On December 23rd I made the mistake of asking my daughter what game she was playing on her iPhone. “Bejeweled,” she replied. “Want to play?”
Frankly, she should know better than to entice me into something so addictive. I had been perfectly happy up to that point not knowing what Bejeweled was. Oh sure, I saw the posts of my Facebook friends and their scores of this and various other games. I’ve had my ups and downs with Facebook anyway and tend to hide my friends who do nothing but post their game scores, because frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn. And I’d much prefer they not know my pathetic Bejeweled scores, although whether I successfully blocked it, I’m not sure.
That first night I played long after my daughter left for the night. She kindly left her phone with me, but eventually it ran out of juice. Like a true addict I dug through her suitcase searching for her phone recharger, only to realize her phone recharges through her computer. I now am amused by the thought that even if I had been able to successfully recharge the phone, how would I ever have navigated through her apps to find the game on my own?
She later explained the game is available on Facebook and don’t you know I downloaded it ASAP. On Christmas Eve, long after gifts were opened and family had departed, I stayed up until 2 a.m. playing this ridiculous game that I don’t understand and am not very good at. Why, then, am I addicted?
I do believe we all have some form of addiction. For years I was addicted to crossword puzzles courtesy of my friend Sandy. Then, after my friend Lynn explained Suduko to me, I did those puzzles constantly. I still attempt the daily one in the newspaper when I have time. But now I’m on to something new and I have no idea why.
I justify it by telling myself it’s no worse than watching TV for hours at a time, which frankly, I do only if I’m reading as well or playing a card game on my laptop. Sometimes I even work out while watching mindless entertainment shows.
But now that I’m addicted to Bejeweled, I just sit in front my desktop computer and play again and again and again. I think I’ve worn out the hint button because much of the time I can’t see the big picture. I have this idea that the gremlins inside the game are laughing at me when they hint at a possible move. They are saying things to each other about me. “What an idiot.” “Man she’s slow.” “Why does she bother?”
These are all the things I say to myself. I don’t understand the coins system, the explosions, what makes all those extra points add up after the game is over. I honestly haven’t a clue why I can sit mindlessly playing such a ridiculous game while telling myself I could be doing so many other things with my valuable time. Yet there I sit.
Good thing each game is only one minute. My morning so far has gone something like this: game of Bejeweled; sip of coffee. game of Bejeweled; sip of coffee. Last night it went something like this: game of Bejeweled; handful of caramel corn; game of Bejeweled; handful of caramel corn. My daughter evidently has decided to encourage all my bad habits. Where do you think I got the big tin of caramel corn?
I keep thinking Bejeweled is a metaphor for my life: Most of the time I don’t understand what’s going on, yet I keep muddling through it, trying to figure out my next move. I receive helpful hints along the way although I’m not always quick enough to pick up on them. Just when I think I’ve got it figured out, a big sign is going to flash and tell me time’s up.
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