My entrance into the Capital Geek Girls has encouraged me to open my eyes to new things. For example, this Saturday I’m going to watch pro-wrestling. Or amateur wrestling. Or whatever it is. I’ve never watched wrestling. I think it’s silly and I don’t care to watch girls in teeny outfits parade around the ring. But at the CGG launch party, I met two lovely people who, it turns out, were wrestlers. Apparently you can take classes at Carleton U. Who knew? So, because they were so sweet, yes, I am going to watch them wrestle. And I’m taking the family. Stepping into new territory.
A few days ago, editor and President and CGG (Capital Geek Girls) extraordinaire, Jordan, sent out an email with our orders. I am to write a post on fun March Break activities for kids (that’s geeky, of course). She sent out another email, asking our opinion on the whole ‘Fake-Geek Girl’ phenomenon.
Now. I had no idea what she was talking about. So yes, I googled it.
It seems that many people (mostly boys – and I call them boys, because ‘real’ men don’t whine), are complaining that too many ‘pretty’ girls are pretending to be geeks so that they can wear costumes to a Comic-Con. That these ‘fake-geek’ girls are only there to get attention from males and females alike. That there is angst and anger that not one of them can answer any of their twelve questions about the amount of teeth Legolas has or which level they accomplished in Portal 3. That these ‘fake-geek’ women were only there for one reason alone. And they were annoyed. Sadly, some ‘real-geek’ women are angry as well. Many of these articles, written mostly by women, felt the need to defend themselves as ‘real-geeks’, by explaining their love for all things geek, by naming video games, comics, shows, etc of things I have never heard of, to show that they are, in fact, real geeks. And how dare anyone call them out on it?
After reading for about twenty-minutes (I am a speed-reader, you know), I became instantly paranoid. I am not a geek. And it occurred to me, that maybe, just maybe, the CGG were trying to tell me something, without being rude. That maybe, I should not be part of the group, because I am not. a. real. geek.
I had a rough night of sleep. Actually, it was only a rough hour because my age and ahem, maturity, has enabled me to easily push paranoid thoughts away and believe that I am awesome, regardless.
So this morning I actually woke up early (6:30) because I was so fired up over this. So here it is.
I am a fake-geek.
And I’m proud of it.
I will not defend myself and say that I was a geek in high school. Because I wasn’t. I was the quiet, yet seemingly-confident drama student who wrote in her poetry book. Sure we had Intellivision at home, but it didn’t bother me if I couldn’t play it. We eventually got a Commodore 128, and playing Super Mario always startled me because by the time the screen would slide to the left, exposing the next one, a scary monster would pop out and I’d spill my popcorn. I read Sweet Valley High and Harlequin Romance when I was bored. I sucked at sports. I dated a lot of boys, because I honestly didn’t know what else to do with them. They were filling a need in my heart, that turns out, they didn’t need to fill. I was not the cool girl because I didn’t like drinking and I refused to have sex. I didn’t attend many parties, and when I did, I was tongue-tied because frankly, I suck at conversation, unless it’s deep.
I could care less about superheroes. My comic book stack is approximately 32 Archie’s that I rotate through. I play trivia games about food. I don’t play cards because hubby isn’t interested. I can’t remember anyone’s name in the Lord of the Rings movies, and I’ve only seen them once. I can’t watch Dr. Who, Sherlock, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, Walking Dead – because they terrify me. I have an over-active imagination. I’m sure they are great. I’m sure they have amazing storylines. But if anything has a creepy face from space or hell, forget it. If there is a movie scene that involves children being beaten, women being raped, or a lot of gore.. no thanks. I enjoyed Ironman (except where he was tortured), Batman (I prefer Michael Keaton – less scary), I cried at the end of Captain America and preferred the cinematography because it didn’t have any blood or people being decapitated.
I don’t play video games. We have had our Wii for about 4 years, and when I do play (maybe once every four months?) we play the Lego games. Because there isn’t any blood, no one dies permanently, and I love the sound of bits falling to the ground. I did play Dune on my IBM for nine months straight when I was pregnant, but I had to have all the cheats so that the bad guys wouldn’t scare me. It was a comfort knowing I wouldn’t die. The board games I play are Monopoly, Battleship and Checkers.
Last May, my long-time friend, Rob, allowed me to sell t-shirts at the Ottawa Comic-Con. I was so excited. I do love wearing costumes. A lot. So much that my wedding was a costume wedding. Rob was kind enough to show up in tops and tails, with bunny ears. My favourite costume of all time was when I dressed as a mad-fairy one Hallowe’en. So I found a lame costume, dressed up and ogled every single person/character that came through. I’m sure everyone thought I was an idiot because they’d ask for a Delak t-shirt and I had no idea what they were talking about, but I still enjoyed myself. Sure a few photos were taken, but I had fun. Because everyone else was having fun. I marvelled over the artistry of illustrators and their hard work. I laughed at funny toys and I shrugged at ones I didn’t get. I didn’t even venture into the ‘gaming room’ because frankly, the board games terrified me.
I am a fake geek.
My deep passions involve writing, reading, gardening… and loving on my boys. My boys are everything to me. So I make the effort to understand the comic books that he’s reading, the level he achieved in Lego Star Wars, in understanding how Darth is actually a good guy. But I also push a lot of classic literature on him because when he’s a teenager, he may not appreciate the beauty in ‘the Secret Garden’ or the silliness of ‘Alice in Wonderland’. If I ever had copious amounts of time, would I do something ‘real-geek’? No. I’d probably tuck into a novel or force myself to edit my novel so I can get the darn thing published. But would I try a board game? Well, yeah, of course I would. But someone has to teach me.
See, I think what these ‘real-geeks’ are complaining about, is that they finally have a place to categorize themselves. And yes, right now, it’s super-cool being a geek. And unfortunately, that makes some of them arrogant to the point of intolerance.
I was very surprised when Jordan accepted my application to write for the awesome CGG. She asked all these hard questions like, why are you a geek? I didn’t have any answers for her. Maybe she accepted me on good faith because she knows Rob extremely well. Maybe she took me up on my offer to be the newbie because my son loves superheroes and Star Wars and Harry Potter etc. and I can explain the basics to other newbies. And maybe I will never be asked to write an opinion piece because I don’t have an opinion on what you are all talking about, because I have no idea what you are all talking about. But what I can tell in the CGG, is that they aren’t just girls who are ‘real-geeks’. They are a tolerant girl group, who invite, welcome and encourage the ‘fakes’ into their world, to see if it peaks their interest, and then educate them on their passions.
Because isn’t that what it is all about? Just because you were shut-out or bullied in school, doesn’t mean you should be a bully to people who don’t understand you. Especially to those who want to join. So a bunch of pretty girls enjoy wearing costumes and want attention. Guess what? They do that at the bar too. And at Hallowe-en. And college parties. But the fact that they were brave enough to enter into unchartered territory of flashing droids, Darth Vader purses and scary dead things that come back to life, doesn’t that offer them a chance to see if perhaps, your passions could one day be theirs?
They paid 80$ a ticket to join.
Just like you.