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“There’s a Star Trek convention happening in Baltimore! Want to check it out?” It was 1981. I was a senior in high school. And there was only one Star Trek – the original – back before Piccard, Sisko, Janeway, Archer, and all the movie reboots. There was only that smug, pompous Kirk. Still…I’d been a life-long geekling, and the idea of hanging out in a hotel on Baltimore’s inner harbor with a bunch of trekkies while taking swigs from the flasks hidden in the pockets of our Levi’s jean-jackets was intriguing. Because Boone’s Farm wine is the devil, and because 1981 was decades ago, I don’t have a crystal clear memory of every single moment that night. But I recall having a great time, meeting some interesting people, and learning some new things.
“Dragon Con is this weekend. Are you going this year?” It was 2012, 31 years after my virgin dip into the waters of a sci-fi convention. Life had happened. Two marriages (and subsequent divorces) had happened. Two sons had happened. A move across multiple states happened. Yet, I had nothing to do that weekend, so I grabbed up my youngest son and headed to Atlanta where I discovered 52,000 members of my lost tribe. During my pursuit of a genuine “adult life”, I’d forgotten to embrace that which made me happy as a kid.
I mean, sure, there was my addiction to Xena, Princess Warrior, and the memory of that horrid Toyota Camry station wagon with the ‘Starfleet Academy” decal emblazoned across the entire back window, and my secret wish to one day marry Batman (I’m still holding out hope, actually). But, generally my adult life did not include dressing up in character (epic Halloween celebrations none withstanding), or full immersion / obsession into a fandom.
But it does now. I’ve fully, gleefully, unabashedly, embraced that geek part of my life – the part I forgot about in the process of becoming an adult. I’m buying comic books and collecting DVDs. I play Magic the Gathering. I dance excitedly when I find awesome action figures to add to my collection. My closet has as many costumes as it does career clothes. I figured out late in life that you can always go home to the tribe. But better late than never, right? And to Mr Wayne; If you’re reading this, I’m still waiting. Call me.
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