by Thomas Whitfield, M.A.
On a recent trip back to my home state to visit my family, my nephew proclaimed that more than anything else this holiday, he wants the new Super Nintendo Classic Edition. His want for this system struck a chord with me as I remember so vividly the joy I received from playing video games at his age and this re-release of an old system meant he would be playing the exact same games I used to. In order for me to be “uncle-of-the-year” I was going to have to get him this system.
I took all the precautionary steps to ensure my obtaining of the product, in the following order: 1) I researched and found it was being sold in limited quantities with presales beginning sometime in August; 2) I signed up for sales alerts on Amazon.com; 3) I opened accounts on Target.com, Walmart.com, Gamestop.com, and Bestbuy.com (all the articles I read said they would sell out fast, so be ready. And, I was going to be, damn it!) Then, I sat back and waited, figuring the hardest part was over. Jump to 7am a few weeks later. The system had gone on sale, overnight, at 3am! I had received exactly ZERO alerts! My mind spun with anger as I took to twitter and other social media lashing out at every company I could think to hold responsible. #NintendoRuinedChristmas. I demanded they rectify this situation! No one listened, no one responded, and this only made me madder.
My anger and frustration subsided after a few days. I did a bit more research online and found out that a lot of people were in the same boat as me, they had done everything possible to ensure they would get this product, and it just didn’t happen. Misery loves company. Still, I felt defeated. A few days passed, I called my sister, and asked to talk to my nephew. “I failed,” I told him. “I wasn’t able to get you that game you wanted. I’m sorry.” “Uncle Tommy,” he laughed, “I don’t care about the game, I just want you to visit me for Christmas this year.”
After the call, I felt much better and it occurred to me that I put all this demand on myself to get something for someone, and it turns out it wasn’t even that important to them. I had spent days being angry, beating myself up, and blaming everyone and everything. I took a moment to think about it and then said to myself, “I’d prefer to have gotten him that system for the holidays, but my not getting it doesn’t mean I’m not a good uncle.” Then, I got online, and ordered a ticket home for the holidays.