Friday, 6 September 2013

Your Significant Other: Sprue Cutters Union #7

Greetings wargamers, hobbyists and long suffering spouses and partners. I think love is in the air...

- How does your spouse (significant other) view your hobby? -

Well now, here is a topic that has the potential to really put the cat amongst the pigeons. Though it hasn't yet found its way into the Urban Dictionary, the term 'Warhammer Widow' is fairly well known across the community, and I am sure that anyone with a partner or spouse heavily into wargaming and miniature collecting understands precisely what it means. There is a Facebook Group dedicated to Warhammer Widows, and the term has appeared in mainstream media on more than one occasion. I wouldn't be too surprised to find that someone somewhere sells wax figures holding teeny tape measures and miniscule dice for Warhammer Widows to stick pins into. Too far? Probably...

I should start by saying that when you are involved in the hobby of collecting and playing with armies of toy soldiers, your other half likely falls into one of two camps. Either they too are a hobbyist and enjoy collecting, painting or gaming (perhaps all three), or they are not in any way interested in the hobby and would rather have their finger nails pulled out than allow themselves to be talked into trying it out.

I will stress right now that either of these points of view is fine. If miniature collecting and wargaming is something you can enjoy as a couple, great, if not, that's fine as well. No one ever said two people in a relationship both have to enjoy doing all the same things. In fact, sometimes it helps to have something all of your own, given how much of the rest of your life you share with a partner.
As far as my own relationship goes, my wife declined my request for a full interview, but instead gave me a few choice words which I will paraphrase below:

"I hate your hobby and Games Workshop, but I realise it's a big part of who you are so I tolerate it. That's all I'm prepared to say about it".
When during the following day I asked the question "Is it fair to say that you would rather have your finger nails pulled out than play a wargame?" The answer was "I don't even want to have this discussion"!

I have learned, friends, that if your partner or spouse just isn't interested, but tolerates your hobby to the point where you have your own space for your accumulated model collection, and are even able to attend a gaming club regularly with little complaint, be thankful for what you have. In fact, in the past my wife even bought me my Dark Eldar army, and isn't beyond dropping into the gaming store to grab me a pot of paint if I ask nicely.

I think her bark is worse than her bite really. I think the partners and spouses of most wargamers and modellers realise that they prefer their other half to play with toy soldiers than some other things, even if it involves controlled spending and time away from family, but if the balance is right, this is infinitely preferable to a partner that spends their time and family funds in the pub or the bookies.
Besides, we have a two and a half year old son, and in all likelihood I expect it's only a matter of time before he starts to take an interest in daddy's toy soldiers. Perhaps one day in the future...

The Sprue Cutters Union is a fantastic initiative being hosted by Jon of The Combat Workshop, and unites the modelling blogs of hobbyists across several countries to bring you a Blog Carnival of posts on common subjects. The Union's members come from a variety of modelling and collecting backgrounds, as varied as their blog posts, so it is well worth browsing through the links below for posts on this topic.


Also, if you fancy yourself as a member of the Sprue Cutters Union (#spruecutters), then look here. All you need is a blog, and a passion for the miniature modelling and collecting hobby.

Finally, I would like to dedicate this post to my long suffering wife (Rebecca @FordFordatron) who, despite stepping on bits of plastic models in bare feet, and having to find space on the coffee table among all the rule books and painting paraphernalia to put, well, coffee, has stuck by me and my hobby, and only rarely felt the need to utter the fateful words 'I think you should get rid of all this crap'. I love you mate.

Thanks for reading...