xbox, and I realized that the console was more dear to me because of the hardship I went through to get it.

What’s more, I knew that I really wanted it–this wasn’t a flighty desire that was going to fly out the window.  No, this had been thought about, dreamed about, and planned for.  And yes, maybe it is silly that I value a game console.  There are loads of other things I could have bought that are more useful.

But isn’t it worth something that the value of a thing increases based on the hardship that occurred while getting it?

We live in a society filled with technology.  Kids have iPads, iPhones, Xboxes, all the cool gadgets–and they’re getting them at younger and younger ages.   They will never treasure these things if they are just handed to them.

I don’t treasure the things that I’ve had given to me.  But I do treasure the things I’ve fought for, paid for with my own hard-earned money.   I often don’t realize how much I value these things because I invest so much time into them–it’s too broad of a scale for me to wrap my mind around it.

Itook an Xbox and a havoc-filled day to show me that the best things in life come with a truckload of difficulty attached.  I’m pretty sure this is my favorite life-lesson to date.  The reward’s pretty sweet–hours and hours of Skyrim.

Blogger’s note:  Thank you guys for putting up with me while I ran around doing stuff the past two Fridays.   I’m going to try a new strategy tomorrow in regards to blog posting, so maybe there won’t be any more mishaps.  At least in regard to my posting late because I have Friday plans.

A very special thank you to “Orangeantelope” for his help last week!  Mayo milkshakes will get their own special post next week. (If I set a deadline, I’m more likely to do it.  So a deadline has been set.)

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