Here are some musings on being a 30 year old geek/nerd…
I’ve identified as a geek/nerd since about middle school. X-Files, Star Trek, Babylon 5 and Starwars were some of my early fandoms. I was not particularly popular at school (putting it nicely), but luckily I had a small group of friends that liked at least some of the same things. So, while I could geek out in the safety of the group, there were plenty of times that we were not together and those times could be quite perilous. During those years, my main goal when alone amongst the dozens of classmates who already found me to be strange and unusual was to stay quiet and be as inconspicuous as possible. Anything to avoid the attention of those who would target me for ridicule. Thankfully, that is over half a lifetime ago and some of that group are still friends of mine. Even if we’re not as close now, I will forever hold them in high regard for the great moments I had during an otherwise miserable period in my youth.
In the years since, I’ve (mostly)learned to not give a flying frak about what those peripheral people think of me on a personal level. As long as I’m able to have a functional working relationship with people like coworkers and others I need to interact with on a semi-regular basis, I couldn’t care less that they don’t “get” me or my hobbies. I still don’t have a lot of friends, but geeks tend to find each other and I’ve got a solid handful that are just the best.
A side effect of having geeky friends you can introduce each other to new fandoms so the nerdiness is ever growing. I once made a deal with my sister that I’d watch True Blood if she’d watch Castle, and now we are both fans of each. Without one of my nerdy friends I never would have seen Serenity in the theater and who knows if I’d be a Firefly fan now? …Probably, but who knows how long that could have taken me to discover in another way? Without my love of Nathan Fillion I wouldn’t be watching Castle which is just my FAVORITE.
So I try to just do ‘me’. I suppose I still have some tendencies to play down the geekiness when in unfamiliar surroundings, and I shouldn’t because sometimes the people you least expect turn out to be nerds over something you love, too, and you wouldn’t have ever known if you just kept your head down and made the minimum socially required smalltalk. That geek bond can form almost instantaneously. Suddenly you both realize it, high-five and your regard for each other goes up ten-fold. Sure, sometimes you make a midichlorian joke in a meeting with your boss and get a confused look, but when that kind of thing happens it’s usually okay to laugh at yourself. More than once I’ve said something along the lines of, “I seem to have nerded myself there…” and the non-nerds seem to be okay with that. Y’know, unless they are an asshole.
Now we’re gonna talk about Cons. I’ve been to maybe 10 conventions thus far in my life. A couple small ones, some medium ones, and three times to San Diego Comic Con (henceforth to be referenced in this post as SDCC). Each has it’s perks and disadvantages. At SDCC, you might get to be among the first to see footage for something months before it comes out, and usually get to see the biggest stars in the industry. However, there’s months of extremely stressful pre-planning stages in order to even GO to SDCC, and the lines…well, I don’t think I’ll ever in my life see any line situation that even remotely compares to SDCC lines. But, when you’re sitting in line near people for 8+ hours, you start to get to know each other. Con friends are awesome. You meet people from all over the world, and if you keep in touch you generally have a place to stay if there’s a convention in their city (and they’ll probably be going to it already). Smaller cons obviously have smaller crowds, and usually not very many of the ‘big’ stars ever attend. But if there’s someone less universally popular going that you happen to like, chances are good you’ll at least get to chat with them for a while, if not get selfies and such. I saw Sean Patrick Flannery(from Boondock Saints) at a Con in St Louis, and he recorded someone’s outgoing voicemail message in his McManus brother accent. Also, at smaller cons, you have a fairly good chance of getting to see everything, whereas at SDCC…panels aside, with all the stuff going on on the convention floor at different times, you’ll never get to see half of it (but what you do see is usually awesome enough you don’t focus on that).
And I’m not saying that everyone at Con is super cordial and polite (usually you’ve all been walking around for hours on padless cement floors), but when you have occasion to talk to other people, compliment their costume or accessories, ask a their opinion on something, usually they become quite friendly and enthusiastic about it. Something about being at the same type of event, even if it’s for different reasons, I guess we recognise the kindred spirit in each other…that they love their fandoms as much as you do yours, you can really appreciate and respect each other. It’s quite liberating. And who knows, maybe you run into them in line next year once you’ve binge-watched Doctor Who so now you’re a fan, too (true story).
So if you’re a closet nerd, let loose. You never know what kind of friends you can make or good times you can have. If you’re a non-nerd, kudos for reading this far. Whoever you are, you just keep doing YOU.
So, this is me. I watch waaaay too much TV. I love Castle and a bunch of other cop shows, Disney movies, lots of anime, Doctor Who, Sherlock, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, Arrow, Outlander, Babylon 5, Big Bang Theory, Star Trek and Star Wars (though not a fan of the prequels, and I hold special regard for Ewoks…yub yub!), Game of Thrones, but I’m not a fan of Harry Potter or Walking Dead. I’m a crafty person, and I love making costumes and dressing up. I’ve entered costume contests and won a couple of them. I resisted the Marvel movies at first, but now I quite like them. I don’t read comic books, but I have an odd amount of knowledge about some specific series’ and characters (thanks to my husband). I’ll complain about plot-holes in shows & movies I love (seriously, that mining ship in the new Star Trek movie? how is the design of that ship at all practical for a mining ship. I call shenanigans!!). I have so many geeky/fandom shirts, I have #nerdworldproblems when packing for SDCC. I wore a Minion shirt to the doctor and he had no idea what it was…no concept…and this was just crazy to me. Yes, I’m 30. I don’t have kids yet but I already have baby costumes in mind for when I do. I don’t play video games, but I ran the Assassin’s Creed obstacle course at SDCC for a free t-shirt and because it’s the closest to Ninja Warrior I’ll ever get in my life. I will buy merchandise of fandoms I don’t like to give to friends who do (just because I don’t like it, doesn’t mean I think you shouldn’t, too). There are some fandoms I think I will probably like but just haven’t gotten around to watching yet (like Supernatural). I don’t usually expect people to get the random movie or TV quotes I throw out in conversation, but if you do it makes my week. I am usually a rather impatient person, but during SDCC, I will watch that pot until it boils over and over for hours if it means being in the same room as Benedict Cumberbatch and Orlando Bloom at the same time. Once at Nerd HQ during a random crowd surge, I took advantage of being pushed into the middle of a line that had previously been capped to get a photo with Nathan Fillion (my doing this didn’t prevent anyone in line from getting their picture, and it was an extra $20 toward the charity, so I figured…..aim to misbehave!). I am currently trying to figure out how to get the most fandoms represented in one tattoo. I would completely nerdgasm if I ever got to go on a Castle set visit. I have a couple of really great SDCC stories. Ask me sometime.
So say we all.