Mania Mistakes

Posted: March 24, 2010 in Uncategorized
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I have made many mistakes, and have had numerous regrets from my actions and decisions when I am in a mania state. I was reminded of one such mistake/regret yesterday. This one is so bad, I have buried it inside for many years. Starting at the age of six years old I collected sports cards, some of my fondest memories of my childhood were opening packs of cards with my best friend Andrew. I continued collecting up to the age of twenty-three. I had an extensive collection which was worth tens of thousands of dollars.

I went to visit my younger sister one day at her apartment. Her boyfriend had an impressive collection of video games. I was jealous of his collection, during this time in my life I had little to no money. I played video games all the time, but was only lucky enough to have one system at a time. I would get new or different systems by trading them in at GameStop which was FuncoLand at the time.

Her boyfriend Nick had a modded X-Box, this was the first time I had ever seen or heard of such a thing. She was telling me about it, and I asked if I could play. I turned the system on and I was taken down a trip of memory lane. This system had every single Nintendo, SNES, Genesis, Sega Master System, Turbo Grafix 16, Atari, and Gameboy game ever made. This included every and all imports.

I was floored by such a thing, long have I dreamt of such a thing, the opportunity to own every video game of my youth. I asked her how he obtained such a contraption, and where do I find something this blissful?

She informed me they were illegal, and you had to know someone who had the knowledge to take out the old hard drive and put a new one in, with a specific hardware. She informed me they knew such a person. I asked her if she could hook me up with said person. I would trade my video game system and games to purchase an X-Box. She told me she would talk to Nick and get back to me.

Once I left her apartment the mania had set in, I was so excited to hear back from her. I could hardly contain my excitement. The mania started to get more and more out of control. I tried contacting my sister everyday, I would sit and wait by the phone. I think she got supper annoyed with me, and she just stopped returning my calls. I was able to figure out such things were going on, and left her alone. I was now on my own to find an alternative way to obtain my dream.

I had long since lost or destroyed my friendships, so I had nowhere to turn. I could not purchase this item at a store since they were illegal. The mania convinced me; if I am unable to obtain this item then the next best thing would be to purchase a retro gaming system and start my collection from scratch. Nintendo was my favorite system from my childhood so I chose that one as my prefered system.

During 2003 GameStop no longer sold Nintendo systems or games. I did not have a computer at that time so I could not look at Amazon. I had to resort to searching the cities for a store that specialized in older systems. I found a few, but prices were higher than I could afford. I was again discouraged at my failure. I had no options left; the mania and obsessive compulsion was at its peak. What I did next was so stupid, so horrible I chose to block it from my memory.

I begun to search our apartment for things I could sell to get enough money to ease my hunger. I had nothing worth any real value… except my card collection. I said to myself “no way am I giving up seventeen years of dedicated collecting, for a Nintendo!” With every passing day the selling of my cards started to make more and more sense, until one-day when it made perfect sense.

I announced the news to my wife, and she immediately told me the idea was really bad, and I would regret such a thing the rest of my life. The first time we had this discussion, she was able to talk me out of it. The following days and weeks we continued to have this discussion, by this time I was in a full-blown psychosis. My wife having dealt with this for four years knew she had to give.

I packed up my box of cards, which was a box for a 36 inch television filled to the top. Keep in mind this was no flat panel box this was an old school box. Every card in the box, was kept safe in the single hard cases. I did not include any of my “common” cards, for I knew that would be a waste of time. The individual card had to be worth five dollars or more to be placed in a card protector. I also had the hard screw cases which was reserved for any card worth over $100.00. I would say I had well over a hundred or more of such cases. The only time these cards were ever touched by a human hand was when I opened the pack, then immediately placed in protectors. I had PSA graded cards, one such card was a rare LeBron James rookie card.

I took the cards to a hobby shop, which bought cards and sold retro systems. I placed this huge box on the desk and told the man I was looking to sell my card collection. He started to look through the cards, and the expression on his face said it all. I was going to get some big cash, enough to buy not only the Nintendo but others. I would be able to buy hundreds of games with money to spare. An hour passed and he was still thumbing through cards, he barley made a dent. He stopped and asked me how much I was looking to get for the entire collection. My response was “I am just looking to buy an old system and a few games.” Those words were some of the stupidest words I had ever spoken.

He now began to make unimpressed facial expressions, and seemed to criticize every card he looked through. He finally stopped without looking through every card and said “I will give you two hundred for the entire box.” My heart dropped and my stomach became queezy. I needed this video game system, but not at this steep of a price. I told him I was not interested in parting with my collection for so little. He countered with $300.00, he explained to me cards were really hard to sell, and he would probably take a loss.

The extra hundred dollars seemed fair to my psychotic mind. I agreed, he offered me store credit and said to pick something out in his store. I had enough money to buy the Nintendo system, and eight games. It pains me to think about how much more my collection would be worth today eight years later. I kept the Nintendo for a few months before it broke down.

Years later I would end up buying a modded X-Box. This was four years ago. I have played it a for a combined eleven hours.

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