Friday, June 26, 2015

Geekdom: A Love Story

     When I was four and half years old, my dad decided to go to the movies. I begged him to take me. I got up on the couch, so I'd be taller, and I pleaded. He told me that I was too young, and that the movie he was going to see might scare me. I wouldn't have it. I loved to go to the movies with my dad. He took me to see the best movies. I'm pretty sure I even broke down into tears. I needed to go. I didn't care what the movie was just as long as I got to go with my dad. He finally relented.

     That was the night I went to see E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. That was the night that I became a fan. I saw the movie a couple more times in the theatre. My Halloween costume that year was E.T. I quoted the movie. My uncle gave me an E.T. playset that year for Christmas.

     But the harsh reality of sexism in the geek world was soon to become the bane of my existence. In high school, I dated a gamer boy who dumped me to spent more time with his gaming buddies. When I would hang out with geek guys and try to join their discussions of all things nerdy, more often than not I would be ignored. Sometimes, the guys would just be downright mean to me, letting me know that they thought my opinions and theories had no worth. I let it get to me. Even my own husband wasn't too much better. I had to beat him in Star Wars trivia (the only person to acheive this feat) before he would believe that I knew what I was talking about. And don't get me started on gaming with the guys. I usually got so tired of being ignored that I was ready to turn my weapon on my party. I would end up muttering passive-aggressive things while Ray ran the game without paying attention to any of my previous ideas and agreeing with any guy who thought my in-game ideas were stupid. I was only able to tolerate playing with him when other girls were in our gaming group as well. It changed the dynamic enough that I didn't feel like clobbering him with his own Dungeon Master's Guide.

     Now I'm a mom of a geek girl, and I don't want her to have to deal with this, but I'm afraid that she will. The only thing I can do is arm with with a confidence that will allow her to not let these types get to her. I also want her to be healthier than me.

     I was a sick kid, and once I got married and gaming on  regular basis, it wasn't unheard of the just pig out on a bunch of junk food around the gaming table where chips, cookies, and soda were plentiful, and even sometimes used as a bribe to curry favor from the game master. Now that our family has gone Paleo, we need to update our game night foods. I want my kids to have fun and be themselves, but to find healthy ways to do so, and I want to look good myself. I love cosplay, but for several years, the thought of cosplay just makes me sad. I no longer like the way I look. So getting healthy and looking better are big on my priority list.

     I want to start this blog to explore all the things I love, to have a place to work on getting over my own shyness and social anxiety as a geek girl, and a place where I can explore a way to have fun in a healthier way. It will also be where Ray and I will post our fan fiction version of the Star Wars saga we're calling Fire the Canon. I'm really looking forward to this. We've really been having fun working on this together. I don't want this to be a place where I prove women's place in the Geekoverse. I realize that there are trolls out there who will never change their paradigm, no matter what, I don't have time to deal with them. I have three blogs, three kids, and a full time job. I just want a place to be myself.