Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The Thirteenthaversary: in which we eat ice cream and get poetic about an ancient video game.

We recently celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary, which means we've been together about 15. Our middle son still sports his neon blue short leg cast, so anything big or stressful was just out of the question. 

We settled on a local ice cream joint with friends, and it was actually really nice. If you are near the Pasadena area and you want something sweet with vintage feelings served along with it then The Neighborhood Scoop is your place. The decor is beautiful, it's roomy, and they even have tabletop games which makes this the perfect place for families. This is a Blue Bell-brandishing establishment for sure, and that makes a lot of Texans super happy. We didn't order the savory stuff on the menu, but everyone swears it's as great as their sweet treats. I'll have to make sure we visit again to try it. Go support places like this, they are amazing to have around. It made for a nice, easy-going evening to celebrate. 

When I look back at everything my husband and I have been through, I try to find some advice I might pass onto the kids about finding a soul mate. 

And I find I have very little. 

The truth is, I'm not sure what dictates these things. It helps we're on the same pages for things like philosophy and science, but it's not just that. It helps we are both introverted, and that we both started out studying art, but it's not those things either. 

I'm not really sure what made me so lucky. Which is somehow a discomforting thought. 

It brought me, for reasons I don't actually know, to think about a really old video game about two lovers in a game called "Primal". You can find it now on PS4 with some revamping, and you should. It's gothic storytelling, the battle music was done by 16 Volt, and it has a helluva cast of characters that drive the action. Also, it's fun. It's got a nice battle system based on how you are pressing the buttons, and a large set of worlds to explore. I have zero idea why it wasn't more popular back when it was released. 

It's also a poignant look at what draws people together. And what keeps them fighting for each other. 

The main characters, Jen and Lewis, share a traumatic backstory that changed them forever. It's not readily apparent, and it's not initially what brings them together, but early on you get the details that neither of them had anyone else in their corner. 

That seems sad. I guess maybe it is. It's the reality for a lot of people, though. It was the reality for my husband and I. We don't have "no one" because we are incredibly fortunate, but we had to fight through similar backgrounds as kids. I think seeing that kind of warrior spirit in another person was really special. It made me want to be a better, stronger person. And we took on that journey together. 

That's definitely not always easy.

But it's always so worth it. 

And I wonder if that's not a big part of it. 

Stoicism-wise, which is a line of thought my husband and I share, it makes the most sense to love and help and cherish someone that way, and it's an active decision to continue that and to put them first. "Primal" draws into that because the shared traumatic background between the lead characters forces Lewis into being controlled by an evil envoy. Jen has to face him, but she doesn't give up on him, and that's right at the heart of the dark storyline that makes the playthrough so memorable. It's one of the top reasons I'd recommend a run through "Primal" for anyone even remotely interested.

That and it's...fun. 

Okay, I realize you can't decipher your love life based on games. Probably. 

For some reason, I always just think of that story when it feels...serendipitous to really stand back and look at our life together. 

What decided all of that? Was it something we shared or saw in each other? 

I can't really explain it, and I guess that's the only relationship advice I have. 

When faced with a terrible diagnosis last year, all I could think of was thank God I got this. Thank God I was this lucky to have found my parallel spirit right here with me. Because love is worth it; the entire fight, the entire everything. It always is. 

I'm so grateful for these 15 years with the love of my life and everything that will follow it. 

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