I don’t know why John and I have had the urge to turn into hardcore, cave-dwelling gamers just as the weather is turning nice. We’ve only finished one round of the main plot for Fable III and already we have a stack of games piling up and begging for our attention. Normally we choose adventure games that we play together by trading off the controller and the navigational responsibilities. (I admit it, we use walkthroughs to find those last few hidden items.) This weekend, however, we tried something a little different.

We stopped at the game store because it was conveniently across from the craft store where we needed to go to buy foam core to construct giant spectacles. I was perusing the used games without expecting to find anything compelling when a title caught my eye and triggered a happy memory. Did you know that Mortal Kombat has a game out for the Wii? For the uninitiated, Mortal Kombat is mostly a hand-to-hand arena combat game with lots of blood and a hilariously buff menu of fantasy creature to cause death with. I was skeptical when a friend first put the controller into my hand until I discovered a secret: I has mad button-mashing skillz.

John was equally skeptical when I handed him the title.

John: “Really? I don’t know about this one…”

Me: “What? Are you afraid I’ll make you cry like a little girl?”

John: “That’s it. We’re getting it.” (Unstated subtext: “You’re going down.”)

John and I don’t fight. It’s not in our natures. We’re both severely non-confrontational people, for different reasons, which means that when we get angry with each other the house just gets quiet for a bit until we’re calm enough to either realize there’s no reason to be upset or able to have a rational discussion. We’re all about the collaboration and building up, which I generally think is a positive thing in a relationship. Coming from a home with three younger sisters who are champion smack-talkers (only in the most loving way now that we’re grown up, of course), I do sometimes find the constant positive energy to be a little strange. Having an acceptable outlet for smack-talk is oddly refreshing.

As it happens, we were having a bit of an intense conversation this weekend. I just found out that two of my closest childhood friends are both pregnant (yay!!), and that sort of information does funny things to a gal’s brain. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want kids any more than I did last Friday (which is to say, not much), but I suddenly had a picture of a future me that I hadn’t seen before. I could imagine getting to a point in five years or so where I look at our lives and think, “You know what would make this even nicer? Babies.”

To John, I think even this distant, hypothetical consideration of having kids is terrifying. True story: parenthood is scarier than Nazis riding dinosaurs who have nuclear missiles in their teeth. I won’t argue with that. I just had the sudden realization that maybe someday that level of scary will seem acceptable. Either way, talking about it now brings up some interesting emotions for John and I, which were lingering in the air as I kicked the snot out of him in a virtual arena. (To be fair, my “having read the manual” advantage disappeared quickly enough once I pointed out that he wasn’t actually attacking me.)

It occurred to us then that a few rounds of Mortal Kombat might be an interesting way to settle disagreements in the future. I realized, however, that if we used such a method to decide on having kids, he would definitely win. Granted, I may still be able to wipe the floor with him five years from now, but I think I would wake up three rounds in and realize that people who settle major life decisions with bloody video games might not exactly be ready for the responsibility of parenthood…

4 thoughts on “Fatality!

  1. Ha! Mortal Kombat!!! Did John tell you that that was the one game that I forbade him to have in the house when he was a kid? Told him that I couldn’t control what he played at his friends’ houses….but, he should feel very quilty when he played MK with them:) Long years ago. I’ll bet he isn’t feeling a bit of guilt, is he? As it should be. Brings back good memories.
    John doesn’t have a strong ‘killer instinct’ when it comes to games played with people he cares about….he loves the challenge and winning (the process) but, not the ‘defeat’ of his opponent. I always like and respect that about him.
    As for resolving issues and raising children using gaming……I’ve certainly seen worse. Wouldn’t it be an interesting scenario to win arguments with kids by winning games, “If I win, you do the dishes for the next year. If you win, you get to take out the trash for the next 6 months.” Or to more closely follow your text, “If I win we have 3 children. If you win you get to have only 2 children.” Love you


  2. Brenda, I do love your creative idea about winning for the chores scenerio, but if you have ever watched, “My Wife and Kids” this doesn’t always work in the parent’s favor!! Melissa, you and John would love the show, half hour sitcom, but it is great! As for the gaming, sounds like fun to me, but having a sister so much older than he, you must have him way beat with the smack talk!!! Love you!


  3. Beverly…you are sooooo right. John is very cool and competent under pressure. And he is good at good-naturedly zinging someone with humor. But, in a smack-down with his sister it would be like a deer in the headlights.


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