Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I’m Virtually Sexy

A week ago I was forced to concoct “four-and-twenty blackbirds baked in a pie,” and have been eating a large slice every day since. I’ve made it pretty clear how I feel about video games, which is generally disdain, except in extreme emergencies like 10 hour drives across four states. During those times I not only embrace video games, but I sing little ditties praising the creators of them while my children’s brains melt into plasmic-mush and their eyes pop out of their heads. But at least they are quiet.

A few weeks ago my older two children got together (in a rare moment of cease-fire) and vowed to combine their birthday money in pursuit of the one video gaming device we do not own: a Wii. My children are the Wii-Amish on the street and spend many blissful hours at the neighbors’ houses playing with wide, green, covetous eyes. I publicly vowed to my kids that under no circumstances would Dad’s hard earned money go toward buying ANOTHER STINKIN’ GAMING SYSTEM, which was the catalyst for their joint financial merger. In fact, my daughter’s birthday being in February, her money was not-so-safely stashed in cup on the shelf in her room, which meant my son’s birthday money was the hold up.

As his birthday in April approached and passed, he’d run to the mailbox everyday looking to see if another birthday card of cash had arrived. And finally, the day came when his pennies were stacked like Midas’.

For a mom to witness her two older children getting along with such rapport, such tolerance, respectfully discussing and planning, well, it about broke my heart and made me want to have five more children. Even if the talk was relegated to a Wii purchase and what games they would buy. A gaming-hater like myself has to concede that working together to purchase a large device that would belong equally to both of them was a better plan than say, going to the Dollar Store and buying up 100 pieces of toxic plastic junk-drawer toys, which I’m sure would have been next on my son’s list of wants. Besides, barring drugs and alcohol, who am I to decide what they should spend their money on? Again remember, I am only mediocre.

The Wii installed, the system set up, I watched my two beautiful children—who most days want to battle and spar—play that blasted Wii sucker for hours. They bowled. They skied. They jumped up and down and flailed their arms to hit a virtual ball with a virtual tennis racket. They were actually getting along doing something together. I’m pretty sure I heard “What a Wonderful World” being played in the background. And when they gave each other a high-five after a match well played, I’m pretty sure it happened in slow motion. And then they asked:
“Mom. Do you want us to create you a Mii?”
“A what?” I replied. “Whatsa Me?”
“No, not a ME, a MII.” They said.
“So it would be a Wii Mii?” I asked.
“Just a Mii Mah-uhhm,” they said exasperated.

My daughter started the Mii process while I looked on. For those who are Wii-Amish like we used to be (this is for you mom and dad) in order to play Wii you need an Avatar. No, not a big, blue, flying alien, but an Avatar; a cartoonish character that represents you on screen. I’m figuring there’s maybe five or six choices to creating your Mii, but I seriously underestimated the options.

Because to create a Mii, you need about 20 minutes of uninterrupted screen time just so you can go through all your choices. It’s not difficult and my 9-year-old daughter was asking me questions, “How do you want to look?”
“Make me cute,” I said. “Use all the cute stuff.”

What? You think I’d tell her to make me look like an ugly hag? With wrinkles, bags under her eyes and a face that’s seen one too many chocolate frosted donuts? Please. I’m as vain as the next person. Even if it’s just virtual. The last thing I need is to watch my virtual self on screen lumbering around with thick hips, while my butt and tummy-ponch jiggle in my bright red tunic. There’s no way I’d be able to concentrate on the slopes with a view like that.

I watched my daughter create my Wii Mii (my preferred reference even if it drives my kids batty) and was stupefied to see all the possible design options. Some Wii Mii facts:
  • You can choose body type on a sliding scale, from really thin to typical out-of-shape American, and your height from little person to African American basketball player.
  • There are 8 different facial shapes, including alien-esque and Dunkin Donut Eater. This includes 12 different facial elements, like wrinkles, cheekbones, freckles, and laugh lines. You can customize your skin tone with 6 different crayola shades.
  • There is no way to have a bad hair day with over 72 different hair styles and 8 different colors of hair. Although punks are out of luck as there is no fushia, cyan, or lime. Or jet black.
  • You can choose over 24 different styles of eyebrows, move them in and out, make them thicker or thinner, larger or smaller.
  • You'll find 48 eye shapes and sizes, including some really creeping dots that blink.
  • Wanna nose job? Pick your favorite out of 12 different shapes, none of which require you to go under the knife.
  • For the pouty or the pursed: lips come in 24 arrangments with three different shades to choose from; although for the men, I have to say, you better like some shade of pink.
  • Acoutrements come in the form of eyeglasses, sunglasses, goatee, mustaches, and facial moles.
When she was done creating my Avatar, I’m ashamed to say, I was jealous of it. Yes. Jealous of my virtual self. She is tall and uber-thin, nary a saddlebag to be found on her stick legs. She has hair that has never seen bed-head, the color grey (not even an option! YES!), and does not need a comb or product to stay in place. Her makeup is subtle, yet brings out the best in her large doe-like eyes with thick side lashes. And she didn’t even use Botox or Latisse. My favorite feature is her eyebrows, perfectly shaped and requiring no plucking. Ever. She’s got black rimmed glasses that make her look educated, but in a trendy Cambridge way, nothing slightly resembling dowdy or geek squad. Her lips are pleasantly plump— not saline plump like Lisa Rina—lips that make you assume she’s a great kisser and even after all the kissing she does (with her virtual husband of course) the rosy shade of pink never fades. Never ends up on her wine glass (she’s too sexy to drink beer). Never gets stuck on her front teeth causing public embarrassment. I’d love to have coffee with her. If I didn’t hate her so much.

She’s almost perfect. There are only two drawbacks to my sexy-in-a-cute-way-trendily-educated Avatar. First she has no hands. Which I don’t understand because clearly you can’t hold ski poles or a tennis racket with little round balls, which is what she’s got. My Mii can have a five o’clock shadow, bags under her eyes, a mole the size of Gibraltar, but I can’t have hands with five fingers on each? Well, the benefit to no hands is she never has to tie another child’s shoe or wipe someone’s rear. No making dinner or using a broom and mop. No snotty-nose wiping. All benefits in my book.

Another thing missing on my near-perfect virtual self is boobs. No breast options here ladies, sorry. I understand that girls (maybe some boys too) the world over would probably be stacking themselves up with DDD’s which just reinforces unhealthy body images, but from a 37 year-old perspective, little boob-atars would have been nice. Just a small, perky pair, maybe a C cup. Ones that didn’t have stretch marks and actually hung at the same height. That’s what I would have picked if given breast options. But the good news is that my bra straps never show. I don’t ever have virtual boob sweat, which I’m especially grateful for after a tough session of tennis.

In fact, if you don’t own a Wii and would like to try to create your own Avatar, you can do it online at Make Wee.com. Yeah. Not the right spelling for Wii, but relax, they don’t mean wee as in wee, rhyming with pee. Different Wee altogether. They don’t have as many options online as they do on the gaming system, but it is fun to try and make a smaller, better version of yourself. While the Avatar above is okay (I made it online) she’s really the ugly sister to my Wii Mii at home. The sexy one. The one I’m slightly jealous of.


Joy said...

Love it! I'm a Wii-Amish too, but do enjoy sneaking Wii hits over at my sister's house. I just wrote an article on the addictive nature of video games for teen magazine so I especially enjoyed the mental image of your children on 10 hour car rides!

Anjuli said...

I'm very Wii-Amish- although after this post I might just convince hubby to run out and get one of those :) If only to enjoy creating a "Mii"

Megan said...

Rach- just letting you know that Mom and Dad are set up with their own Mii's at my house- which the kids did- "just in case" they ever come over to play Wii. Oh- and Anna has one too.