I’m a war widow, ya’ll.
And it’s not even a real war.
ME: Coming to bed?
HIM: In a minute. I don’t want to be up too late with this.
ME: What happened?
HIM: There was a war…
How did this happen?
Offspring decided that Husband would really like Stellaris for Father’s Day.
And he was right, God help me.
HIM: So there’s the research mechanic in Stellaris, where every time you research a technology, three new options are presented to you.
ME: (barely listening) Mm-hmm…
HIM: But what I just found out is, there are rare technologies, and if you don’t research them when they’re offered, you probably won’t get the opportunity again.
ME: (wondering if Starbucks is still open) Okay.
HIM: There are also dangerous technologies, where something can go wrong. Obviously.
ME: (mildly interested) Okay.
HIM: … So I just researched Synthetics, which is a rare technology, and it allowed me to build sentient drones, which are rare and dangerous.
ME: Oooh… the singularity.
HIM: Yeah. So I’m building the drones and sending them to a colony where they’ll outnumber the biological population.
ME: … You’ve got saved files from before this decision, right?
HIM: I have no idea if potential danger is that the drones will overthrow the people and murder them all, but I’m going to find out!
See, Stellaris is a real-time strategy game. Husband, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, is all about the strategy games, and real-time means that there’s no convenient “two more turns and then I’m going to go find out why my wife is screaming” timer. It just. Keeps. Happening.
I pointed this out to Offspring. Told him that, by giving Husband such a gift on Father’s Day, we would basically saying, “Happy YOU day, now go away and don’t talk to us or make eye contact for the next eighteen months.”
Offspring was insistent, and he really takes pride in being able to choose the perfect game for people. This is his language of love, and I’ve been the beneficiary a time or three, so fine. Husband gets a game that will help him ignore me and will likely be the thing I point to when asked, in court, to outline the demise of our marriage.*
ME: So we’ve ordered your present, but if you’ve got a specific request, it’s not too late.
HIM: No special request. As long as you think I’ll like it.
ME: … I’m afraid you will.
HIM: Unless it’s (team) tickets or something.
ME: Yeah, I don’t do that. That’s a dick move. “Here’s your present: I decided on a date for you to do something! And the best part is, it says Non-Refundable right there on the front!”
HIM: Not okay. Unless it’s for Frank Nonrefundable.
ME: You’ve got to be really sure that someone wants to go on that date, and even then… no.
HIM: That’s a terrible name to give a kid.
ME: Just… no.
HIM: But what can you do? I mean, you give a kid that name, it’s not like you can take it back.
HIM: Please make me stop!
ME: … Please tell me how.
That was… nine days ago? And, other than updates on the damned game, I’ve barely seen him since.
* Murder trial or divorce proceedings, whichever leaves me the most financially secure. The fact that I haven’t done the math on this is proof that I’m not ready to give him up yet, I suppose.