So, I think I have mentioned my obsession with Nancy Drew. This is not hard to understand; the girl has her own detective agency, hundreds of kickin' scarfs, and a blue roadster, for goodness sake. Not to mention a huge helping of moxie. She is cool personified; I want to be her. And secretly, you do too.
I have been playing the Nancy Drew computer games since they started coming out, which was embarrassingly past my 10th birthday and the age they are aimed at. Now I play them with Super Preschooler, which kinda makes it a little more tellable, but not quite. I still totally acted like I didn't know what Super P. was talking about when he told our neighbor all about why we were going to Best Buy in the middle of a Tuesday. I mentioned that we needed computer ink, which is true, and let Super P. confuse Mr. Perfect Yard with talk of magnifying glasses and puzzles. Oh well, it is miles better than the day Super P. told the visiting nurse all about Plants vs. Zombies.
So, we head over to Best Buy because I have a coupon and I really do need ink. I hate going to Best Buy, and not because this place is crawling with hipsters who somehow got lost on their way to the Apple store, although that is a pretty good reason. No, I hate Best Buy because my children love Best Buy and Best Buy does not love my children. Lotta high emotions swirling around amid the appliances. (Has anyone ever bought a fridge at Best Buy? Just curious.) Basically, I think Best Buy would prefer that I bring my children back to them in about 12 years, when they have allowances and best motor control. I can't exactly blame them, but the glares are a bit much.
I am planning an in and out operation and I might have been successful, if the game I was here to get wasn't, well, a game. Getting a game involves going into the belly of the Best Buy beast; a veritable gamer's playland, where milling zombie teenagers shuffle and shrug under the nightmarish light of a hundred televisions silently showing the Avengers. There are demos everywhere; X-box, Wii, Playstation 2, or is it 12? Each demo has a listless adolescent standing in front of it, killing things with a numbing nonchalance that is all the more frightening to me when seen next to the three whirling dervishes orbiting me. Is this their future? I want them to sit still sometimes, but the boredom oozing out of this place is horrifying. My crystal ball gazing is cut short when my children cluster around the teenager playing Borderlands 2 and actually seem to drag his attention away from the screen. They are pretty loud and completely unaware of personal space, you know, like most people under the age of 8. They jostle this kid and he shifts his eyes to them and shakes his head slowly, like someone waking up. I think I can actually see his eyes dilating, but that might be a trick of the Avengers light. I am getting significantly worried about this encounter and moving forward to shoo them away, but then he smiles. This armored teen with hair too messy to be accidental and a Space Ghost t-shirt meets Super Toddler's loose grin with an identical one, and then it all falls away. All the pretension and carefully sculpted unaffectedness and chips stacked 10 high on his shoulders. There is little a smile can do about all that gel, but for some reason, it appears to soften it a touch. He stands there looking into Super Toddler's face for what seems like a million years, then he notices me and sends me a quick look of permission. I acquiesce with a slight nod and really hope that I didn't just Rumpelstiltskin my middle child. Shouldn't have worried. He scoops Super Toddler up and lets him hold the controller while explaining something about Hyperion Corporation. Super Toddler gazes at this kid like he is Elvis and I let him bask under Super Toddler's adoration for awhile. That is, until I start counting the spent shell casings on the screen.
I ease Super Toddler away from his new guru, thanking him profusely. He smiles softly, his mask already shifting back into place, and we leave him shooting things in peace. Super Toddler is not pleased, but I am pretty sure he wasn't ready to battle the Hyperion Corporation. He recovers quickly from his thwarted gaming and gleefully sorts through the Disney movies with Super Preschooler, not a shoulder chip in sight. I am breathing a sigh of relief, as I pull the new Nancy Drew game off the shelf and hand it to Super Baby to gnaw on. Childhood is long, and if that smile was any evidence, it doesn't completely die in an adolescent flurry of gel and grisly games anyway. We've got time and now we've got a new Nancy Drew game to play. Life is good.
And then, the Supers knocked down the entire Tinkerbell: Secret of the Wings display. I turn to see a bemused crowd of hipsters gather and 5 glaring Best Buy employess move toward the giggling pile of Supers and glittered DVDs. The gamers? They don't even look up, even though, above them, the Hulk is totally destroying Loki. Have I already mentioned that I hate Best Buy?
Don't you guys worry about Awkward Mom; she and the Supers made it out of the store with Nancy's latest adventure and the ink they needed. Plus a brand new copy of Tinkerbell: Secret of the Wings. So, I guess you don't need to worry about Best Buy either. The new Nancy Drew game, the Deadly Device, is about Tesla coils and physicists; not exactly Awkward Mom's strengths. Super P. could have finished it last night, but he likes to let Mommy work stuff out for herself. We'll be back just as soon as we figure out how to reprogram the keycards and sneak into the lab. Don't wait up.
I want to go as Handsome Jack from Borderlands 2, but Mom keeps going on about tradition.