I assume that I am not the only video game widow out there. I don't know much about gaming, to be honest. I don't even know how to pronounce most of them! "SKY-rim"?  "SKEE-rim"? Who the hell knows?

Needless to say, my boyfriend playing video games has left me with quite a bit of time on my hands. Especially because, it seems, most games make you lose all sense of time. No, seriously. The other day I laid down to take a nap and said "Don't let me sleep too long." I woke up three hours later, and he thought only thirty minutes had passed.

Now, I'm not going to tell him not to play. He works hard during the day, and deserves his time to relax. But, I can't just keep sleeping every time he plays. No person should sleep that much (though, the soundtracks to the games are generally pretty relaxing, and will lull you off to dreamland in no time if you're not careful).

His suggestions have been oh-so-helpful, as I'm sure you can guess. They've included, but have not been limited to: "you could fold the laundry", "there are still some boxes tin the basement that need to be sorted through. You could do that", and "Make me a sandwich?". That last one was met with "Turn off your stupid game and make your own damn sandwich!", I blame hormones.

So, I've had to come up with some better things to do while he rots his brain running around a fake country that's being taken over by aliens, or orks, or whatever the bad guys are.

Most guys (or girls that are gamers) will tell you to "Just play with him! You'll learn to love the game!". No. I won't. Unless it's Mario Kart, or at some point I get to kill a giant lizard only to find out that the princess is in another castle, I will have no idea how to play the game in the first place. Zelda was too complex for me. Controllers these days have too many buttons. I understand the sentiment behind it, but the fact of the matter is that no gamer will ever understand why some people don't like playing, and most non-gamers will not magically become gamers over night.

So, what can you do while your boyfriend is lost in a land of make-believe for hours on end?

1. Catch up on the shows that you know that he'll never watch with you. Now, this is a problem for me, because I don't have cable. BUT, I did recently pick up season seven of  "Gilmore Girls" on DVD, and I know that he wouldn't be caught dead watching it. So, I just go into the other room, pop in a DVD, and get whisked away to live vicariously through Rory and Lorelai. And hey, Luke isn't so bad to look at.

2. Learn a new skill. I am not what one would call "domestically inclined". Remember, I'm the person who had to Google "How To Make Mashed Potatoes". In fact, my lack of kitchen knowledge is so well know that my boyfriend's mother got me a book titled "How To Boil Water" for Christmas a couple of years ago. So, I have taken this as an opportunity to read that book and try to make a few things that I never would have attempted before. And surprisingly, they aren't that bad! (To be completely honest, this one came out of necessity. He's usually the one that cooks, but he's too busy slaying mastodons to cook me dinner.)

3. Join a book club. I like reading! I got a nook for my birthday two years ago, and it's been awhile since I dusted it off and got engrossed in a new book. So, I figured, why not join a book club? Well, I'll tell you right now, I apparently joined the greatest book club in the world. The books they pick aren't that great, but it doesn't matter. Most of us don't read the book, and just get together to eat, drink wine, and talk about the stupid things our husbands/boyfriends/kids do.

4. Plan a girls' night. Or a boys' night. Or just a night out with a hybrid of all of your friends. Whatever floats your boat. When you're in a relationship, you end up going out together most of the time. So, take this as an opportunity to go out for drinks with some of your girlfriends you haven't been able to catch up with lately. Go to dinner at a new place you've heard about. Hell, go see a movie. I mean, I know your boyfriend's been dying to see the latest "Hunger Games" flick, but he probably won't be heartbroken if you go without him.

5. Amuse yourself with social experiments. This one is fun, I assure you. Especially if you get home from work/school after your boyfriend. Just walk in the door and when he mumbles "Hi, how was your day?" start talking about it like any other day. He will undoubtedly nod and "Mmhmm" and "Oh?" at times that are appropriate, but use this fun little trick to test whether or not he's actually paying attention. Just throw in phrases like "And then I found $1000!" or "When the midgets started falling from the sky, I knew I had to get out of there". Chances are, he'll continue nodding in agreement, and "Mmhmm"-ing. As much as he wants you to think that he is, he isn't paying attention to what you're saying. This is both maddening and highly amusing. You can also use this time to ask him things like, "So, it's okay if I go out and drop $600 on this Coach purse, right?".

6. Take his things and hide them around the house. This is another fun one I've discovered. It's like your own little game, and also helps to make him think he's losing his mind. Keys in the refrigerator, wallet in the linen closet, glasses in the shower... It never gets old. Especially when he asks you to "help" him find them. "Man, I really seem to be losing a lot of things lately." "Video games must be rotting your brain. I've heard they can adversely affect your short term memory."

7. Start a support group for other Skyrim widows. I haven't actually done this one yet. But, I'm tempted.

8. Buy ridiculous things on QVC. This isn't necessarily something that you'll decide to do, or even want to do, but it could end up happening. Have you ever sat and watched QVC for any sort of an extended period of time? There are so many things out there that you never knew existed that you just have to have! Polka-dot chicken-shaped salt and pepper shakers?!? Where have you been all my life? 5 oz. steaks that you get in the mail?!? Well, that's just a good deal. Seriously, home shopping can become a problem. If you're not careful, you could end up wearing sweatshirts with cats on them and matching headbands.

9. Live out your dreams of being a play-by-play announcer. Okay, so being a play-by-play announcer was probably only ever my dream. But, if his gaming gets too excessive, this is a good way to point out how ridiculous it's become. He's just minding his own business, pillaging and fighting off weird skeleton people in some cave, and you pipe up with play-by-play of the action. "AND the weird skeleton guy swings his sword, but the viking looking dude wards him off with some sort of creepy ice spell!". He might just realize what he's spending all of his time doing and actually shut the game off for a while. Or, he won't notice. He's in the zone.

10. If all else fails, you could play against yourself in a board game. Or a drinking game. Which ever you prefer.

In the end, I suppose it could be worse. At least his affair is with magical elven creatures that live in the TV.

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