Monday, April 29, 2013

My First Attempt To Be A Better Blogger...

I'm making a face after that heading, because I know KNOW how my life rolls. There is no set time or day when I'll get the chance to blog about life and my take on it. Sometimes I go for weeks or months with my head tucked down, surviving on pure granite determination to get through each second of each minute of each day.

I was at the grocery store the other day, standing in line. As my turn approached, I noticed the cashier and the girl bagging were giggling. "Did you see that tee shirt?" I heard the cashier whisper in a not-so-whispery voice. "I know!" The bagger exclaimed. "I'd take a picture for my boyfriend, but its just too scary." They dissolved into fits of laughter. Then it was my turn to be rung up. They looked at each other and burst into more giggles. "I'm sorry," the cashier said. "Private joke."

I knew they were laughing at me. While it pissed me off, it also brought me back to high school and the pathetic social anxiety I struggled with. I endured so much bullying by the popular girls back then because I was so painfully shy I wouldn't stand up for myself. I'd prefer to forget that high school me existed.

So, the first thing you need to know about me is that I'm a geek. I was born a geek. I will die a geek. I'm happiest that way and I don't give a shit what society says I'm supposed to be. It's taken me 50 years to get to this place. (Okay, I'm 50 and I'm still not sure I'm at that place but I fake it really well most of the time.)

My tee shirt - the tee shirt they were making fun of, I'm assuming because I am 50 years old and had the nerve to be so comfortable wearing it that I didn't even think twice running out to the store in it - is from Ript Apparel, where I buy most of my tee shirts. The design on it is the Death Star from Star Wars, only instead of it being gray, the Death Star is red and white, with a gray band down the middle and its a fucking pokeball! Yes, I was wearing a PokeDeathStar. It is AWESOME.

And yet these two high school age girls managed to make me feel like a ridiculous freak in it.

First of all, I fucking LOVE Star Wars. When it first came out, I was a teenager about their age. I lived in a small rural town with 2 movie theatres. Star Wars was playing at the Paramount Theatre - one of those old cinemas with the huge screen, velvet seats with wooden arms, a balcony, church-like sconces along the walls and gilding everywhere. It was the brass gonads of movie theatres. (It burned down a few years later.)

Annnywayyy.... Star Wars was the first movie I ever saw that spoke to that geek in me. It reached into my soul and captured it. I don't know how many times I saw the movie that summer, but I know it played all summer. We would go for the early showing with our popcorn and soda (they allowed you to bring your own) and stay right through the second showing on Saturdays. I wanted to be Luke Skywalker, Obi Wan and Han Solo, even if I was a girl. I'd always been an avid reader - and loved science fiction books - but to have a story come to life like that? Well, it was magical.

I have loved that movie from the first time I saw it and I still love watching it today. (The old version - not the crapped out, digitally reinvented version.) Han Solo shot first, goddamn it. (Just sayin'.)

Second, I have a kid with Aspergers Syndrome. For those who don't know, Aspies often have specialized interests. My son was big into pokemon from the age of four until he was sixteen. Since he didn't really relate to other kids (in other words, he was bullied/tortured for being different), I had to be his friend in addition to his mother. This meant playing games with him and immersing myself in his world to have conversations with him. I know every fucking pokemon and can probably recite them in order along with their moves from the first gen of pokemon. In fact, I probably know more about pokemon than most pokemon fanatics.

When I saw this shirt, I fell in love. It was my interests wrapped with my son's interests into this beautiful work of art that I can wear whenever I want to. This shirt is so me its not funny. And these two teenage girls reduced it and me to a laughing stock.

I'd like to say I made a comment. I'd like to say I told them to go fuck themselves. But I didn't. I silently stood there - like teenage me would have 35 years ago - and let them laugh at me. I paid for my groceries, refused the bagger's help and raced from the store with embarrassment. And it pisses me off more than you can imagine.