< Piro >
Wednesday - December 13, 2000
Ah. Christmas. It just occurred to me that Christmas is coming sometime soon, like in a few weeks or something. I need to check the calendar. The reason I know it's coming is that the office Christmas party is tomorrow. Seraphim and I spent a good chunk of the weekend looking for an appropriate outfit for her to wear to the party, as well as some requisite gift shopping that needed doing.
As i mentioned on Monday, I'm pretty good when it comes to following Serpahim around while shopping for clothes. First off, watching her try on different outfits is always enjoyable. I try to he helpful, I try to be constructive, I even help her find specific things, like 'this item, one size smaller'. There is another reason I don't really mind tagging along during these shopping excursions. I get a lot of fashion and clothing ideas for character drawings by looking around. An hour spent in a Bebe store is not a waste of time to me. It's good to know what DKNY, Polo, Liz, Hilfiger, LEI, Guess, Esprit and all the rest are making right now - The girls I draw need to be fashion conscious, or people will make fun of them.
I have to tell you though, even a guy like me, who really can find constructive things to do while helping his girlfriend shop for clothes, has his limits. No matter how hard I try, after four or so hours of shopping, my brain starts to shut down. After, say, eight hours of shopping, i start to loose brain matter. Things start to get hazy. I start examining thermostats on the walls to see how they work. I start reading the manufacturers and patent numbers on clothes hangers. The world gets more surreal. I long for Puchuu's and ALF-like creatures to walk by.
This phenomenon, this ability women have to ceaselessly root thru arbitrary racks of assembled fabric must be something genetic. I can't think of any guys who can match any young lady when it comes to sheer endurance at the mall. I think this fact is often overlooked in dating simulation games. I mean, the games so idealize quality time spent with the girls that sometimes they are unrealistic about what that 'wonderful shopping trip' is really like.
I think that if I were to do a date sim, I'd be much more realistic. They have to take up a large amount of time. Much of that time must be spent doing literally nothing as she is in the dressing room trying things on. Your answers to the 'How does this look?" can get you into trouble no matter what you say. She should send you searching racks for 'that blue one in size 7' - which of course you can't find. Then, after trying a half dozen things on, you find that she doesn't really like any of them, and that she wants to go to the same store in a mall an hour away.
After arriving at the next store, you go thru basically the same process all over again. You note the lingerie department across the isle, but of course she doesn’t need any of that stuff. Then you get to play 'where did she go??' where you frantically run around trying to find her. You try other departments. You start to panic. Then you find that she's been in the department you first lost her the whole time.
Then, viola! she finds the perfect dress. Happiness ensues as you get in line to purchase the hard-won dress. A half hour later, you have the purchased item over your shoulder. It's obvious that now that the task is done, you can make a bee-line to the doors, out to the car, and back home, where perhaps you could get some food, because you are starving and I swear ladies clothing sections need vending machines. She, however, has different ideas. It is amazing how many things a girl can find to look at on the way OUT of a department. After an hour of looking thru four more departments, you near the door. Relief is in sight.
"Oh my god! I need shoes! I don't have shoes that go with this dress!"
It's a blow that can kill a weaker man. As you turn to go back into the store and whatever hell awaits, you turn, and look longingly outside. It's dark now, the snow is falling. There is one lucky fellow who has escaped, walking towards his car. Your path, however, does not lead to the car. It leads back thru the store, thru the same departments, thru the same "where did she go?" game, into the mall itself.
Here, there is actually some hope. Hark! Is that a Electronic's Boutique over there? It's magnetic pull is strong, you look over longingly at the glowing store, with it's Final Fantasy IX display, it's bright glowing lights...
you look at her and casually say, "hey, look, an Electronics Boutique," hoping that she will see the desire in your eyes, the longing to be let free to drift across the hall into a 'Guys Store'. She in turn gives you this look, this whimsical, almost sad look, a heartfelt look of absolute need.
"But i need your opinion on the shoes to go with this dress!"
You are done, you are broken. There is no countering this attack. You turn your back to the heaven-like glow across the hall, and enter the darker, dimmer hellish 9 West store, a store that carries nothing but womens shoes, true hell on earth, to face your fate.
hehe. Yea. I tell you. You want REAL tests in dating sims? There aren't many that can pass the Shopping Challenge! :-)
If you remember Monday's rant, I talked about the fact that I had met the deadline for the doujinshi project I was working on. Unfortunately, I *didn't* make it. Tsubasa and I just couldn't pull together a submission that we felt was of the quality it needed to be. We needed more time for the translations to be done properly, and frankly it could use a few more drawings. So, Tsubasa and I made the tough decision to hold off.
All is not really lost, however. What we plan on doing instead is making 'snapshots' available for viewing over the net instead. It's the first installment of the story, so with any luck I'll be updating it on a regular basis. I'll put 'envelope' up first, then the first installment of 'snapshots'. It's not 'Megatokyo', but you might like it - we'll see.
Finally, I hope you all have enjoyed Dom's contribution to Megatokyo. Aside from terrorizing people on the forums, his 'Shirt Guy Dom Stick Figure Days' were quite funny. Dom doesn't use a mouse to draw these stick figures - he uses a trackball. Obviously, its hard to draw stick figures well with a trackball, and so for the benefit of all I plan to buy him a mouse. It seems that in return, Dom has pre-empted me and sent a trackball to me for Christmas. A Logitec Trackball, to be exact. Thank you Dom. Such a ... thoughtful gift. And when you get the mouse I am sending, don't mind the ticking. Microsoft mice do that. Honest.