I’m obsessed with things like post-mortem photography; Ouija boards; classic Hollywood; digital preservation; teenage vampires and basically every shitty TV show or movie made about them; painfully awful movies and the people who make fun of them publicly (with puppets); places where awesome feats of rock and/or roll have taken place (even if I don’t like the band); science fiction about exploring the universe but NOT FUCKING FIGHTING because for real, battle sequences are boring, friendship is rad; Post-Punk and New Wave; pop art; ephemera, obscure history… Trust me, if you are recruiting for your trivia Dream Team, you need me. Also, I feel like I’m writing an online dating profile, but that also kind of ties in.
Sometimes geekery can bleed into the real world. Who am I kidding? Geekery ALWAYS bleeds into the real world. Last week Liz and I were at the Frick (which, seriously, OH MY GOD) and we sneaky-joined a tour group led by a well appointed gentleman who said that the thought of the condensation created by early cooling systems in the main gallery “made (him) dizzy”. As a person with a bit of conservation experience my cockles were thoroughly warmed, and I had to cling to my companion so as not to squeal with delight.
Being a geek means having feelings – so, so many feelings. All the time. All of those feelings can also mean being somewhat vulnerable and… you know… socially awkward. Getting older means an almost morbid sense of urgency when it comes to matters of the heart. You thought this whole “find your lobster” thing would die with adolescence? Think again, asshole. When you’re a sensitive socially awkward weirdo who owns more t-shirts with spaceships on them than you do sensible button downs, you get it. The fear of dying alone is great within me – the fear of meeting The Right Person is greater. Why? THAT’S JUST HOW IT WORKS, I don’t make the rules.
Seriously, it’s like if the TARDIS materialized in my dining room and the Doctor offered the guy across the hall all of time and space without blinking. I have been waiting for this shit my entire life – what if when it finally happens, the other person barely notices? Even worse, what if I don’t notice? What if I’m Harry except for instead of running to Sally on New Year’s Eve, I just go to the batting cage to antagonize pre-teen wiseacres? Could totally happen – geeky obsessions also mean being thoroughly up one’s own ass.
Being a self-designated geek can be a badge of honor. There’s a bit of masochism there as well, a little self-hatred, a dash of fear, a pinch of anxiety. A potent cocktail of “I don’t deserve this” when it comes to companionship. Who will ever love and accept all of the weird and intense feelings I have about Victorian funerary practices, and Conan O’Brien? The idea that such a person exists somewhere out there is almost too much to bear. My fear is that I will someday encounter this person in the wild and will simply prefer to admire them from afar as I do with everything else I am devoted to. This fear seems somewhat realistic since I have thus far settled for partners who have, at the very least tolerated my quirks, but who have not shared in my enthusiasm. You see, losing someone who treats me well but who doesn’t understand the importance of pop culture seems a lot less painful than losing the one who really, really does because I’m so intense and weird about nearly everything.
My best friend the Internet has always told me that I’m not alone, at least when it comes to the whole Victorian funerary practices thing (I mean, there are still Goths out there, so I can sleep easy tonight). If there’s anything I’ve learned about “the thirties” so far, it’s that sometimes this whole “settling down and starting a family” thing means finding an apartment with a lot of wall space to hang my fanart and being highly selective when it comes to choosing friends (as in, BUILDING my own damn family). The stakes may be higher now relationshipwise, but hey, I have my quirky obsessions to pad my fall when the bottom falls out, right?