My Dad only wears Adidas Sambas. He's had the same haircut, the same stone-washed Levi jeans for as long as I can remember. I've watched him grow old in these clothes and wondered — when do you choose the outfit you wear for the rest of your life?
My wife waddles into the living room, she's 37 weeks pregnant. At any point during the month she could go into labour and I'll become a Father for the first time. A terrifying thought. Like standing on the edge of a cliff waiting for someone to push you. Is this the moment where tastes become frozen in time? Is this the moment where I choose my clothes, haircut, lace up my Adidas Samba and wait patiently for death?
My wife waddles into the living room because she wants to play New Super Mario Bros. U again. Despite the fact she actively hates Mario — the character, not necessarily the game — despite the fact she thinks Mario is too old and greasy to be dressing up as a Racoon. Despite the fact she thinks Mario should dump Princess Peach because she's stupid and keeps letting herself get kidnapped. Despite all this she still wants to keep playing.
————— My Dad still listens to Van Morrison and Bob Dylan on a daily basis. Is Super Mario Bros. the game I'll be playing for the rest of my life?
My wife goes to church on a Saturday and often brings a team of our friends home for lunch. Typically a group of about four or five come along. This time one of our friends' little brother is part of the group, along with one of his friends. They're both roughly 16 or 17 years old.
We turn on the Wii U. Alongside my wife and I, the two younger kids start playing New Super Mario Bros. U together.
I'm young. I'm down. I totally don't hate dubstep and I understand emoticons. I use hashtags on Twitter (but I don't overuse them) and I can totally hold a conversation with these young uns and teach life lessons like Hangin' With Mr Cooper. Right?
When will I start being dismissive of the younger generation? When will I start referring to them as a 'generation'? When will I feel that gap? When will I stop understanding the things they like, the things they do?
The strangest thing about playing Mario with these younger kids in particular is they don't have any understanding of Mario at all. My wife's objection to Mario was based on her own (limited) pre-existing knowledge of a gaming icon, these youngsters know nothing. Playing Mario with them legitimately makes me feels old.
"Oh man, oh man! Cash money! Cash Money!"
This is what they said as they collected the coins.
That's what they said when they picked up the star coins.
I laugh. I try to make a YOLO joke about Mario having five lives or something. I can't remember the specifics, mostly because it was a really, really bad joke. You might even call it a Dad joke.
————— My wife and I play Mario together. And we have these conversations. When will we start wearing the same clothes, listening to the same music, playing the same video games until we become old and weary.
When I was younger Mario was constantly pushing boundaries, visual boundaries, design boundaries. Now I wear Mario like a comfortable pair of slippers, like a well worn pair of Adidas Samba.
When I was younger Mario was frickity fresh.
When I was younger.
You can read 'Playing Mario With My Wife, Who Hates Mario... Part 1' here.