I was birthed into a rather eclectic family. When my hippie mom and my straight-laced, pocket protector wearing father saw each other for the first time, it was love. (Who wouldn’t absolutely adore either of them anyway?! They are two of the most fantastic people on the planet.)
It was only Serendipity these two Splendids would meet each other, fall in love and make a handful of delightfully awkward Smartie Pants who ran around sucking on real licorice root and smelling like patchouli. Well, actually, Mom hated patchouli but she did love her iced raspberry leaf tea which smelled herby and sweet…and looked suspiciously similar to weed when delivered in it’s one pound paper bag.
The point is, I grew up surrounded by people who had a deep, abiding love for all things Sci-Fi. Our home was one with a VHS collection consisting mostly of American B rated movies. We gathered together weekly to watch Battle Star Gallatica, V, and Star Trek. I distinctly remember driving home from ‘Return of the Jedi’ while my mom gloated about how ‘she knew Luke and Leia were brother and sister.
While the family was immersed in deep plot discussion, I was still weirded out that Skywalker and Organa kissed.
Let’s be real about Star Trek too. There is an entire generation of children with a debilitating fear of earwigs thanks to ‘The Wrath of Kahn”. Not to mention, thousands of children who went into Marine Biology for the soul purpose of saving the whales so William Shatner would not come back from the future. Okay, I will admit, there was a time when it didn’t matter that Johhny Depp and I shared the same birthday because well, who needed Johnny when I had Will Wheaton?
Then there were those nights when my dad would be standing at the television, flipping through the channels. Sometimes, he would pause to watch ‘Dr. Who’. It was in the moment he sat down that I knew I must vacate the room post-haste. The very sound of the title sequence would ensure my dreams would be plagued with nightmares of gigantic blue shoe boxes dropping from the sky, into my room with some old guy ready to jump out at any moment.
It was all very terrifying.
I would have much rather watched J.E.M. or Punky Brewster or better yet, locked myself in my room, blankets barricading me from that big blue box, and playing with my Barbies.
Eventually, I grew up.
I got married and moved away from home. I married a man who introduced me to ‘The Princess Bride” and “Les Miserable”. He grew up primarily in Europe and had a deep appreciation for all things British. I thought he was very dignified and refined.
One night, I was chatting with my parents over the phone when they proudly and excitedly informed me they were going to Comic Con. What the heck was that? When they told me, I was mortified. These people were grown-ups! I got off the phone completely flabbergasted. Anxious for validation, I reported the scandalous information to my husband. I expected a ‘Whoa! That’s insane! Why would they do something so ridiculous?!’ What I got was something like, “Cool! Do they have an extra ticket?!”
It’s not like I shouldn’t have known. One of the sweetest little nothings He-Man has ever whispered in my ear was, “When we have a little boy, let’s name him Anakin.”
It has taken me years to accept that I am, indeed, immersed in the life of Sci-Fi geekdom. I always have been. Surprisingly, I’m becoming more and more okay with it. So much so that earlier this year, He-Man cautiously expressed that he wanted me to watch Dr. Who with him.
It took weeks, but I finally relented.
As it turns out, the great big shoe box isn’t a shoe box after all! It’s a police box, well actually a TARDIS (whatever that means) disguised as a police box. AND the Doctor isn’t actually a really old guy. It’s Destro from the movie ‘G.I. Joe (Yes, it was required that I watch the movie, seeing as how I grew up with four brothers in the 80’s)…but actually, he’s not Destro. He’s Barty Crouch…who I’m a bit suspicious of. That Rose Tyler girl ought to be careful since he totally killed his father AND because she is obviously falling in love with him in spite of his REALLY dysfunctional familial history. And what’s with the pool?
X-wings, Y-wings and those freaky Daleks are all in a dictionary I’ve refused to read all my life until now. There’s a lot I don’t know. But the journey I thought I was beginning a few months ago has really been one I’ve been on all along. And it’s not so bad, with the exception of one really bad day at Comic Con.
I’ve often heard the world of Sci-Fi fandom referred to as ‘the Dorkside’. I used to think that was really clever. That is, until I realized that a lot of my Sci-Fi loving friends aren’t dorks at all. In fact, according to dictionary.com, a ‘dork’ means an “out-of-touch person who tends to look odd or behave ridiculously around others”. Nope, that doesn’t describe them AT ALL. Actually, it kinda describes…well, me.
Huh. How ’bout that.
I guess in reality, my journey from the dorkside is nearly complete.