Like many geeks, I am not, nor have I ever been, very comfortable in my geeky obsessions. They are hidden away, buried and untalked about. I’m not just talking about my love of movies and science fiction and the occasional computer game. I have secreted away still geekier joys, of which I will not speak.
But let’s say, hypothetically, that I enjoyed something like….model building. Hypothetically.
Today, I went to Pandemonium Books and Games (hypothetically) to buy a model. A lot of gaming shops will also have tables and space available for people to gather and game and have fun. As I stood there, clutching my Tyranid Pyrovore detailed metal cast kit and medium dry brush, I snorted at the kids playing Magic the Gathering and thought, Nerds, before going back to looking for Warlock Purple paint pots.
Now, I know I’m in no position to judge. I have a Spiderman Beanie Baby, an action figure of the Queen from Aliens and an un-assembled Imperial Guard engineseer on my desk. I’m firmly a geek.
But my own unwillingness to admit that this to anyone who I haven’t carefully vetted makes me extremely dismissive of people who I consider geekier than me. And that’s a little bit shameful. I have no right to judge other people’s hobbies. I shouldn’t pretend I’m not one of them and scoff at them and give them odd looks.
At the very least, I’ll take this space to admit my inner geek and to formally apologize to everyone over the past year that I’ve scoffed and snorted at.
Here’s to being more accepting of my own kind.
I’ve never been good at hobbies.
Maybe I should elaborate on that a bit.
I’ve never been good at maintaining hobbies. My attention span doesn’t really allow for it. I’ll become heavily invested in something for several months, burying myself in the minutia of whatever it happens to be. The history, what’s currently going on, facts, figures: whatever information that possibly exists on the subject at hand.
And then I drop it.
There’s no gradual decline in interest. It’s an off and off switch. One moment I care intensely about Care Bear merchandise, the next minute I’m into Dutch zombie manga. It’s sometimes frustrating. I want a hobby! And no, writing doesn’t count as a hobby. And neither does reading. Reading is something everyone should be doing and doesn’t count as a special, niche interest.
I want to hang out with my fellow enthusiasts and wax on and on about the tiny little niggling details about something and loudly harrumph about changes and misconceptions about whatever it is. I want to be one of THOSE people, who always wear t-shirts that loudly proclaim that they’re a part of some geek tribe and whose every other word somehow references that interest.
My last resort, the plan that I consider a desperate measure, is to make up a hobby. My hobby will be to have a fictional hobby. I will spout technobabble at the drop of a hat that pertains to nothing and means just the same! I will reference people who are experts in the field of my unreality! There will be dates and times, key points in the history of my elaborate fiction!
Granted, I will become tired of it after a few months, but, for those few months, I will be the foremost expert in gibberish.