This post rambles some. Feel free to ignore.
I am neither a true blooded geek nor a nerd, at least not the way either label is used in the current nerd culture. I’m not sorry for that at all, but it does occasionally cause some…hmm…awkward moments.
I was born the year Star Wars was released. Yes, I’m aware what age that makes me. Return of the Jedi was the second movie I ever saw in a theater, and I’ve been utterly hooked on science fiction and fantasy (arguably Star Wars has many elements of both genres, effectively melding the two into a cohesive combination of both the mystical and the scientific). Throw out titles of science fiction or fantasy movie from the ’80’s through today, and I’ve likely seen it. I adore losing myself in a good sword and sorcery tale, or harboring the terror of aliens after Ripley.
Books have always been even more important to my…hmm…let’s call it “escapery”. I read The Hobbit around age ten or eleven. I got into harder science fiction, oddly enough, through Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series, which (while 100% fantasy after the first book) was based on a scientific expedition crashing on Pern and genetically developing the dragons for later generations. But while I’m a huge fantasy fan, I never read all the D&D books, or the Forgotten Realms series’. While I’m a huge sci-fi fan, I never read the really hard-core space novels. Why? Because they bored the shit out of me. Sigh.
I’m a dabbler. I’m honest about it: I love pieces and parts of all genres and sub-genres, but I’m an expert in none. I’ve read all of Tolkien’s books, not just LOTR and The Hobbit, but the Lost Tales, Silmarillion, the Appendices…but I can’t throw out quotes and get into arguments with people on the accuracy of the books vs the movies. I find space, science, fantasy, anime, games, movies, comics, books – (all aspects of subjects that got me bullied for being a nerd in school) fascinating, but I’m not obsessed with any of them. I started reading my first comic series when I was 36. I don’t know (or care about, really) the differences between the Marvel universe and the Marvel movies. I just like the Marvel characters.
My passion, where I store the most knowledge and put my energy into learning, is Mythology. All mythology, all religions. Even fictional mythologies, like those in games or comics. That makes me somewhat out of place in, say, anime/sci-fi/fantasy conventions or in groups of gamers and cosplayers. I’m at a distinct disadvantage because I’m not an obsessed expert in anything else, just a a casual dabbler with various degrees of random fact recall…which leads to scoffing “you’re not a REAL nerd/gamer/fan/geek” snarky comments.
How fucking tiresome.
In about a year, I’m going to Star Wars Celebration in California. We bought tickets a year ago for this, and we’re going with a group of friends who are possibly MUCH bigger fans than I am. I can get into a “Han shot first” argument with the best of ’em, but I haven’t read all the extended universe material or played all the games. I know every line of all six movies, but I haven’t seen all of the Clone Wars series. I don’t have SW tattoos or know every name of all of the Skywalker line. I expect to be wowed by the level of fandom while I’m there.
Husband and the friends I’m going with are all excited to cosplay, and I’m simply not quite as interested in that. Sure, it’d be fun to dress up, but I’m not willing to spend THOUSANDS on an outfit I’ll wear one time. Ever. (To be fair, I said exactly the same thing about my wedding dress.) And I’m not willing to argue with the “you’re not a REAL fan: that belt/robe/color/boot isn’t accurate” assholes out there, either. Add to that the fact that I’m not crafty, at all (I can barely sew a button back on much less create a costume) and I’m just…blah about the whole thing. I love seeing what people can do in cosplay. I love seeing excellently made, and even beginner made, costumes done by people who are passionate about their art. Because costuming IS art.
I am not an artist.
So I’ll work on losing weight and toning up so I can be some sort of sexy Sith at Celebration for a night, because the three of us planning costumes will have fun together doing it. But I’m planning on bringing comfy clothes to bum around and people watch for most of the convention, because THAT’s the shit I like best. People are fucking fascinating creatures, particularly in a microcosm like a con.
Mythology is ALIVE at a convention: that’s exciting as hell for me. Even if I’m only really able to quietly geek out to myself about it.