Okay, I’m ready to admit it. I’m a geek.
There have been times in my (cough) forty something years that I suspected it but, upon further analysis, I didn’t think I fit the bill. No pocket protector, I’m terrible at math and science, and I’m not male. Yes, I’ve always been a little (another cough-moderately) socially awkward and gravitated to sci-fi but really, who hasn’t. It wasn’t as if I had a comic book collection that took three rooms in my house. I didn’t even up level from Pong to Space Invader back in the day. So, I was obsessed with medieval history at an early age and could tell you all of King Henry’s wives by the time I was 15, who couldn’t at that age. So I read my grandmother’s World Book Encyclopedia collection from cover to cover the summer I turned nine. It wasn’t like I was a straight A student. I can’t even spell encyclopedia without a little help from a dictionary (or spell check).
So for decades, I lived a life of denial and called by myself a film buff that prefers sci-fi and fantasy or a history enthusiast. But I wasn’t a geek or a nerd. Yet, for all my protestations, I heard the siren’s call.
I always wanted to attend a comic con and get to meet my heroes of film and television. My bubble quickly burst when I looked into attending THE comic con. Besides the cost to get there, the cost to get in was, well, more than I could afford. Then I realized, there isn’t just one comic con, there are many comic cons scattered throughout the country. So I proceeded to investigate the possibilities of what was available in my neck of the mountains. What did I find? There is no comic con in my neck of the mountains. Serendipitously, however, there was one coming and they were looking for help. Better yet, they needed help with something I knew a little something about. They needed a volunteer coordinator!
So I signed up and I got on board. It quickly became clear. I had found my Island of Misfit Toys, my Serenity, my Cheers, and my Hall of Justice… all at one time. I was welcomed, not just as someone with experience they needed, as a kindred spirit. I belonged. Of course, my friends and family weren’t surprised at all, except maybe at how long it took me to figure it all out (I've always been a late bloomer). But I quickly realized something else.
Being a geek isn’t necessarily about what you’re in to. It’s about a feeling. Recently a rather famous geek said, “No matter what I do with my life, or how successful I am, I will always be a socially awkward penguin inside. That shit runs deep, man.”[i] I realized, no matter how old you get that feeling never really goes away, that sense of loneliness and isolation, but then you stumble upon a group of people that make you feel like you belong, that you have a common purpose. Don’t get me wrong, I have an amazing family and great friends but still something was missing. Part of my identity.
Oh sure, we can get all philosophical about creating our own identity and living outside the box as prescribed by social constructs determined by an artificially developed “they.” But isn't that the paradox? Standing on top of that box and shouting, “I am who I am so deal with it!” can be a lonely place. And so I begin my adventure into self-discovery by bonding with other individuals who stand on top of their boxes and shout instead of trying to live in it. I hope that you come along on the trip, the more the merrier.
I’ve made some interesting discoveries about myself in the last couple of months. One, the aforementioned “I’m a geek.” Two, I’m not a girl and I haven’t been one for many years. It's not like I came into this as a girl and outgrew that; I came into this at forty-six. It seems weird to call myself a geek girl. So, I’m a geek…woman. I hope that understanding gives this blog a unique and interesting perspective along the way. There will be book, television, webisode, and movie reviews, personal observations, what it’s like to work inside a Con, conversations with other geek women in the business, and probably a bunch of stuff that will allow my adult daughters to have a Twitter page about the dumb stuff their mom says. There won’t be zombies, though. Ew, they creep me out.
- My take on the entertainment offerings of the new You Tube channel Geek & Sundry.
- A review of Joss Whedon's Cabin in the Woods