I Won't Lose My Second Wife: Quitting Magic
1 : the quality or state of being addicted <addiction to reading>
2 : compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal; broadly : persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful
It started when I moved in with my friends Ricardo and Blake after a rough breakup with my girlfriend. Boy, was that tough... No girl, no job... It was rough. For about a week I wouldn't leave my room. Then one Saturday night, something wonderful happened. As I was sitting there playing on my Super Nintendo, there was a knock on the door. About seven guys walked in carrying large boxes and bags. Some had food, some soda, but all were talking loudly and laughing. Let me tell you, I was in no mood to deal with lots of people at the time, so I started to get up and go to my room when Blake said...
"Hey, Jake - you play D&D?"
Now, I hadn't played in some about three to four years but I remember that it was a blast, so I replied that I used to. What was to follow was the beginning of my addiction.
Phase One Of My Addiction
We played for about six hours until they got tired of that, and then they pulled out the boxes. Now, mind you I had no idea of how my life was about to change, and if I did I don't know if I would have stuck around if I did. They all proceeded to pull out these odd colored cards and shuffle. Blake asked me if I had ever played Magic. I replied, not knowing that by just asking the question, I had sealed my fate...
What followed was probably the most confusing four hours I have ever seen. These guys "laid lands," "tapped for mana," "searched their library," and "swung for four"….What the hell were they saying? Over the course of the night, I learned.
I didn't build my first deck until three or four days later. Blake sat me down and began to teach me.
"A good deck is always twenty lands, twenty spells, and twenty creatures. Unless you are playing control, then you want to lower the creature count and raise the spell count. And if you are playing beatdown, you might want to lower the spell count and raise the creature count. But if you are playing... Blah, blah, blah."
I ended up playing a 130-card monster. Mono green with "Timmy the Power Gamer" creatures.
I lost… Badly.
But I got better.
Phase Two Of The Addiction
In the following weeks, my knowledge grew. And so did my addiction. Every day after work, Blake and I would sit down and play till late at night. Soon I didn't lose so much to him. Eventually, I was just as good as he, and then it got old. You can only get better by playing better people, and, God rest his soul, Blake was not that good. So I started to play with the guys in the group on Saturday night. Now that was a challenge. Before I had to worry about one guy gunning for my head with a fourteen-point Fireball; now I had that and elves to one side, goblins to the other side, and one guy countering everything I tried to cast. But I loved it. A lot. I ate, slept, and crapped Magic. Every waking moment I thought about it.
Then it happened. Some of the guys gave me their extras.
I HAD CARDS!!!!!!
Enter Phase Three
Soon, I was buying cards. It started out slow, as all really damaging addictions do. A couple of packs here, a couple of packs there. But it grew. Soon it was...
"I'll take fifteen packs of Alliances and fifteen packs of Ice Age."
Soon I was spending entire paychecks on it. Two or three hundred dollars a week.
It eventually grew even more damaging.
I had gotten married in the meantime, and was happy in the fact that one could have his wife and Magic too. But unless you are married to a Magic-playing wife, you can't.
Trust me - you can't.
Over time, my addiction grew. At its worst, I was spending $1500 a month on them. Then disaster struck. I was told that if I wanted my wife to stay happy, the cards gotta go. They went. However, so did she. And my job as well.
No wife, no job, no Magic. Life sucked!
About a year passed before I bought another pack. Big mistake.
The cycle started all over again. All I wanted was Magic. All day, every day. I had moved back in with Ricardo and Blake. And I got all of the Magic I could want. Then Blake died. That was one of the most depressing time in my life. Blake taught me how to play, taught me the stack, taught me every thing I knew about Magic.... And now he is gone.
As an inheritance from him, I received his card collection. That just made my habit worse.
(Side note: Blake was never really good at magic and I would often have to bribe him to play a game with me. He never won. However, three days before he passed away, I got him to play a few games. He didn't lose one game all day. At the time, it really pissed me off, but now I smile when I think about it. I miss ya, buddy.)
I moved back to Oklahoma and started dating Natasha, who would soon end up making me the happiest man on the planet. I put my cards in the back of my mind and tried to forget about them. But the were still there. We got married and my card budget dropped. Then my second child Sarah was born, and my budget dropped even more. Unfortunately, my addiction wouldn't go away. I lied to buy cards. I hid money to buy cards. I was a really bad man. Then I came clean to my wife and told her everything. She was really hurt that I had broken her trust like that. And I was sad because I had hurt her. I made the decision. Last time, it was because of a woman. This time it is for my wife.
Yeah I am depressed because six years of my life are gone, but I would have been more depressed it I had lost the most important things in my life.
So with a glad heart I am selling my cards. Goodbye, addiction! Let me be free. Thanks for all of the great memories. But I feel it is time that I looked at what is real and what is right. Not just for me, but for my family.
Maybe now I'll actually go outside and play. I haven't seen a sunset in six years. I think it is about time.