02 May 2007

Reading. And Learning.

This past weekend, I drove down to see S. After not having seen her in a few weeks, we were really starting to miss each other. So Sunday afternoon after cooking up a batch of my favourite pasta sauce (with care not to use too much spice) I drove down and spent Sunday and Monday with her. Dinner was great, we traded pasta dishes, watched some TV and reveled in each other's company. I purposefully left my laptop at home (which S was surprised to discover) and wasn't remotely interested in gaming.

I even took the pains to turn off her desktop and made sure it stayed off.

The most sophisticated electronic equipment we used those two days was a portable DVD player to watch movies in bed.

I was in heaven.

At some point S mentioned that she caught herself up on the very blog you're reading right now, Gentle Readers. And she was not entirely happy with the allegorical tale I told.

You see, a few points bothered her. We talked about it and I told her that while I had my misgivings about how things have been, I am optimistic about our future together.

I also pointed out that she's been constantly referred to as the one I love. And that any time I spent with her I was in bliss.

I told her that I look forward to any time we spend together - we smiled, we held each other and told each other that we'd work on that together.

S even took me out to see her brother's nice new house and re-acquainted me with her brother and his family. Nice people, great house and a noisy little dog.

As I drove up late Monday afternoon, I thought about the time we spent together and made plans in my head (as most couples do or those besotted with someone does) for the next time we have a chance to go do something interesting, like picnic at the Hollywood Bowl, walk the trails along Will Rodgers Park, spend the day exploring the Getty, that sort of thing.

Yes, Gentle Readers...I am in love with this woman. Tough to tell, isn't it?

We spend the day Tuesday texting each other. And I love me some texts from S, let me tell you.

So Tuesday night, after coming home from work, S and I talk on the phone. We talk about her day, what she's been getting herself into, and that sort of thing.

I asked if she wants to catch up with some TV...to which she asks if I want to spend some time gaming with her.

You could have knocked me over with a feather. I was more than happy to. So I log on, she finds one of her guild members and offers to help me get my skills up in group combat, learning how to target and keep a target "sheeped" (or having a spell cast on an enemy to turn them into a sheep for a short period of time in combat, rendering them safe until you're ready to take them on) and getting the guild member to talk about effective ways in which to play my chosen character, a Mage.

While it was tough going at times and both Ventrillo and TeamSpeak have yet to really work properly with me, I learned a lot and was genuinely glad that she took the time and found one of her guild members (who, as one of their better Mages knows what he's doing) to walk us through a lower level instance.

I learned yet again that this game has soo many variables and so many damned things to do/get/make/equip/fight/kill/farm/etc that it it's often times overwhelming. What do I do first?
Since S has done most things in game (and repeatedly until they've become old and uninteresting) I used to think that she'd be bored to tears if I asked her to help on a quest or help me do one of the many verbs I used in that last sentence. Luckily for me she told me that that isn't the case and if she's on and not in a raid, she'd help me. More importantly, she'd help me be a better player, as I've been used to soloing for so long I really have few team skills to draw from.

Love does strange things to one another, doesn't it? Here I am, looking at S and realizing that she wants to spend time with me in game again.

Mind you, I'm not asking her to drop everything and come running but the offer that she would help when she can was something that brought a genuine smile to my face. There will be many nights ahead of ramping up of skills, abilities, learning how to move as quickly as she does, targeting things and keeping everyone in your party alive.

She even told me that even if she's been in an instance with her guild - all she needs is a bit of a break, some time to rest a bit and she'd be interested in gaming with me afterwards.

Since I work in the afternoons and come home in the evenings, this seems to be an ideal arrangement. I know this is an effort on her part and I couldn't love her more for it.

I also realized that I have to be able to pat myself on the back here and there. I'm not the n00b I sometimes feel that I am and I do pretty well for myself. I can't expect to do the massive amounts of damage without being properly equipped. Fine, call it Equipment Envy, or Wish-I-Was-Unstoppable-Like-A-Warlock-Is.

But I know that given time (and that's the key here) I'll have a character fine-tuned and properly equipped to do as much damage as the Mages in her guild.

I'm looking forward to this, this more intimate arrangement that she and I have reached in game.

I also understand she's still a co-founder of her guild and she still has all those responsibilities - something that is still a bit of a double-edged sword for me. I will work with that and not let it be a factor in our relationship. I get the feeling that she's trying on her end as well.

Without WoW, our relationship is amazing. In-game, when things work, it feels almost as good these days.

That's something I look forward to seeing a lot more of.

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