So now we had the new Wii attached to the basement TV, its remote lying on the table beside the unused TV remote. I read the Wii directions and practiced once or twice so when I encouraged Bo to come down and play with me, things would run smoothly. I checked out the tennis first, then bowling, darts and golf – all activities that he has enjoyed.
When Vlad and I had discussed the game, we thought it would give Boris something else to do…some physical activity in the dead of winter. He loves sports, so surely he’d enjoy this, and we knew about the benefits of its use in retirement homes. In fact, my mother is on the “bowling team” where she lives.
First, let me explain that Bo knew nothing about the Wii system and wasn’t particularly interested in finding out. He likes the real thing – not a simulation. He’s not good at pretending, and he would have been a complete failure at the learning simulation games we had in school. Not because he couldn’t excel, but because he would have simply thought they were dumb.
After 47 years of marriage, I have become very adept at using reverse psychology, so I set out to use it this time too. I had pointed the Wii out to him at the store one time, but he was unmoved by my enthusiasm and, frankly, didn’t get how it worked. The next time I mentioned it he had forgotten that he ever heard of it before. So I told him I wanted to get the Wii because I would use it to get exercise; it was something I thought would be really good for me. If I recall correctly, his comment was, “Well, get it for yourself.”
So one day I talked him into going downstairs and playing tennis with me. He went along with me but there was skepticism in his voice. (Why would you play “fake tennis”?) We did it, but he was humoring me, I could tell. I switched to bowling and this was a little better. Then, golf — not good. You need to play on a real green; this wasn’t accurate. Also, the remote wasn’t really comfortable for him and there was no way he would be able to even turn it on and off.
Weeks passed and the Wii sat, then I asked his brother to come down and try it with him. Maybe he could create some interest. We all played together one afternoon and had a good time, but that was the end of the Wii. It was never turned on again until our 9- and 10-year-old niece and nephew visited this summer.
So much for the good therapy and exercise of the Wii.