Elite athletes know that dedication, sacrifice, and intense hours of merciless play are what separates the winners from the losers. Unfortunately, all of those hours of play, all that sacrifice, and more dedication than is advisable is happening in my living room. I’m usually a bold, outspoken person. Constantly singing to myself or chatting at the TV, busting out random dance moves like you do when you’re at home. Now, the halls of my home are silent. I creep, padding across the floors afraid to make too much noise. Afraid, to break the concentration that takes a season to cultivate and a moment to destroy.

I am a ghost of myself. And it’s all because of damn FIFA. My partner, after matches became too easy, recently changed the game’s setting to “hard”. And it’s ruining my life. The game on hard mode becomes devilish. And just like in an actual football match, even a small distraction can lead to total defeat. The Los Angeles Football Club is fighting for every victory this season (in my partner’s FIFA play through and in real life), and I’m not going to be the one who gets in their way. 

To clarify, my partner has never made me feel like I need to be quiet. But we have a very respectful household where pretty much only two things are sacred: gaming and our cats. But sometimes I need to cross in front of the dang TV. Even entering the room causes a lapse in focus and the other team scores. It’s a problem. But Bread Mountebatten (the chosen name of the LAFC coach in this particular FIFA play through) must lead the team to victory. Why? Because we’re a household of gamers goddamn it and that needs to be respected. How can I balance my desire for my partner to win this season of FIFA with my desire to go water the plants because they’re looking a little droopy? These are the questions that keep me up at night and keep me out of the living room when a game is on.

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