Monday, March 15, 2010

Bachelor day nightmare!

I realize that there are many ways to cope with stress and that most work for a lot of people. Video games can be a good way for some people to ease their mind. For me, depending on the issues of the day, most of the time a violent video game helps me let out my frustrations with people. The main game that usually helps me with the stress is   Call of Duty: World at War. I love this game because I get to knock off some zombies in rounds that never seem to end. I feel the best way to explain how video games helped me with stress would be through my own experience of the day before my wedding.

It was a couple weeks back on December 18th, the day before I was getting married. I woke up happy and ready to go, for today was going to be my last day as a single man. I had a few errands to run and finish before having to be at my bride’s church, Westgate Chapel, for rehearsal at six. Right after the rehearsal, everyone was coming to my parents’ house just down the road a ways to have rehearsal dinner at around seven. I was hoping that everything would work out so that my bachelor party could take place as soon as everyone left my parents’ house.

It all started with the errands that I ran with my wife-to-be. We just had to go to the store and back before we could pick up a couple of people in our wedding party before the rehearsal started. The weather was fine that day with clear skies and roads, but people all over town were driving like there was a foot of snow on the ground. As I was driving to Wal-Mart, I became stuck behind an old lady who was doing maybe 40 mph in a 45 mph zone. So it started to irritate me because I couldn’t get around her, with every one passing me all the time. I was on a time deadline and I don’t like being late for anything.

Once we finally made it there, we got the things we needed from Wal-Mart and stood in the checkout line, where we hit another stall. We had to wait on this lady in front of us who was trying to get something that didn’t want to ring up. So they had to send someone back to get a price on the item, while we waited impatiently. They finally returned with the price about five to ten minutes later.

Since we had wasted so much time at Wal-Mart we had to almost fly to the bank, because I wanted to deposit a couple of checks that we had received for our wedding early on in the week. But we couldn’t because the checks had my wife’s married name on them and we hadn’t yet gotten her name changed. This just pissed me off even more, for we needed that money in order to buy all the groomsmen their gifts. I was going to get Nerf swords from Wal-Mart, so that we could all have a fight in the beginning of my party (since we’re all still big kids at heart).

From there I drove the once-again slow streets back to my parents’ house to get changed with only about twenty minutes until six, and we still had to go pick up my friend, whom I went to high school with and had asked to be the photographer, from her house. This extra step could have been avoided if my parents hadn’t messed up and got a photographer like they were supposed to. My friend was the only one with photography experience that we could get on such short notice. Somehow on our way there, we managed to go two streets past her house, causing us to have to turn around to get back to her street, taking up more time. Once we finally picked her up and made it to our rehearsal, we were about ten minutes late, which was all right with me. For at that point I had just given up and said to myself, “Heck with time keeping.” After a few minutes I started to relax a little, but the tension was still there even though we finally getting things done.

From there on throughout the rehearsal dinner it seemed to go off without a problem, so I was cooling down and feeling good. After the dinner, my stepdad suddenly decided he was going to become a jerk because he got a headache, and wouldn’t let us use the nice 48 inch TV to play games, or even put on some different music. So that we could start to have some fun, until he would let us play. After a half an hour he decided he was going to bed, and finally told me that we could use his Ps3, to get the party going. I figured I would go back on the slow streets to get a game from down the street at Blockbuster that would be a fun and everyone could play.

So I decided to get the game Full Auto 2: Battle Lines, since I’ve played it before with my step dad, figuring my friends and I would have a great time playing it too. After getting the game and leaving the store, I stopped and waited between two cars, while an old man finished driving by in his dirty black car. I got in my car and pulled up behind the old man in order to leave the parking lot on to the main street. Then all of a sudden he put his car in reverse and backed up into my car with a light thud. Cursing under my breath, as I got out of the car to look for damage he got out and apologized over and over. Keeping my opinion to myself I told him “No harm, no foul,” and drove home. I didn’t file a report since there wasn’t any damage.

When I got back, we put in the game from Blockbuster and had a little fun with it but not as much as I was expecting, for only a couple of us seemed to be really into it after all. In the game you chasing each other down and blowing each up with mini-rockets or shotguns mounted to the cars, while trying to complete a race through the winding streets of the city. In another multiplayer stage you going head to head, in an arena type location of the city, killing of all other enemies until you reach the set goal for number of kills. I thought at first everything was going well, until one of my wife’s brothers wasn’t enjoying himself. I soon found out that he thought I was having my party at the wrong time saying that it’s not traditional to have the party the day before the wedding, and that I should have had it earlier in the week. He explained that didn’t want to be out late, only because we had to be up and out to the reception hall in Monclova to decorate by six. So he was kind of grumpy and I was tempted to kick him out right there and then, for he was lowering the level of fun at the party. Although I didn’t have to worry about kicking him out, for after twenty minutes he had to leave, along with his brothers, because he didn’t want to be out late had to go by order of their mother, so they weren’t dead in the morning for the set up of the hall(I was cool with that). We tried having fun with the rented game but after about fifteen minutes or so we got bored with it because the codes I had to unlock items in the game wouldn’t work. So we just kind of gave up on that one and ended up finding a demo off the play station online store called “Blade Storm”.

We had a great time playing it, and it just really made the whole rest of the night so much better. In the game I got to take my anger out on the people in the demo by killing off endless armies of European soldiers, with my three friends, Codey, Josh, and Lucas. We took turns playing the demo and all the characters you could be in charge of, releasing all our frustrations with each blow we dealt to our enemies. The character we found to be the most fun and stress relieving turned out to be horsemen or knights on horses. You could use the horsemen to charge through enemies and capture posts, then run to another post within minutes and slaughter the men there until you were in control of yet another post.

Anyway, the game just did its job and relieved my stress while having fun with friends. After struggling with Wal-Mart customers and clerks, slow drivers and old ladies, and the pressure of not having enough time to accomplish what needed to be done to please everybody. That last game came through for me and my friends, so that we could have fun, relieve stress, and enjoy the rest of the night as well as the wee hours of the morning.