Do you see this store? This is what it looked like at 6 AM when my son and I arrived for a stake-out. The reason? Operation Halo Reach, the Special Edition Game.
I am not a gamer, but my fourteen-year old is a passionate one. He’s awaited this game’s arrival with singular enthusiasm, fretted it would sell-out before I could drop him at his school and return to the Best Buy to line up. This weekend he made an impassioned but rational plea about all the reasons he should play hooky to secure a spot. And though I’m a third-generation educator and my grandmother would be rolling in her grave, I agreed. See, this kid wants to design video games for a living, and that vision is one of the reasons he tolerates school.
Also, in exchange for my complicity, I’ve extracted commitments I wouldn’t have otherwise. I think it’s fair to say I now own his soul. :D
Anyway, this morning he put on his parka, packed up the camping chair, and grabbed a backpack of books for the Big Ordeal. And this is what the store looked like at 9:40, twenty minutes before it opened:
I know, huh? No drama. From the warmth and comfort of our minivan, he grew ever more glum.
I think he thought I’d be annoyed with him for hauling me out of bed so early. (Wrong, because it’s impossible not to perceive it as an adventure. I’d had fun. Also, while he waited, I’d gone to the local Starbucks and written a ton of words, so what’s not to like in that?)
I think he’d envisioned the opportunity to chat with his peers. Alas, when they arrived, they were all men in their mid-twenties and up. With the exception of one kind man, there on behalf of his son, they ignored him in a silence I now think of as foreshadowing.
I say that because I have a few thoughts about humanity, at present: Not impressed people. NOT.
A kid — a tender kid — first in line. He waited for four hours. He’s anticipated this for weeks. Yet somehow you feel it’s right and okay to push past him the second the door opens for a freaking game? I don’t get it. I don’t want to get it.
In the end, though, Frank got his game and an education about mob mentality. And me? I got the memory of a lifetime and my son’s gratitude.
As for the pushy people, I have something to say to them: “Honey, you might feel like you’ve got something in your pants right now because you got your precious Halo, but sorry. You sure ain’t got the wings.”
How about you? Have you ever stood in line for hours only to be usurped by those who are bigger, stronger, and possess a sense of entitlement? Have any strategies to share with a newbie to this world?