This was a great Saturday! My wife and I got out of town, headed down to Colorado and did a bit of eating and shopping. There’s a restaurant in Fort Collins called Stuft, and they will put all the cheese on your burger, and then give you a side order of freshly-made mac’n’cheese. There is a man–me–who will eat all of the things I just mentioned.
My wife, she gets a sandwich that has chicken. I don’t comprehend this, but we are different entities!
Anyway, after that we hit a hobby store, and there was some discussion about whether or not we could buy the Dark Debts box set. And a box of Beckoners. Also a box of Depleted. And that man Mr. Graves. Straight up the only thing I managed to wrest from her hands was Mr. Tannen and—spoiler alert—I’m sad at the sorrowful image of him by his lonesome on the shelf.
My reticence in getting the boxes was multifaceted: One, as I’ve already mentioned, we have many Malifactions coming already, albeit at a trickle; two, I feel guilt any time money would be spent on a plastic or digital hobbything, not just because I’m contributing significantly less to our current finances, but because there’s always a “clean your plate” sort of voice in the back of my head; three, because my wife tends to only ever want to get me stuff, and never anything for herself. A primary impetus for the trip was to hit up a newly-opened Trader Joe’s in order to buy some sort of butter that is also cookie-flavored and this is a thing I—as a man who deals mainly in cheese and cheese products— do not comprehend. But I wanted her to get it. Then line at this place was a nightmare…the whole place was a nightmare. People in Fort Collins be pumped about dat Joe’s, is what I’m saying. There were people holding signs indicating where the checkout line started, and you could barely see them over the people in line, and you could barely reach the line due to the lowing and dumbfounded masses of humanity stumbling through the building.
So no purchases were made there, and suddenly she’s loading her arms up with figures for me. I managed to get Tannen back on the shelf, and the conversation was ongoing; we were definitely planning to pick up the simple rulebook, but I couldn’t get her on board with just buying her Rasputina boxed set right there since we have it on order.
Then, I heard a young man speaking to his mother behind me. She was asking “Well, what all do you want?” and he was saying “I don’t know! I didn’t expect you to offer to get me stuff.” They were looking at the wall of Warhammer products.
So, feeling my oats and my cheesy burger, I inserted myself into the conversation, offered some help. They had two painting kits in hand, one of which was unspeakably ancient, and we talked about dude was into. My wife, my wonderful wife, was both patient and helpful.
I’d say we talked for 45 minutes. It was dude’s birthday, he was getting what he wanted, and I was trying to help steer things. He had an interest in glorious Chaos and, despite my affection for the Fourfold I gently steered him away from that. He was also interested in Space Marines, and I was able to honestly say that my wife and I had spent part of the ride down mocking Space Marine armies for being that combination of too powerful and too boring to feel especially entertaining.
Eventually, his gaze was drawn to Necrons. My wife had his mother off looking at paints, and the skeletal robots caught his eye, and I can only hope a new player was born.
At some point during the conversation, my wife handed me a bag with all of the things in it, so now I have Lynch and his crew scrubbed, soaked, and ready for assembly and painting. She even grabbed some December Acolytes for herself! Plus shoes, which is not a thing she ever buys but a thing that she needed/deserved to get! I didn’t notice, because I was talking Necrons and disparaging the Emperor. Also, talking about plasticard and greenstuff and how drybrushing plays out. And suggesting MiniWarGaming and Bell of Lost Souls as great resources for the gameplay and rumor ends of the hobby. I was in a glorious, enthusiastic place.
Amidst all the drama and bullshit that’s so infected our little corner of the hobby, it was great to be able to pump someone on the fun aspects, to help guide the very beginning of a journey into plastic men and buckets of d6s. Since the game store in Fort Collins was running a 40k partner tournament, I encouraged them to step in and watch; they’d actually been there first but I don’t think they’d felt comfortable walking in to observe. Hopefully, if they went, that part also proceeded smoothly.
Triumph! Plus a great emotional place to be in as I assemble Lynch’s crew, given the Brilliance’s euphoric effects.