Yesterday started out like any normal day. I woke up, got dressed and went to work. I love my job, but nothing beats meeting my husband afterwards, grabbing a casual bite to eat (no mum, we don’t eat out night of the week, as you constantly insinuate) and heading home to our puppy (again, no, that’s not a euphemism). We’ve got it down to a tee; a routine we’re both content with.
However, last night, that routine was ripped apart in a way I never expected – by the wrath of Pokémon.
I never really the whole Pokémon thing first time round. At school, as the rest of the kids were wheeling and dealing their lunch breaks away, exchanging those yellow cards with the excited, frantic energy only children exude, I was encouraged by my mum to skip the fads and nurture other interests. Something I can appreciate now but, at the time, when you’re the only kid not parting with your pocket money to finance the very thing literally else is doing, it cuts deep.
My husband on the other hand, was into it. In a big way. All his friends were, and I get the fact it holds a very specific form of nostalgia for all those rough-and-ready boys who grew up into men with bills to pay, mouths to feed (if no one else, their own), and houses to save within an inch of their life for.
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That’s probably the reason why my husband has held onto his Pokémon cards into adulthood. That, and the fact there’s nothing that boils his blood more than wasted money.
I just want to make one thing crystal clear – we do not sit around on Saturday nights playing with Pokémon cards. They’re stashed away in a safe box, under the stairs, totally out of reach, collecting dust. I can provide you with photographic evidence of this. However, my home is now under siege by Pokémon of the 2016 variety: Pokémon Go.
Of course, the anticipated app hasn’t officially been released on UK soil as of yet but, through many a cyber twist and turn, he not-so-magically managed to download it, as did the rest of his compadres.
For those of you who don’t know what Pokémon Go fully entails, I’ll get you up to speed. You create your own avatar – an Ash, Misty or Brock of your own guise – and it appears on a 100% accurate map of your current surroundings. As you go about your business, Pokémon pop out of nowhere, appearing on the pavement/sofa right nect to you (via your phone screen, natch). The aim? To collect as many as you can using the stash of Pokeballs at your disposal.
I’m sure, to the Nintendo aficinados out there that this is the gaming relief you’ve been waiting for since your Gameboys were dead and buried, but this is not something I asked for. Nae, something my marriage asked for.
After meeting me off the train, what should have been a 10 minute walk took us half an hour. When we eventually got home, it wasn’t long until hubby had to ‘pop out’ to go to the gym. The Pokémon ‘gym’ that is.
So, in less than 24 hours I’ve become a Pokémon widow – a condition I’m sure ladies across the land are also experiencing. Pokémon Go, we collectively have a few choice questions for you…
1. Do you have any respect for the sanctity of marriage or relationships?
2. Will you cover the medical bills that’ll rack up after the stress induced by witnessing the people we care about most hanging out of windows in an attempt to catch ‘em all gets the better of me?
3. Will you release a multi-player format? You know, so I can be included in my partner’s life?
4. Will prolonged use stop me from finding my partner sexually attractive?
5. Is there any way I can buy all the Pokémon upfront to end this modern-day form of torture?
6. Are all of our life savings going to be spent on reckless app upgrades?
7. Will you provide compensation should a Pokémon Go obsession result in divorce?
I wait with baited breath for your response.