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  • The Archer

I've Got A Candy Crush On You

Updated: Jul 8, 2022

With tremendous gratitude to the Ribono Shel Olam for bringing me to this day, I would like to announce a long awaited simcha here at The Archer. I would like to thank you all for your thoughts and prayers during the many years I was waiting and I am so thrilled to say that all of our tefillos have been answered for the good.

I would like to announce that I have finally defeated 4,000 levels of Candy Crush.

Many of you are probably wondering if that is all the levels in existence: the answer is no. There are actually 12,000 levels of Candy Crush and more come out once a week.

Candy Crush debuted on April 12, 2012. At the time I did not have a smartphone. In unrelated news I had a much healthier attention span, quicker reading time, and a better memory.

But luckily, I would get my first smartphone in July of 2012 and would download Candy Crush later that year after I got tired of Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja.

And I, like much of America at the time, was completely addicted.

Candy Crush is a game where you must match three candies to make them disappear. Sort of like friends when they get engaged, married and pregnant, not necessarily in that order. There are bonuses for 5 candies in a row or candies where they merge in a corner. The levels get progressively harder as the game board twists into different shapes and different challenges are added.

The most addicting part of the game is the limit. The limit means that you can only have 5 lives at any given time. Once you lose the game 5 times you have to wait 30 minutes to get one measly life back. Alternatively, you can pay a few dollars and get your lives replenished or you can try to find something else to do while you wait.

The waiting means that you never get burnt out of Candy Crush. You are constantly taking every opportunity you can to try and beat the level and get that extra playing time (if you beat a level you don't lose a life ergo you stay alive that much longer.) You also will sit down to watch a show and play Candy Crush only to realize that your lives are out and you need something to do with your hands.

There was a trick I used to use where I would set my clock forward to replenish my lives, making sure I had played about 48 rounds every day, or one for each half hour.

During my three years of college I was crushing candies almost constantly. During class obviously, on the train, while watching TV in my dorm, during the endless town hall meetings that my college adored, every second I could. During this period there were about 1,000 levels and I often made it to the very end and had to wait for more levels to come out.

The phones got smarter every year and in time there were far more interesting things for people to scroll than Candy Crush. Not for me. I kept playing. Now I was playing at work and in the car and then back to the train.

My fervor did slow down as I got more to do at work and found that I so much to scroll on a given day that there often wasn't time for games.

So, in a much slower fashion than the first thousand, I made it through the next 3 thousands.

My family has made fun of my crushing hobby in the past. It is a waste of time on something silly, I can't deny that. I always figured that I would drop the hobby when I finally developed a meaningful relationship.

Instead I made it to level 4,000.

I don't want to be bored, I want to be present but I've never been present and how can I be something I've never been?

I do remember the fervor Candy Crush initially inspired with how difficult it could be. That's changed as the app tries to keep us hooked by giving out rewards that can make games easier.

I miss when it was hard and when each try at a level felt like something big. Now I know there's none of that and that my brain just likes the colors.

If you asked me what I do in my spare time, Candy Crush wouldn't even cross my mind. But I've given it enough attention to make it through 4,000 levels.

I don't remember what I did with myself before I pulled out my phone to play Candy Crush. It's only been ten years. I've been dating for 7.5 of those years and an adult for 9.

There's going to be a time where I don't remember what life was like without the ache of seeking someone. I won't remember what it was like to believe I would ever find someone. I'll have the knowledge, because I don't forget much, but the feelings will fade.

I'll go back because I'll have muscle memory of what I should be doing but that will be the only reason.

And then I'll hit a milestone and I'll look around in despair of how meaningless it all feels.

Keep crushing those candies.

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