...for a different kind of girl

silent surburban girl releasing her voice, not yet knowing what all she wants to say about her life and the things that make it spin. do you have to be 18 to be here? you'll know when i know.

Monday, January 14, 2008

boys and their toys

I came downstairs to find him sitting in the dark, hours past his normal bed time. The lone light in the room beamed from the screen of his laptop and shined ethereally on his face, which was twisted in concentration as he peered at what had captured his attention onscreen. Unblinking, his brain was sending rapid fire signals to his hand to click the mouse and move from screen to screen.

"Honey, it's late. What are you doing?" I asked my husband.

Startled from wherever it was he had been within the computer, he shot me a nervous look and acted quickly, but subtly, to twist the laptop from my view. The move, I admit, made me nervous. In my head, I began formulating the words I needed to say to let him know I understood, that I loved him, and that we'd get through this together. Stronger. Happier.

"Are you looking at porn?" I asked, my head rushing with thoughts of all I needed to say next. That it was OK, that we could talk and get through this if he'd just open up to me.

"It's not porn," he said quickly, but quietly, turning the computer from me just a bit more. "I swear to you. It's not porn."

Unable to fathom what he'd want to hide, I moved closer and watched as his expression seemed to resign itself with a mask of shame and fear. Closer still, my hand ready to rest on his shoulder, I heard music and random, unexplainable sounds coming from his computer.

"You swear it's not porn?" I asked, giving him one last chance to come clean with me. When he didn't answer, my gaze shifted from his - which had now settled downward to avoid my own - to the computer screen. My eyes widened as on it, I watched a tiny animated pug outfitted in a bandanna and dark sunglasses danced around a room decorated with a bed, sandcastle and balloon bouquet.

"It's Webkinz, OK?!" my husband cried. "It's Webkinz, not porn! I didn't want you to find out, but I'm not doing this for me! I'm doing it for the kids! Scruffy the Pug's favorite food is pancakes and I'm trying to earn enough points at Quizzy's Question Corner so I can visit the store and buy him some, and Goldie the Golden Retriever? He wants a trampoline and they're on sale today, but I need to earn more points by playing this hamburger match-up puzzle before I can go get it.

As if the weight of the world had been lifted from my husband's shoulders, he unleashed his confession to me, his voice raising as his excitement grew. "Let me tell you, it's practically a job, all this work I'm going through, but I want to do this so I can be sure Scruffy and Goldie's happiness meters go up."

"Honey?" I interrupted. "Speaking of jobs and happiness meters going up, any chance you wanna maybe log off and pretend you were watching porn? With me? Upstairs?"

"Maybe later," he replied, his guilt-free eyes turned back to the computer screen which was now fully on display. "Another round of fifth grade level trivia questions and I can pay for a window for Scruffy's room."

I turned to go back upstairs, but turned back to give him the answer for one of the trivia questions. Why not? I want Scruffy, the animated bandanna wearing, dark sunglass dancing pug, to be happy as much as the next 39 year old man playing with his kids' toys.

"You know, if this becomes a problem for you, you can tell me," I said. "We'll be OK."

"Pancakes, honey. I'm just buying pancakes."

Which is just how I suspect addictions start.



Blogger Nanette said...

Ha! SNORT! FADKOB is hilarious!

I guess it beats toying around phony barbies while playing with your joystick/clicking your mouse.


Monday, January 14, 2008 2:12:00 AM  
Blogger Nature Girl said...

I laughed.
Out loud.
For a good solid 5 minutes.
Till my eyes watered.

The part that got me was not his embarrassment, or him hiding what he was doing, or even the fact that he was playing with the kids's toy, but the part about the job and your happiness meter going up..
I laughed my ass off!
You do have a way of telling stories about you girlfriend!

Monday, January 14, 2008 7:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being a bit OCD myself and liking people's happiness meter to go up, almost to the point of it being a character flaw, I could relate. After trying to corner the Webkinz gem market, I have resorted to buying the trading cards. Lots of Webkinz cash for not much of the real green. I keep a pack in reserve in case a rare item Elvis wig comes up for sale. It would fabulous on my daughter's Pink Poodle - Snowflake.

Monday, January 14, 2008 8:06:00 AM  
Blogger Recovering Soul said...

what the heck is webkinz? I'm afraid to search for it from my work computer.

Monday, January 14, 2008 8:29:00 AM  
Blogger Desmond Jones said...

Yeef. . . I don't know whether to laugh or avert my gaze at his, um, deferring your proposal. . .

Monday, January 14, 2008 8:59:00 AM  
Blogger FTN said...

Can our kids' Webkinz play together somehow? I haven't looked into it, but I bet your husband would know. Because Fluffy the pink poodle would no doubt have a great time with Goldie and Scruffy.

But alas, Fluffy's online life has actually been in timeout for the past week, as a certain real-world girl has been misbehaving at kindergarten.

The Webkinz addiction among 6-year olds is tearing families apart, I tell ya.

Monday, January 14, 2008 9:14:00 AM  
Blogger Biscuit said...

Thank goodness my children have forgotten that their Webkinz have online lives. The people who dream this shit up are pure evil.

Monday, January 14, 2008 9:20:00 AM  
Blogger Bee said...

I was going to click on the Webkinz link but now I'm scaurd, even though I don't know what that is, I'm pretty sure I'de become and addict.

Monday, January 14, 2008 9:44:00 AM  
Blogger 1blueshi1 said...

hmm, I think y0u should start charging for your peanut butter bars!
"Okay, honey, you can have ONE, but only if I can get the rare Elvis wig for my raging mane o' hotness!"

Monday, January 14, 2008 12:05:00 PM  
Blogger LPS said...

Oh gosh. I totally know how he feels. I was trying to help my son earn some money, because that webkinz shop is a bit overpriced for a 4 year old. I played it for an hour!! Then I was embarrassed. I'm so glad to hear you tell this story so I don't feel so bad!

Monday, January 14, 2008 12:12:00 PM  
Blogger Bunny said...


Monday, January 14, 2008 1:11:00 PM  
Blogger SuperWife said...

My shame is GAIA, not webkinz.

It started last March, when my older kids persuaded me to create an account and play the games with them and all of that.

Now, I'm wheeling and dealing in the marketplace and spend FAR too much time there.

So, yeah, I know EXACTLY what that monkey on your hubby's back looks like.

Monday, January 14, 2008 2:35:00 PM  
Blogger kimmyk said...

OMG. This was my 10 min break and i'm only 10 mins into school work, but still...best break ever.

OMG I laughed so hard and I'm sorry I wasn't meaning to laugh at your hubs but bless his heart!!!

I don't know what a Webkin thingy is and that's okay just knowing there are good guys out there like your hubs fighting the good fight is all I need to know.

I'm serious, best break story ever!

Monday, January 14, 2008 5:55:00 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Oh my goodness, this is shocking!

Buying pancakes is just the start of a slippery slope ... help him kick it, Girl. He needs you now.

Monday, January 14, 2008 7:43:00 PM  
Blogger Mandy Lou said...

There's nothing I can say that hasn't already been said. I laughed, I cried, I may have wet my pants a bit. Damn you are funny!

Monday, January 14, 2008 8:30:00 PM  
Blogger Choppzs said...

Girly is addicted to those things. Her gramma gave her one for christmas and all I hear her say is how things are so expensive and she needs to do these quizzes to earn more money to dress her webkinz thing up! I admit, I got on there and kicked some kids butt at those quizzes and earned her 100 bucks! lol

Monday, January 14, 2008 9:19:00 PM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

Nan - FADKOB is a chuckle-head from time to time. And my, what a relief that, of all the toys he could be playing with online, it's a tiny stuffed animal!


Stacie - Ha! I have been keeping tabs on his happiness meter since I learned of them in this Webkinz world!

Prom Queen - It seems the pink poodle is quite the popular Webkinz. My niece got one for Christmas. I think she went with the obvious "Pinky" for a name, but not without going through several ideas. I've not seen the trading cards, but I imagine this is a good thing. Even if I could probably work an Elvis wig!

RS - Fear not! Webkinz are stuffed animals (among other fiscally depleting items) that you can play with in real life and on the web thru interative activities. It's a time sucker, to be honest.

Des - Oh, feel free to chuckle!

FTN - Do we need to stage an intervention at your house?

If your daughter comes out of this punishment unscathed and still interested, we could very well look into having Fluffy, Goldie and Scruffy hang out. Goldie got that sweet trampoline recently, so it's fun and games at his deluxe dog house. I'll ask the Husband!

Biscuit - Oh, believe me, I agree! Alas, their Neopets are feeling slighted and are probably close to death now that the Webkinz have moved into the neighborhood.

Biscuit - I gotta stay off that site. I am wracked by a major addictive personality, so I'd be a wreck on that site.

1blueshi1 - Oh! Charging for things! (making notes....ha!)

Laura - Ha! That's what the husband tells me. He's just going to get online for a bit. Do one quick thing. Suddenly, an hour or more has gone by!

Bunny - Thank you!

Superwife - So you're saying you might not be up to being the husband's sponsor when he decides to shake this monkey off his back?

Kimmy - I got to be the first break read!? Sweet! And that I made you LOL? Or maybe ROFLMAO? Even better!

Melissa - I'm in his corner. I have his back. I'll be here for him when he accepts that it's time to get help. Except if he checks into some fancy pants rehab spa. Then I may come up with my own addiction!

Mandy Lou - What a wonderful testament! If this ever becomes a movie, can I use your comment in the ads? Ha! Thank you for the compliment!

Choppzs - Oh, we talk about Webkinz all the time. All. The. Time. Sigh. Getting online is one of the first things the boys want to do when they get home from school. Addicted! All of the males in this house seem to be addicted. To tiny stuffed animla. Who woulda thought?!

Monday, January 14, 2008 11:33:00 PM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

Yeah. That second helping of Biscuit. That was for you, Bee. Sorry. I had one eye on an episode of "The Family Guy," which has become the thing my addictive personality has latched onto at the moment! Sorry!

Monday, January 14, 2008 11:35:00 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

Um yeah.. I can sympathize. I'm totally addicted to Tile Towers, and I get pissed off if I miss a day on the "care meter" to get free Kinzcash and food for my kid's pet. I'm so addicted, I got him another one for Christmas! ARGH!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008 2:12:00 PM  
Blogger Sugar Kane said...

That is hilarious! I had no idea what a webkinz was, so not only did you make me laugh, I learned a little something. Good show!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008 5:31:00 PM  
Blogger Nanette said...

Just taking my new profile pic for a ride! OMG! I can't stop laughing.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008 8:39:00 PM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

Kelly - Ha! Another addict! I've got a birthday boy breathing down my neck for another Webkinz, and to help my husband's addication, I'm considering getting him his own for Valentine's Day. I know. That's enabling him and not helping the problem, but I do it for love! Thanks for visiting and for the comment!

Sugar Kane - Good for you for not knowing what Webkinz are, even as a parent! Hold strong! Now that you know, I beg you to hold strong!

Nan - Can't...type...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008 11:49:00 PM  
Blogger Lipstick Jungle said...

I know this addiction well. My daughter now has 27 of the fun furry things. She even started a family for me. Mine are dead I am sure, but she will often call me and ask me to "check on" her kids for her.

Yes, I understand.

I do not understand however how Webkinz won over playing porn star with you... If it were me, I would have subtly reminded him that if he ever wanted to play nice he better put his kiddy porn (had to say it) away and come play with momma!


Wednesday, January 23, 2008 10:36:00 PM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

justlori2day - Thanks for your visits and comments! Love to see new people around here! As for my husband and his desire to play with some toys rather than others, well, for his sake, some days he needs a break from me! I figure this is about as innocent as he can go!

Thursday, January 24, 2008 1:55:00 PM  

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