I’ve been in love with Pokémon ever since I was a wee lad. (Definitely almost typed “lass.” Whoops. Anyway…)
Once upon a time, I was a happy little first-grade boy who didn’t have a care in the world. I spent my afternoons watching Power Rangers and playing with Beanie Babies… but something was missing. My life was incomplete! I just didn’t know it yet.
It all came to a head one arbitrary day in 1997…ish. I was unwell and thus could not attend to my daily first grade sessions. Home sick and not even with the fun of playing hooky. So there I was, cuddled up on the couch, sipping on chicken noodle soup which was too hot for my juvenile mouth. I had just finished an episode of Beetle Borgs (yes, I was obviously a cool child), and I began flipping through the channels to find something to appease my short attention span.
Suddenly, the Pokémon theme song began floating from the television and into my impressionable ears. I still maintain that it was most majestic theme song of all time. My young eyes wide, I sat entranced as a blue serpent jump out of the water. I can still remember the episode: Tentacruel whoops the seaside city. It was a fantastic, thrilling experience for everyone involved. Mostly myself.
Ever since that day, I’ve been hooked. I’ve spent COUNTLESS dollars on Pokémon merchandise: everything from cards to video games to T-shirts… You name it, I had it. I was addict for all intents and purposes.
In the last 18 years, nothing’s changed. Though, now that I’m older, people don’t believe that I could like something as childish as Pokémon. This disbelief usually prompts a pop quiz as if that will prove my merits. I’ve been asked questions like “What’s TM29?” and “Can you name all of the original 151 Pokémon?” I’ve happily supplied the correct answers to these questions and countless others. (But really? You want me to list all 151?)
It’s more than just knowing trivia, though. I just love the franchise. I’ve played all the games – and I mean all of the games. The Pokémon series is so close to my heart that I don’t even bother including any of the games in my Top 10. It wouldn’t be fair to the other games (and it just sort of goes without saying).
Pokémon isn’t just a game to me. It’s been both an outlet and an escape for nearly two decades. Rather than playing a game to beat it, I played it for the experience. When I felt sad, I teamed up with my Kabutops and beat the Elite Four. When I needed to have some fun, I played through Pokémon Snap. For a challenge, I tried a Nuzlocke challenge (look it up). I played live-action Pokémon outside in my backyard. I organized Pokémon card tournaments on the picnic table. I did it all.
And now, here I am. I’m trying to find a way to funnel my eternal adoration into one measly article and it’s just not doing my sentiment justice.
I’ll leave you with a memory: When my younger sister was born, my parents put Hello Kitty wallpaper up in her bedroom. I was incensed. After a few minutes of silent, jealous seething, I confronted my parents and asked them if I could get Pokémon wallpaper in my bedroom. They laughed, as parents do, and told me that I would eventually grow out of Pokémon and it just wasn’t worth the effort or cost when I would surely be begging for something new in a few years. I protested, but they brushed my request aside.
Once my sister reached the age of 5, SHE was upset. Unsurprisingly, she no longer loved Hello Kitty, and she sure didn’t want her friends to see her “childish” wallpaper. Yet here I am today, writing this, still infatuated with Pokémon.
Moral of the story? I need to find me some Pokémon wallpaper. Any suggestions?