October 20, 2012 marked the day where Shelby and I vowed to be with one another for the rest of our lives.
The ceremony began with Shelby walking in with his groomsmen to Halo’s notorious theme song. My father and I walked down the aisle to the Imperial Watch playing, while my brothers watched us proudly (they’re a big part of why I am the nerd I am today).
Shelby had a great big grin on his face, my eldest niece was crying at the side of the aisle because she got scared from everyone staring at her (she was the flower girl), and most of the chairs were empty (it was a small wedding but I hadn’t expect it to be that small).
Even with all that going on, all I could think of was how much I wanted it all to be over so I could be alone with my husband. I hadn’t seen him since early the evening before and dang it, that was too long.
I spent the entirety of the ceremony trying to get him to talk to me while our pastor read stuff to us and made us repeat some other stuff (I really should have been paying attention, but have you seen Shelby? He’s so stinkin cute!). I just wanted to let him know how much I had missed him and tell him everything that had happened since we’d seen each other (which really wasn’t anything important or spectacular, it just didn’t include him).
And So Began A Nerdy Marriage
I can remember our wedding day really well, (I can almost promise you he doesn’t remember hardly anything Shelby: I remember some of it…) but the next five years? Where did that time go?
We didn’t go on our honeymoon for two weeks after our wedding, because it was a cruise. We spent the first month of marriage living with my father and having all of our belongings crammed into two small bedrooms. Which made gaming, or watching any shows or movies, a pain in the butt. I don’t even remember which console we still had hooked up. Gaming was fairly non-existent during that time.
But then, around Thanksgiving, we finally moved and unpacked our “before marriage” lives from numerous boxes- which also included Shelby’s bachelor years and the video games he had accumulated during that
I quickly realized I wasn’t prepared to start a life with a person I hadn’t spent 20 years of my life with. My mom had always made sure we had toothpaste, toilet paper, towels, dishes, etc., in other words, the important stuff. It was now up to me to make sure the important stuff was being purchased at the grocery store and to remember the damn list before leaving the house. But reliving my awful time trying to adjust to being a wife aside, gaming, on my part, continued to be something I left to the days off I hopefully was getting.
To make matters worse, I am a terrible home decorator (I’m learning) but we were so poor and had nothing, that our TVs and consoles sat upon an old dining room table that had been in my family for… my entire life. And now it was in my small living room with video game consoles piled atop it. However cramped it may have looked, that was my favorite spot in the whole house.
It’s where we sat, as newlyweds, to play video games, sometimes together, watch movies, and begin to figure out what TV shows we both liked (Shelby: The Office, Psych, Doctor Who, Castle…) to sit down and watch together (I still really love our evenings we spend cuddling on the couch).
That spot was where we spent time playing with the wee Tali and having friends over to watch stupid movies.
That’s where we established our forever nerdiness as a married couple and started our “marriage counseling” – i.e. co-op gaming.
He had been trying to get me to play video games with him for some time but I always had an excuse. Either I was too tired, or too busy, or I didn’t like the games he played, it was always something.
Until one day when he suggested we play Halo. Now, Halo: Combat Evolved came out when I was like 9 or 10 so I had spent a ridiculous amount of time playing those games, there was no way he was better than me. And he wasn’t.
He would get so mad over how I would win over and over and over again. Finally we decided to kick 1v1 to the curb and try our hands at co-op. I was able to show him all the quirky things I had found during the numerous hours I had spent playing the game (my brothers and I were enthralled with the first game, that we spent probably 100 hours playing the game, if not more).
We quickly found out that getting through a mission would take both of us communicating with the other on where bad guys were or where to go next or if one needed to get up close and personal and the other needed to hang back and snipe (that’s always me). Playing co-op worked and we were communicating because of it.
I gotta say it, I firmly believe our version of marriage counseling has helped us get over some rough patches throughout the years.
There, I said it. Now keep reading.
The Later Years
With the terrible setup we had, we figured it was time to upgrade, we were both gamers after all.
So a little after our 3rd anniversary we spent a good bit of money, we had both gotten raises, to buy real entertainment centers and bigger TVs (46 inches!).
Those TVs made gaming so much easier, especially for me and my blind self (not really, but they do help).
However, less than five months later we found ourselves moving out of our first rent home and into the basement of his parent’s house in another town about one and a half hours away to finally finish college.
But that move didn’t change our gaming setup. Oh no, those stayed side-by-side.
The left picture is from a few months ago while we were finishing up school, and the one on the right is from right now – still huge married nerds.
Five Years Later
We still have those 46 inch TVs and entertainment centers, although he begs me to let him get a 4k TV, and they’re still, somewhat, side-by-side.
It’s been five years since I walked down the aisle to that great big Shelby grin. Five years and several marriage counseling sessions later.
We are celebrating our five years by going out to eat, and hey, maybe play some co-op later in the evening.
Same smiles, different hair (well, just mine), and still lots of love.
Here’s to you, Shelby, my forever Player 1.