Tuesday, September 13, 2011

When We Were Young

As we're taking this Exfanding trip down (geek) memory lane, I'm realizing something that, while not shocking to me, might surprise a few people here.

You see, I wasn't always a geek. No, really. I swear.

I mean, sure, I collected baseball cards as a kid, and yes, I watched both Batman: The Animated Series and the 1990s X-Men cartoon like it was my job.

And, sure, for as long as I can remember I've only ever wanted to be Batman when I eventually grow up.

But I wasn't always such a big dork--I didn't even buy a monthly comic book until 2003. Actually, I wasn't even a little geeky in middle school or high school, and I certainly wasn't geeky through my first couple years of college.

In high school especially, there were so many other things to occupy my mind that I turned a blind eyes towards lots of really cool stuff. Like Buffy, or Freaks and Geeks. Or the 1990s comics explosion and eventual implosion.

I'm very glad to say, however, that I didn't turn a blind eye towards lots of really cool people.

I was friends with plenty of people who had geeky tendencies and geeky hobbies. I was also friends with lots of people who had never heard of Daredevil or Joss Whedon and who didn't care if Han shot first.

See, I was pretty much the definition of a high school jock--I played football for a couple of years and I was the captain of the baseball team. I was even prom king my Junior year, and I came in second my Senior year.

Which was okay because that year I was named homecoming king. I got to dance with the queen and everything.

Stop laughing. I'm not kidding. It really happened. There are photos. And, somewhere, there are trophies.

But I never really saw myself as a jock, and while classmates who didn't know me well may have pegged me as such, anyone who talked to me for even a little while knew better. I didn't hang out in cliques, mostly because cliques are stupid.

I also didn't eat lunch with a set group of people. In fact, most days I'd eat lunch in the offices of the school newspaper, where I held the position of photo editor.

Yep, even in high school I worked through my lunch hour at a desk.

What I'm trying to say here is, back then I wasn't into a lot of the things that I'm into these days, and that's a shame because I missed out on a whole decade's worth of cool stuff.

And I think that's why I wanted to do this series of posts about our fandoms at different periods in our lives.

I've recently been reading Wil Wheaton's memoirs, and those tales of Saturday afternoons in the basement playing D&D somehow managed to make me feel nostalgic for something I'd never experienced.

This blog does that for me--it makes me nostalgic for things I'd never heard of before Nathaniel wrote about them. Hopefully you get something like that out of Exfanding, too.

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I'll be back tomorrow with a mixed bag Waiting for Wednesday, wherein I wrap up our "Remember When" posts with a talk about my emergence into geekdom.

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