I accidentally deleted Candy Crush from my iPad two days ago.
If you play it, and were like me, nearly into the triple figure levels, you will no doubt feel my pain. But it was only then, experiencing a rising sense of panic, it dawned on me that I was just a rather sad middle-aged computer game addict. That the Candy was as addictive as Crack and that this Saga was the modern dirty equivalent of Mothers Little Helper.
One very good friend (who only confessed to her own addiction once I’d volunteered mine) explained it perfectly “It’s my dirty little secret”. And she, like me, had mainly kept under the radar. No posting endlessly about different coloured candy swiping on facebook. We knew it was wrong. And so we kept it quiet.
The first rule of Candy Club – tell no one.
The stupid thing is that I already knew I had a tendency to get addicted to this kind of techno crack . It actually took a proper job back in TV for the best part of a year to wean me off Twitter, and I’ve yet to fully kick facebook. After all, who amongst us can really resist spying on the wonderfully plain offspring of our more beautiful friends?
But Candy Crush I reasoned, was being played by articulate, intelligent and fabulous people. Some of whom were good friends of mine. Women with great jobs, lives and families. Women who were my age too. How bad could it be?
When I began of course I couldn’t stop.
I found myself buying those wretched five extra moves or giant lollies through itunes. Cursing the ease of internet shopping for the very first time. I finally figured out that the web was of course bursting with advisory blogs on how to get through the harder levels. But I lament those long solitary nights, as I lay huddled in the dark, face basking in the illicit glow of the Candy Crush Saga, while my family lay sleeping in readiness for the next day.
I also sincerely regret the groggy morning-afters waiting for that sweet moment I could be alone again with my Crush. The bouts of evangelical fervor I exalted whilst cajoling my three year old that, yes, she still needed a nice long afternoon nap. Just. So. I could be alone with my Crush again.
And now it’s over. Finished. A moment of clarity, or madness depending on how you look at it. Deleted forever. Candy Crush is gone. My 91 levels are… as if they never were.
Today I’ve cycled in the sunshine. Had coffee with a friend. Scored a big supermarket shop. Drank tea with more friends. Tried out a new slow-cook bolognese recipe and conversed with both my children, utilizing every ounce of my remaining attention – post Candy dump.
The children are watching telly now. And instead of getting my Crush hit aka Mothers Dirty Little Helper, I’m writing this blog post.
Well none of us is entirely perfect.