I received a number of suggestions for this week’s installment of Me Monday. Some topics were a bit heavier than others. As I just wasn’t feeling like delving into something super heavy, I decided it best to go back to the very basics and discuss why I’m a geek.
Being a geek came naturally to me, I suppose. Both of my parents were “Star Trek” fans who were involved in the Society for Creative Anachronism (aka The SCA). I have some pictures of a toddler me in garb ready to adventure at Pennsic.
See that little person up there? The short one in the dress and hat? That’s me! The brown-haired boy is my brother, Devin.
So, I grew up watching “Star Trek: The Next Generation” with my parents. I can’t remember the date, but I remember that they took us to a Star Trek convention when I was little. I was so pleased as punch when I got to stand up and ask Patrick Stewart a question. I asked him what his least favorite line he’d ever had to deliver was. His answer? “Gods, what a monster!” from David Lynch’s Dune. I wonder if his answer would still be the same today. In 2000, my parents took us to a Highlander convention nearby. It was mostly middle-aged women, a few token gay men, and my family. It was awesome. I had (and still kind of have) a huge crush on Peter Wingfield and he pronounced my name right and it was the best day ever. Okay, at least it was the best day for 16 year-old me.
I came by my geek habits honestly. We always had a computer in the house and I got to play games on said computers. I have fond memories of plugging the game cartridge for the original King’s Quest game into our PC Jr. While we never had a gaming console, I never felt that it made me less of a geek. That didn’t come up until later when my friends were talking about the games they played on their SNES and stuff like that. Still, I was a geek while it wasn’t cool to be so. Perhaps when I was younger, not being considered cool bothered me. I know that I totally feigned adoration for The New Kids on the Block when I was in first grade (it wasn’t until much later that I actually listened to any of their songs) followed by claiming to be a Michael Jackson fan. Then again, who wasn’t a fan of MJ back in the early 90’s?
Still, it never really occurred to me until I was older that perhaps hiding my geek light under the bushel might get me ahead in the social arena. By then, I’d like to say I was comfortable with my identity as a Geek-American. I started playing tabletop role-playing games in middle school and then moved onto LARP in high school. Sure, people made fun of me for what I did, but I had a lot of fun things to do that didn’t involve the mockery of others.
For a good chunk of my life, I’ve adopted a sort of “screw you” attitude when it comes to people making fun of me. I wasn’t always vocal about not caring what other people thought, but the sentiment was always there under the surface. I made friends with people who shared my interests and never looked back. It’s kind of gotten to the point where I’m not sure I have any friends that one would consider “normal.” Not really. We all have our own form of nerd or geek and we’re all pretty happy with that.
Why do I geek? I geek because I shamelessly love “geeky” things. I play computer games, I LARP, I go to midnight showings with my fellow fans, I attend conventions and share my passion and love of nerdy things, and I have a huge collection of nerdy t-shirts. Yep. I geek because that’s always been a part of who I am. I can’t imagine not being geeky. I can’t imagine a life where I wouldn’t be happy spending a day in my pajamas watching “Justice League” on Netflix. Why would I want to?