Last week in the middle of a frustrating game of Flappy Bird, I took a screenshot and uploaded to Instagram.
“I swear, I’m about to throw my phone out the window because of the damn Flappy Bird. Every time I think I can beat my score this jerk hits a pipe and drops like a brick,” I furiously captioned my picture.
Seconds later, some of my followers shared in my frustration while others asked me what the heck is a flappy bird. At first, I begged them not to download the game. While simple – tap your screen and get the bird to safely fly through Super Mario pipes – it’s addictive, and moreover my bird seems to hit the first pipe and drop 98 percent of the time. I think I tried 45 times to get it through the first pipe my first time. When I finally made it through pipe number 15, he drops. I’ve been trying to beat my high score ever since.
“So why don’t you just stop playing?” a friend asked me. I responded automatically, “Because the Flappy Bird is basically a metaphor for love and I’m a hopeless romantic.”
Maybe the answer was a little overzealous, and yes, I was mostly joking, but if you bear with me I can explain.
The concept of love is simple. Once you commit to the right person love is supposed to naturally follow. At least that’s the fantasy. Anyone who has ever searched or been in love before would not use the word “simple” to describe it. Finding it is a butterflies-filled, deliciously agonizing, dangerously hopeful rollercoaster ride. Keeping it is a partner who has your back, compromise, hard work, and being patient and kind when you feel anything but. When you lose it? It’s a long road toward trust, passing briefly through hopelessness, despair and doubting if you’ll ever find it again.
Every time I crash the Flappy Bird into a pipe there are not enough words to describe the frustration I feel. Every time I make it through I’m hopeful I can get further, do it better, and then inevitably the bird drops without warning. I yell, “ Eff this bird, yo! I’m done!” even though I know I’m not. Yes, it’s just a game, but how many times has someone given you love advice and compared it to playing a game? Telling you to play your position. How many times have you said “ Eff this! I’m giving up!” knowing you’re only half kidding?
Of course some will say I am over thinking a game (and they would be right). I play the game for entertainment when bored on my long subway ride home. The frustrating emotions, the need to do better next time, are no different than how I’m approaching love these days. If my high score of 15 on Flappy Bird is any indication, my love life has a long way to go. Hopefully you’re faring better.
Larissa Vasquez is a writer and blogger based in New York City.
Photo Credit: Larissa Vasquez Instagram.