Y’know…this is how it always is. When I finished last Friday’s column, which happened to be not only my first entry, but the first part of my personal history, which today’s column is supposed to be a continuation of, I had it ALL planned out. I had it broken into three easy chunks to make a very smoothly flowing three-parter.
Then I forgot the second part. I have the beginning (done already) and the end…which is easy, because it’s JUST HAPPENED, relatively speaking…but the second part? Nah. Nothing.
I even took NOTES! But looking over them now, it’s like when you have a dream that seems incredibly important, and you wake up and scribble down something critical, possibly world-changing, and go back to sleep. In the morning, you wake up, look atyour notes and it says something like “The secret is at precisely 1:02:15 in the latest Twilight movie.” You can watch it over and over, and you aren’t going to be discovering anything world-changing. In fact, the only thing that might change is your developing brain cancer from watching that tripe.
So, anyway, let’s dive right in, and I’ll pretend this is all according to some grand plan I set up a week ago. So…yeah, pretend that I didn’t write anything above this paragraph. I command you!
Today’s column won’t have much to do with Magic, actually, since it’s going to be my largely Magic-free portion of my life, and next week’s will deal with the actual return (You see that, self? Now you know what you’re writing next week!)
Last history entry saw the end of my first foray into Magic…and even though the column was brief, keep in mind, my initial time in Magic wasn’t. I remember my homeroom advisor mentioning my “passion” for the game in one of my 9thgrade midterm progress reports. I was planning on being in it for the long haul. Then, things like parental pressure, peer pressure, and the fact that I had little money, and was really, REALLY interested in those creatures that had bodies with curves even more intriguing than the world’s smoothest mana curve, smelled good, and felt soft, and who, come to find out, you can’t summon for ANY amount of tapped mana.
So, I soldiered on…and publicly “quit” playing, while still regularly going to the LGS on the sly. Looking back, it was slightly ridiculous, but that’s what an adolescent male will do while in the throes of burgeoning hormones. As I mentioned last time…things just kind of faded out over time. I was working a lot, and once I finished high school, I lived in the dorms my first year of college, and my fraternity house the second, and playing Magic in either of those places was DEFINITELY a no-go. So, pulling myself out of the habit for two years definitely dampened my ardor for the game, as did having to spend my money on survival, rather than being able to play with it, beyond the monthly car payment/insurance/gas I had to pay in high school.
I worked a number of retail jobs, and still being a gamer, I gravitated to places like GameStop and Media Play (which I think is now non-existent, but was essentially an entertainment store, with departments for music, movies, books, and computer/video game) and would buy a theme deck or two every expansion or so, if I saw one that caught my eye (I was always disappointed that they didn’t do more red-green, and I didn’t care for the flavor of the red-green decks they did.)
In time, I even stopped buying those. I never did more than goldfish with those decks, and sometimes didn’t even do more than open up the packaging and flip through the cards. It just got to be a silly expenditure of money for me, especially when money was spare. In time, a longtime friend of mine at GameStop was marrying another co-worker, and honored me by asking me to be the best man. I knew he had introduced her to D&D as well as Magic, and given how broke I was, gave them my collection, save my binder, and a couple of decks, for a wedding gift. Don’t worry…I told them about the stuff I couldn’t part with, I wasn’t secretly holding anything back and just unloading jank…there was some good stuff in there.
And with that, I figured the door was shut on Magic for me for good.
Over the years, I got pretty heavily into MMOs instead. Star Wars Galaxies was my first, and COMPLETELY screwed up my schooling, as I wasn’t able to stop playing to go to bed on time. It was just after this that I was diagnosed with ADD, in my early 20s, which answered a lot about my difficulties in school, which I really haven’t mentioned before now. That’s one of those topics for a later column. I got out of SWG, mostly due to the fact that EVERYONE was quitting…the devs had screwed things up but good, and WoW was coming out. My group of online friends and I hadn’t been impressed with WoW’s beta, and planned to make the jump to EQ2, which, admittedly, was awesome. I ended up going with both.
I only stuck with EQ2 for a few months. I like to be able to play at my own times and pace, and EQ2 was SEVERELY unfriendly for solo-play. WoW was much…kinder, in that regard. I ended up playing WoW from beta, almost straight through until the end of Cataclysm, with only short breaks here and there. During that time, I met a girl that I started dating more seriously than most girls, at a time when I had adopted a “I don’t want to get serious, let’s see how much fun I can have with them” attitude towards girls and dating. In due time we got engaged, then married. She brought a son from a previous marriage into our marriage, and I had to learn to be a dad to a 2 year old. Though, to be perfectly frank, he had just turned 1 when we started dating, so I had more than a year to prepare for that particular challenge.
At this point, Magic couldn’t have been further from my mind…but things would shortly change. And that’s where we’ll pick up when I finish this off next Friday. The next entry is Monday, when I talk about my next Janky Deck for Janky People…a W/U treat sure to make your head spin with its absolute badness.