I’ve been asked many times through the years how I became the big ole nerd that I am. It has been asked in many ways by many types of people and I choose to believe it is always asked out of jealousy of my awesomeness. I mean, how could anyone not want to be just like me, right? I usually laugh, make a joke, or will reply with my standard response of, “It just happened over time, there was no one thing or event.”
Over the last few days, as I prepared to join this wondrous team known as GeekMom, I’ve been actively thinking about this topic. No easy task for a busy gal with ADHD and a to-do list that would make a lesser person weep, but perhaps highly overdue. Why did I become a geek? Most people I know can attribute their geekiness to someone in their family who is also a geek. They picked up their love of this or their fascination with that by observing loved ones in their passionate undertakings. Alas, there is no one in my immediate family who has the same predilections as I.
How did this happen? I’m going to tell you my story. You tell me yours.
My original manifestation of the symptoms of my condition can be traced back to my childhood. I grew up in rural Ohio. I do not mean I grew up just outside of Cleveland or Columbus with sidewalks and a Starbucks five minutes away, but in one of the most rural counties in the entire state.
Television was comprised of whatever channels we were able to get over-the-air which were ABC, NBC, CBS, and PBS. Later we gained access to an FOX channel bringing that impressive count to five channels. Computers at home were still a very rare occurrence and the only place I came in contact with them was at school from time to time.
There was no library nearby either, no movie theater, no video game stores, etc. Entertainment was something I had to be very creative to find. My first exposure to science fiction was found on PBS. A little show some of you might recall known as Doctor Who. PBS showed reruns of the show and I was hooked from the first moment I saw it. I started watching with the Fifth Doctor, played by Peter Davison. I then began watching Star Trek with my dad and cemented the sci-fi love. I was a bit late to the game with Star Wars, but after watching the first movie on TV when I was about twelve years old, I was 100% in as a fan.
I used to spend a fair amount of my weekends going to flea markets and yard sales with my father. He was a flea market vendor and we’d travel around finding items for cheap we could clean up and sell. There is almost always a box or two of books at every yard sale and they would be something crazy cheap like a nickel each.
At first, I’d ask my dad for money to buy one or two but as I watched him deal with sellers I picked up on an idea. I’d start offering to buy the boxes outright for one or two dollars each. I took them home and no matter how weird they were I read every single one then turned most of them over to my dad to sell.
It was in one of these boxes I uncovered a paperback copy of The Elfstones of Shannara by Terry Brooks. I was blown away by the idea of a world where magic is real, and it started a lifelong love of fantasy that now encompasses my books, games, and television show choices.
At some point, I became an adult and went to college. I have to say it was a major disappointment to me that college was nothing like my favorite movie Real Genius lead me to believe. Where were my fellow geniuses and why were there few shenanigans and not one laser?
It was during this part of my life I picked up on that whole new-fangled computer fad. I adore playing computer games still and have dedicated years of my life to games such as Everquest, Diablo II, World of Warcraft, and Diablo III which is my current ongoing game. I share this particular passion with my 10-year-old son who will spend every waking moment playing games on his computer, Playstation 3, or Wii U if I let him. He talks nonstop to me about Minecraft and Zelda and most of the time I listen. I love seeing such passion. He enjoys comic books, superhero movies, and Scooby-Doo reruns and I enjoy sharing in that with him.
I am very much an introvert, but I love playing tabletop games. I host a regular Dungeons & Dragons group at my house. I have a fairly high-stress job, so when I play games I prefer to relax and just be a player. Our group has a couple brave souls who take turns being Dungeon Master and creating fun worlds for us to play in. I also enjoy board and card games, and within my circle of friends we have quite an impressive collection of games we’ll play when I host board game nights.
I’ve been out of the comic book scene for many years, but I am looking forward to beginning that adventure again with my son. You’ll probably hear and see much more of that over time as I will chronicle his interests and mine as we explore comic books new and old. I tend to enjoy niche comics more than the typical superhero variety and am always looking for suggestions.
My son likes them all but seems to particularly enjoy reading the really old issues of Heathcliff and The Thundercats that his father has passed on to him.
I’m proud of who I was and who I have become and am looking forward to sharing my passions.
I’m excited about the opportunities joining Team GeekMom offers and I hope you enjoy taking the journey with me.
Tell me, what’s your geeky origin?