No one who knows me well tends to describe me as ‘normal’. (I talk about murder a lot, okay?) I’m quirky, dark, definitely a little weird, and probably not who you want to invite to a dinner party if you’re trying to impress someone. (Unless that someone is looking to debate the merits of the theory that H. H. Holmes was Jack the Ripper and came to America after his killing spree in London. He wasn’t. There is catalogued proof that Holmes was in the middle of building his murder hotel while Jack was on his reign of terror and… Ahem. But I digress.)
I know what it’s like to have your interests considered strange. And yet, I’m not a true geek. I love geek culture as a concept and as a community, but I’m not a part of it. Because there’s not really anything I love as hard as they do.
I one hundred percent ruined the only role playing game I ever participated in. I knew immediately I’d made a big mistake when the first hour of the game was dedicated to designing our characters. I couldn’t possibly have cared less who my character was.
(But Mel, how could you hate that? Don’t you literally write novels? Yes. I do. And the experiences are not comparable for me. I don’t fill out interview questionnaires for my characters. They arrive fully formed and pissed off in my head, okay?)
It turns out I hate role playing. Or any sort of playing pretend, really. And yes, I sucked every ounce of fun out of the room that night. I know you don’t need me to tell you this, but I wasn’t invited back. Same goes for the one and only murder mystery party I was ever invited to. Total buzzkill.
I also don’t buy into fandoms. I will watch or read a thing, but I never become obsessed with it the way true geeks do. I don’t know why, I just don’t.
For example, I read Harry Potter when it first came out as a child and loved it. But I never felt compelled to figure out what house I belonged to, or wear a gryffindor scarf or buy a bobblehead Hermione. I didn’t need to know what my Patronus was. (This is something I’m grateful for now, as the author turned out to have some wildly problematic opinions.)
I will watch and love movies and TV shows without every decrying myself team so-and-so, or calling a character my boyfriend. My adoration of a story, character or universe will never make its way into my bio, onto my clothes or even to the background of my phone or laptop. Not because I think doing so is wrong or too much, but because my brain doesn’t work that way.
This isn’t to say that I don’t love a lot of stuff, I just don’t feel the need to love it outside of its original medium. My fandom is limited to recommending it to people I love.
It looks like fun though. How enjoyable to immediately recognize your tribe on the street because they’re also wearing a gryffindor scarf or have a tardis keychain. How exciting to exchange that knowing glance when you pull out your wallet covered in manga stickers and make that inside joke with someone you just met knowing full well they’ll not only get it, but find it hilarious.
That’s what I’m jealous of.
Maybe one day I’ll find something I love that hard, but in the meantime I’ll stick to binge watching Lucifer for the eight hundredth time and shoving book series I love down other people’s throats.
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