I went home to Windsor with a new obsession, I wanted to play D&D. Each visit to the local mall I would stand in the Coles bookstore, pick up the various D&D boxes, read the backs, look at the prices, and leave without buying anything. Eventually I saved up enough to buy the coveted Red Box, but my mom squashed my plans. This was the early 80s, my mom had seen news reports of those poor boys across the river that had "disappeared" into the tunnels of Michigan State University while playing D&D. She worried I would become obsessed (Um... hello! I already was!). She said I was too young. She told me I could buy the game when I was 13 and not a minute before.
I think she figured that I would forget about it. That my interest would wan. Instead I spent 3 years gazing longingly at the D&D display in my local book store. Finally sometime in my 12th year she gave in and let me buy the Dungeons & Dragons Set 1: Basic Rules. I remember how excited I was tearing into it. I remember the white crayon and filling in the sides on my dice. I remember eagerly making my first character. Memorizing all the various symbols for the maps and spending hours drawing my own. I enjoyed playing through the choose your own adventure style single player walk through. I peeped at the Dungeon Master book and dreamed of running a game. And here's where I hit a dead end. I was a 12 and a half year old female. My best, and pretty much only, friend wanted to get together and go shopping at the mall. She had no interest in playing D&D, despite my constant nagging. I figured if she'd just look at the book she'd be as enchanted as I was. I lent her the player's book and begged her to read it. A few weeks later she returned it, and said, "Sorry, no way, just not my thing."
So do you know what I ended up doing with my long coveted Red Box? I played D&D with my mom and my little brother. My mother was the Dungeon Master. I give her full props for playing along, but I was well aware that of the three of us at the table I was the only one really digging the experience. We gave it up after a few sessions. Left with the urge to play, but no one to play with, my Red Box ended up getting set aside. I wasn't to pick up roleplaying again until several years later. But I do have many fond memories of long hours spent mucking around with that Red Box. You never forget your first love, right?
|The box long ago got sent to the recycling bin |
and some git stole the dice out of my backpack,
but I do still have my much loved books from the D&D Basic set.