November 30, 2007

The Happiest Days of Our Lives

Reading Wil Wheaton's "The Happiest Days of Our Lives" really conjured up so many childhood memories for me. Several reviews I had read said that Wil's book has a nostalgic feel to it, making you think of your own childhood. They weren't kidding. I finished reading it just now, and I all I can think about are the little moments in life that are etched in my memory. He is definitely a great story teller, and because he's a blogger his writing flows as easily as reading a blog.. which probably explains how I managed to finish the entire book so quickly. I feel a little jipped actually.. wish it was twice as long.

I don't know Wil Wheaton nor do I care about him. I don't care about the things he faced or experienced in school and as a child. The truth is I couldn't care less. But he's such a great story teller and the way that he describes everything makes you think about yourself. About all the little things you did as kid, things that were so important to you but might not matter now as an adult. Rules to live by for a kid. And.. and being able to remember the things you really cared about, and mattered, and things you were so afraid of and things that annoyed you to your core as a child. And how innocent we all were, in our own little worlds.

I don't think I knew many kids who were as geeky as Willow Wheaton was. Sure I dabbled in Dungeons & Dragons during Chinese School, and yea I got picked on at school because I was puny. And yea I sucked at sports, and was constantly distracted by video games. I was also great at dodgeball, not so much because of my agility but because more because no one really paid much attention to me. I too, hated to be embarrassed in front of other kids, often hiding in a corner and crying about it. I too labored and gawked at the toy store, staring up at hundreds of action figures that I wanted but could only afford at most 1 per month, and considered saving up for a few months to get a big one. I too got board games for Christmas when all the other kids my age were playing Nintendo.

How do you play board games when you're an only child? You don't. So you develop an overly active imagination, start playing games left hand against right hand, invent different personalities in your brain so that you could pit one against the other. For 9 years, that's what I had to do. For years Wil played D&D all by himself.

I don't pretend to be the same as Wil. We're far from being the same, I was certainly not a child actor, although maybe a pretender. But reading his book really reminded me of things that I really loved and cherished. It's a great, short read and I look forward to reading more.

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