Confessions of a Geek Mom

I was thinking about dinner out last night with family and some of their friends and it’s occurred to me that I may have an easier time talking to teenage boys than to my peers. I know that sounds super creepy, but hear me out. As I was making conversation, I started asking another couple if they watch Game of Thrones? “No? How about Walking Dead? Supernatural? Gilmore Girls? Doctor Who? You’ve seen The Force Awakens, yes that’s my BB-8 purse. I have a Star Trek Kickstarter going right now too! What’s Kickstarter? Um, well.”

I leaned over to the kids area of the table where my teenage daughter and son and three other teenagers sat and had this unsettling feeling that I have more in common with them than my peers. In fact, I had been on Snapchat singing the Gilmore Girls theme on Friday and sang Finn’s buff baby song (that Marceline saw him sing as a baby “Punch a yo buns!”) on Saturday. (Psst, Finn is from Adventure Time FYI).

This got me to thinking about how I grew up and where I am now, trying to build a business out of journals for conventions. Using my deep fandom passions that have driven me to this point my whole life. Yes, it’s trendy to say you’re a Geek mom now, but the reality is that it’s not always been the case, wasn’t always trendy. And it’s not just since I’ve been a mom. I’ve been awkward my whole life.

Witness:

1970’s

Little Shelley: “How many times have you seen Star Wars? You haven’t? Me? 7 times and the movie theater is all the way in Muncie!”

“Mother where is my ET nightgown?”

“Can I get a land speeder and R2D2 for Christmas?”

“I want to watch the Archie movie again. Where are my Mad Magazines? Can I get this Betty and Veronica digest? I want to name my daughter Veronica so we can call her Ronnie.”

1980’s

“Everyone STOP TALKING! John Taylor is on and it’s the Reflex video!”

“This is the best Bugs Bunny ever made, I know it’s an opera and I still cry every time.”

“When is Watership Down going to be on again? I know I’ve seen it 10 times.”

“Bon Jovi? No, I just bought the new Cure and New Order albums.”

Adult Me

“Sally, Mother, you have to read these new Stephen King Chapter books with me. It’s called the Green Mile and we can all read them at the same time.”

To my sister “When does Order of the Phoenix come out? I’m going to come over and lock myself in your guest bedroom to avoid my family and read it.”

“Have you ever seen Buffy? I didn’t see it when it was on but I stayed up until 3 am watching season 5. I’m a Spike girl all the way.”

“Anyone read Twilight? No? I’m obsessed. New Moon just came out and we have to wait a year before Eclipse. Let’s all go to Forks!” (this was before a movie was even optioned.)

You get the picture. So sometimes I’m not quite fitting in with the other 40 something parents around me, who look at me blankly when I try to find that thing we can relate about. And my kids are working to find their own way in the world, to befriend their own ‘people.’ But I no longer always feel out of place. I meet people all the time who are even more into their thing than even I am. People who are savants of fandom detail and people who are beautifully creative and make gorgeous things.

This all leads me to conclude that I am doing exactly what I should be doing. And to all of the people who may not understand my crazy but love and support me anyway, I deeply appreciate it. So if you see me at a con and want to talk about how SpongeBob was a miracle in the first 4 seasons, I’m all about it! I’ll also do my level best to talk about adult stuff, but I may not be able to quote George Stephanopoulos as well as I can Patrick Star.

 

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Comments (4)

  • Avatar

    Paula

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    Oh Shelley..
    I think the pre-fandom is what made us friends. Thank you for turning me on to the Green Mile and Twilight. As I sit at my desk contemplating my latest obsession, Lazy Egg after celebrating the recent “May the 4th” pseudo holiday…I know why we’re friends. No explanation needed. P.S. the 11th doctor is the hottest. And I still think of the hours we would have spent talking about Sherlock and all things Benedict Cumberbatch. <3

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Shelley Harper

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      Oh P! I totally forgot that you read the Green Mile too! FYI the TENTH DOCTOR is by far the hottest, are you nuts? It’s probably a good thing Benedict wasn’t a thing back then because we would have gotten even less work done in that marketing department. HAHA! I’m off to look up Lazy Egg because I can’t believe I don’t know of it! <3 <3

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Kathy

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    I already knew you were my kind of people, this just confirmed it. But yes, I definitely have an easier time striking up conversations with teens than my contemporaries. Especially when then the teens comment on whatever fandom gear I am sporting.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Shelley Harper

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      Kathy <3! And yes, my purse or a tshirt I'm wearing or talking about anything work related leads to one of two responses: 1. Blank stares. 2. "Oh that's so cool!" Haha!

      Reply

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