I should never have picked a favorite Pokemon

We put a lot of pressure on the kids to choose what they love. Before they had a chance to develop their personality, we repeatedly asked the children to decide on their preferences. What is your favorite color? What’s your favourite food? Who is your favorite Spice Girl / Jonas Brother / Teen Mom? We have a hard time relating to kids because they don’t have jobs and haven’t learned to hate the government, so we ask them about everything they love.

As a child, I learned that it was inappropriate to say “I don’t know” when someone asked you about your favorites. I don’t really have a favorite color, but when someone asks me, I feel compelled to pick one, so I say green. When you are a gamer, everyone wants to know your favorite game, your favorite console, your favorite RPG and of course, your favorite game. Pokemon. A long, long time ago – five damn presidents, in fact – I decided Umbreon was my favorite Pokemon, and I’ve regretted it ever since.

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Unlike green, Umbreon is actually my favorite color. I love the mystery of Shadow-type Pokemon, and I totally fell for Umbreon’s sharp, solitary energy. My heart fluttered when I saw Umbreon. I feel a connection to this Pokemon and I can confidently say it’s my favorite, but I have to admit it has become an obsession.

umbrella pokemon unity

My house is overflowing with Umbreon merchandise. I have t-shirts, t-shirts, posters, skateboards, slippers, and hats. I have two Umbreon hoodies and an Umbreon jacket – yes, with ears. I look for Umbreon tat at every convention, card store, and hobby store I visit. My caring, generous family fills me with Umbreon gifts every holiday. The collection you see above is just a small part of my ever-expanding Umbreon. It’s already too much, but I have no intention of stopping.

It got especially bad when Pokemon TCG introduced a new Umbreon card that, like last year’s Eeveelution-themed Evolution Sky set, had six tiles. I’ve only found one so far – the Umbreon V being the most popular – and I’ve scoured the internet for six months buying every pack of Evolution Skies I can find.

I realize that this is not normal behavior. Most people who have a favorite Pokemon don’t hoard figurines and trinkets. For me, Umbreon has become the focal point of my Pokemon fandom. A consistent aesthetic that I can use for decoration. A simple, memorable gift idea for my family for the holidays. Many times when I criticize gamers for making the games they love part of their identity, Umbreon is definitely part of me.

In the Pokemon world, each person has a Pokemon that they call their teammate. Ash has Pikachu, Dawn has Piplup, Cynthia has Garchomp, and Marnie has Morpeko. I like to consider Umbreon as my partner Pokemon, which I make clear through my consumerism. Sometimes I wonder if I’d be happier when I just said “I don’t know” the first time I was asked what my favorite Pokemon was. Will I develop a stronger connection with more Pokemon? Will I still care as much about Pokemon as I do now? One thing is for sure, I would have saved a lot of money if I hadn’t bought so many Evolution Skies packs.

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