I’ve tried but I can’t go back far enough in my memory to trace my geek roots. I have memories of thoroughly enjoying the Star Wars spoof on Muppet Babies in ways that my friends didn’t, my first recurring nightmare as a child was Gmork from The Neverending Story, and I was fiercely competitive with a boy in my class who cheated his way to a higher level math book than me in elementary school. I’m older than Mario, not as old as Star Wars, and the same age as Raiders of the Lost Ark.
My outing as a geek came during my second year at senior school (eighth grade). I had spent my first year at this new school in relative obscurity. I made a few friends, none especially close, and looked set to be a loner all the way through. Then one day after netball, I heard someone singing, “It’s cold outside, there’s no kind of atmosphere.” I couldn’t resist and had to join in, “I’m all alone more or less,” and then began the duet, “let me fly far away from here, fun, fun fun, in the sun, sun sun.” Thus begin a friendship that would initally define, I believe, the way people began to look at me. A mutual love of Red Dwarf bought my friend Sarah (far left, I’m on the far right) and I together, bought me closer to a circle of friends I would never have known. She gave me confidence, Nirvana, Italian food and my first cigarette, shhh! She never hid anything about who she was, and my tender 12 year old self really took that to heart. No matter what else I was at school, I was always myself, except around certain boys! I proudly carried my Tardis Record bag, kept a William Riker trading card in my wallet and fell in love with the first boy who knew the meaning of life was actually 42. I was never picked on for any of this, I was never ridiculed in a harmful way, though my friends and I lived for sarcasm. My Geek roots bought me friendship and stability, they taught me very early on to just be myself.
By the time I was leaving school my dad had taken away any chance I had of not being a geek, by quitting his then hated job and starting his own business. He began with toy fairs and conventions, moved on to market stalls, then a permanent indoor market booth and finally the store that he is in today. What does he do? Why he sells board games, Star Wars figures, Doctor Who figuirines, Pokemon cards, horror movie paraphanelia, anything geeky that you can buy can be found in his store.
It is because of this venture that I have an original Return of the Jedi photobook full of autographs, including Boba Fett, Peter Mayhew and the first ever autograph from the woman who played the baby Ewok, yes that is a real baby wrapped in fur. It is because of this venture that I got hit on by a convention regular dressed as Batman, previously thought to lean the other way. Who else has been invited back to the batcave for champagne? It is because of this venture that I have an original AT-AT that I am reluctant to let my son near, maybe when he’s 40?
My mum is a saint, she tolerates us with a smile on her face that doesn’t fool me. She is an avid fan of Star Trek, Stargate, Doctor Who and Fringe. She works in the store with him, beating up shoplifters and bossing the owner around. She may not geek out like my Dad and I do but that look on her face when watching Adrian Paul’s Highlanderbetrays more of a raging geek inside her than I think she would admit.
So you see there really was no hope for me, Geek through and through. Wearing my Ewok backpack and Star Trek communicator pin with pride. Now it seems there is no hope for my son. Almost as soon as we found out I was pregnant, my dad walked around the store and pulled one of each of the original Star Wars figures off the shelf, filling in the gaps with newer, mint-condition, figures. They are in storage with the eleven, twelve-inch Doctor Who figurines. The big debate now; does Toby get to take them to college in 16 years or does mommy get to keep them?
1 thought on “Secret Origins of a GeekMom: Sarah Pinault”
Smoking, Sarah? Really? Also, a couple of things you could have mentioned. Your mum would not usually allow me to be in the same room, while she watched Adrian Paul in Highlander. Also, you didn`t mention your supergirl pyjamas. We must have a photo somewhere.
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