…we shall take on the shop boss!
Yesterday, I took a day out. Call it a day of pampering if you want (I was about 6 months overdue for a decent hair cut) but it was definitely a day to get out. It quickly turned into a day of geeky fun and adventure with some girlfriends. Since both of them are also guild mates of mine in Phoenix from the Ashes, we were promptly asked if we burned anything to the ground during our little outing. Honestly, with the three of us, there was the possibility of that occurring.
There is a store in my hometown that comes highly recommended by many friends and gamers, but not so much by me.
I would love to recommend it. I love the idea of it and I love what it offers.
I don’t like the attitude in there.
This is a store that offers all sorts of wonderful geeky merchandise. If you like Doctor Who, Star Trek, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Firefly, board games, card games…this is a store for you.
Unless you might be a girl. Or so it seems.
My personal experience when I went in resulted in me being followed around by the cashier no more than a foot away from me checking to make sure I wasn’t going to steal anything. No amount of “I really just want to see what you have” would get this person to leave me alone. I get that the Wookies, Yodas, Wands, and Sonic Screwdrivers are very tempting to try to make off with…if you’re a bit of a delinquent or just a punk kid…but personally, I don’t really find breaking the law that appealing.
The invasion of the personal bubble could be overlooked. Even the being followed around. But then there’s the exchange that happens when I do find something that speaks to my geek.
Me: “Oh! Do you happen to know if this is a sticker or a magnet?” /holds up an “Engineered by Firefly” sticker/decal thing
Cashier: “That is from Firefly.”
Me: “Yes. I know. Is it a magnet or a sticker?”
Cashier: “You can clearly see it in the cockpit in Episode blah blah blah when Wash, that’s the pilot, is doing…”
Me: “Uh huh. I just want to know if it’s a magnet or a sticker, I can’t really see the backing and the packaging…”
Cashier: “The FIREFLY is a space ship.”
Me: “Which is why I think it would be great on my car, if it’s a magnet.”
Five minutes later.
Cashier: “It’s a sticker. Not a magnet.”
The looking over my shoulder and the tone of it all made me feel like I shouldn’t be in there. Like I wasn’t welcome. The guy acted like I wouldn’t know a thing about what I was looking at, even though when there was something I was interested in and did know about, it was just pushed to the side.
The guys that continue to tell me about how awesome it is are always a bit shocked when I tell them that story. They’ve never had that problem. They’re always left to their own devices and generally have a great experience.
One of my guild mates had a very similar experience when she went in to check out the hype and ended up walking out in disgust.
Since there isn’t any other place like it in the area, it is honestly the ideal place to pick up anything for our gamer and geek friends for the holidays. We talked about it over dinner with another guild mate who had never been in and decided to give them another shot tonight, with the thought that if we were made to feel like we didn’t belong there, with each other as our back up, we could at least have the courage to say something about it before we left this time.
Three women, a mage, a priest and a druid if you’re curious about our classes, all in their late 20’s early 30’s, squeeing over Doctor Who shirts, dice, Funk Pop figurines (Someone get me Zero and Smaug, stat!), TARDIS USB hubs, board games, and more. The personal bubble was invaded a few times and the college guy’s that were in there getting who knows what turned their heads to stare curiously at us, but the three of us left without that feeling of not being geeky enough for the store.
It’s a small victory and I’ll take it. Along with the awesome gift I found for one of my girlfriend’s back in New York.
If you can’t tell, my friends and I have been talking a lot about being comfortable with yourself and things you like. Letting your Geek Flag Fly I like to say. I find it awesome when I see women in their 60’s say they’re happy grandma’s and love to play World of Warcraft! I hope I’m still an avid gamer at that age! There are plenty of days I kick myself for not checking something out when it’s current, but just because I might be late to the party about some things (Doctor Who is certainly one, Firefly was another) it doesn’t mean I don’t like it any less. Just because someone can’t name every episode of a series, or who each actor is it doesn’t mean they don’t fully enjoy something.
Moral of today’s story, Love of your fandom should never be akin to Penis Envy. When you start comparing your geek to someone else’s and excluding others because you don’t feel they are as “big” about it as you are, you have only succeeded in alienating people from something that you find cool and fun.
That’s not the best way to make friends.
And while it’s natural to feel put off by those people that alienate us, don’t let it stop you from enjoying the things you love. Give it another chance. You’ll find people that you can geek out with together.
If not, you can call my guild mates and I. We’ll bring the geek in force.