For those out of the loop due to the lack of a Twitter account, what ICH represents is the harmony between many contradictions and irony between me and Cassandra "Hexy" Hexthorn. Our relationship is just as head-scratching as it is logical and sensible. For one, we play Wizard101 regularly as "opposite" schools: I'm a Thaumaturge, and she's a Pyromancer -- and started the game totally independent of one another. Until I recheck my facts, I'm gonna say she started some number of months before I did. A layer of irony also exists on our appearances: we both use the serrated cloak of the Fire school, though I'm an Ice Wizard, and she has a story behind Cassandra's odd blue hair -- and it's nothing to do with Katy Perry! I'm an Accounting/Math major, and she's studying Music. And on and on...
Also we're three thousand miles apart. Thus, August 6th and the rest of the week until today was special, not only because we finally met for the first time, but because we were skeptical about long-distance relationships succeeding smoothly. ICH was kept on the "down low" since the community is -- for us -- an extensive family, and we decided to wait many months to (1) allow our bond to develop and (2) allow Alyssa and me enough time to understand, communicate with, and make decisions with one another, as individual beings, before causing ripples with a premature announcement. In other words, the first Saturday of this month was the indicator saying, "We've thought hard and long enough...now it's time for actions to fit the words...for reality to lift the mask of imagination and illusion." That day wouldn't have happened -- the meet wouldn't have happened -- had we believed, thought, or felt the slightest sign of doubt about one another. Ever since meeting in person, I haven't regretted us one bit.
But, it's not "happily ever after," and it's regardless to whether this is a short-distance or long-distance relationship. In fact, the concept of a non-existent paradise applies to friendships just as much. Such connections between individuals and teams and groups require work. What does such a job entail? Trust. Understanding. Honesty. Communication. Benefit of doubt. A balance of optimism and the Devil's advocate. Respect. The ability to assume responsibility. Sometimes, even sacrifice. Just because Alyssa and I are comfortable, compatible, and, as many Twizards have pointed out, "cute" together, it doesn't mean that we're automatically having a great time, or that everything becomes smooth sailing. Heck, that "great time" comes from the ingredients listed above, and those ingredients don't manifest on their own. I suppose it's one explanation behind why great friendships can sometimes be overwhelmingly surprising, such as enemies becoming allies, allies becoming neutralized or enemies, etc. But, that's another blog post for another day.
I met Alyssa's family over the week -- including her Nana, who made some fantastic pierogies, and we all got along very well! Heck, I wouldn't mind having some of their personalities to help spice up my family a bit. They're very open, honest, very nice, and full of unexpected (but hilarious) comments and feedback. Dinners are full of laughter and stories...I remember cracking up at least twice per night. I wish I could repeat the jokes or stories here, but they aren't pure in family-friendliness! Like Alyssa, they're all people you just have to meet and know.
The first few days were just us lazing back together, becoming acquainted, and "settling" into interacting in person. We went to the mall, where I purchased a book by Kurt Vonnegut, and visited the Michael's Arts and Crafts store for some materials to decorate her ceiling with. Unfortunately, the clay that I bought didn't follow through with the promises written on their wrapping...but you get what you pay for, right? So, instead, we used Christmas lights a la a Tumblr post and took on an idea of our own. I'll have to have Alyssa take a picture of the finished product, but here is the layout:
We also visited the Mystic Aquarium, whose name is based off of the name of the town it's in. Pretty awesome name, huh? We got to see seals, a gigantic sea lion, some jellyfish, and an array of other aquatic creatures. We found Nemo and Dori! I got Hexy a turtle plushy and necklace there, which she absolutely loves, and luckily for me, everyone around us liked them, too! Huzzah!
The week rolled by too quickly, in our eyes. The last few days consisted of watching an anime series (ironically, we're not big anime fans...Fairy Tail was real lucky we gave it a shot and liked it!), visiting the town fair, mellowing out by a bonfire, and enjoying a fancy dinner at Max Amore the night before Departure Day.
Here are a few pics of the last evening we had together:
|Baggy pants..bleh...least it shows I've shrunk horizontally!|
|"Gorgeous" doesn't do her justice|
At Max Amore...where the lighting is dark and people feel lighthearted
Two things I've learned from this bond:
1. Be proud of who you are, regardless of your situation or what you do. Uphold integrity, meaning not acting in a way to please others, and not making decisions that are beyond your capabilities. Eventually, life will work out, one way or another. It's all a giant puzzle that will make sense, over time. Stay positive.
2. Alyssa said to me on the last night, "Don't dwell on the fact that we have to part...instead, smile because this happened."
How is IceeHawt important or blog-worthy in relation to the game? There is an unseen dimension of the avatars that populate the Spiral. Just because there's a set of pixels in front of you, it doesn't mean that you're entitled to treat that person with any less respect than you would with a "real life" stranger. While the computer may allow for double personalities to exist, taking the route where you behave online as you do offline plays to your advantage in the long run. There're fewer things to explain (and less suspicion or contradiction) when consistency exists, for one. You also build bridges that you initially thought were impossible, let alone, unimaginable. The more you take a friend or teammate or mentor seriously (as in looking past the toons), the greater the return of respect, trust, and opportunities in everyday life.
Thanks for your time and interest~