I am about to embarrass myself. But first let me set the scene. It’s Spring. Who doesn’t love Spring? I’m working outside, and working hard enough that I wake up stiff and needing to stretch. I love that feeling.
Spring means get busy. For the past two years my property has been maintained at bare minimum levels, so I have massive amounts of gardening and yard care to do (facilitated by a huge pile of mulch smack dab in the middle of the driveway). And there’s the usual stuff. Doing puzzles and activities with the kids–analogies, crosswords, as much math as we can muster. Making sure they practice their piano. Going to piano. Going to co-op. Going to soccer. Then there’s the fact that I’ve gotten repeated calls from the galleries that sell my cards and prints. It’s Spring, they need stuff. They need me to take old stuff away. This is a good thing, I remind myself, as I add to my mental list. Also my house is cluttered with projects and old stuff and laundry…you know, the usual. And oh yeah, we need to eat, don’t we? Because that’s too bad. We ate the past few days and now the fridge is kinda empty. And I am not even mentioning certain goals I have set for myself that I am running behind on—finishing that painting (that was supposed to be done by April Fool’s Day, oh the irony), getting that chapbook manuscript ready, and geez, I haven’t posted on my blog in forever.
So what do I do? What has my attention when I have a moment to breathe and catch-up with maybe some laundry or card-printing? Hello Kitty Cafe. I kid you not.
Hello Kitty Cafe is a little game my daughter has on the ipad. And for the past couple of days, ok, maybe longer, I’ve been slightly obsessed with it. Granted, it is not eating up hours of my time, but still, what is wrong with me? My son is having a lot of fun threatening to tell people I respect that I play Hello Kitty Cafe (he even took a video of my playing it), so I thought I’d just knock the wind out of his sails and tell everyone myself. So there.
I will regress as I tell you a little bit about this game, because I’m pretty sure no self-respecting adult would know about it. It’s Hello Kitty, and she’s so cute! And her friends are all there and they are so cute, too. Like the little bunny that wears a red hat that fits perfectly over her bunny ears. If I had bunny ears I would so want a hat like that. And all these cute animals are running a little cafe, and it is your job, or actually mine, because you are not playing this game I am certain, to direct the actions of all the cute Hello Kitty Cafe employees. You seat the customers at their tables, and then by tapping the little menu the cute animals know to take their orders, or serve them what they want, or clean the tables when they are done. Although it gets kind of complicated when lots of people are waiting for their seats, and the little buttons over their heads that say they want to be seated are pulsing with jagged red outlines. Which also happens when they wait to long for their menus or their food. And sometimes they get pissed and get up and leave with a tornado of darkness over their heads and then you feel sad because you lost a customer. And after a certain amount of time the day is done and you get to see how you did. Hopefully no dark tornadoes, but it happens.
While my son is relishing in the opportunity to ridicule me for my obvious regression, my sweet daughter says, “Go ahead, Mom, you enjoy it! Why shouldn’t you play something you enjoy?” I also have to add here that my son attempted to play it, as if it would be oh so easy and he could ridicule me even more, and he failed. Miserably. I lost precious points because of all the disgruntled tornado-headed customers he lost. Now I have to work harder to get back those points so I can move on to level 27.
While all of this is true, except maybe the level 27 part, I’m not sure what level I’m on but he did cost me points, the little punk, we can be sure that I derive no sense of meaning or purpose from this game. It is a frivolous distraction from my own Hello Kitty Cafe Life. Which is of course exactly why I play it. Because with Hello Kitty and her friends, I get the satisfaction of successfully managing a chaotic day of things to do. Can I emphasize the fleeting but real pleasure it gives me to have completed a day in Hello Kitty Land and see that the last table has been wiped sparkly clean and everyone is smiling? Because Real Life is never like that! You might go to bed smiling but you can be damn sure that in my house at least, those tables are not sparkling. Maybe the counter, if we are lucky. Also in Real Life the to-do list is a lot more mundane. We are not serving up ice cream sundaes in purple glass dishes with bright perfect cherries on top. We are lucky if there’s any dessert at all. Because somebody’s gotta make that shit, and that somebody isn’t me. Also, there are no cute bunny friends with red hats over their bunny ears. I have a lot of incredible friends, but none of them are bunnies that wear hats. On this, I shall never be satisfied.