It was a long dry spell.
Nine years and a couple of months to be exact, and there were lots of reasons for that. But over those nine years, I grew a bit terrified of the idea of being intimate with someone, even though I wanted it very badly at the same time. And when I say intimate I don’t mean in the bedroom (although there was that too, but that’s for another post). I mean letting someone in to see my life, all my crazy hobbies, and all my weird passions.
I have a lot. I crochet and do calligraphy. I’m trying to teach myself the piano. I write a *lot,* and I do a lot of team writing with my best friend in England, which means a whole ton of computer time. But this is all nothing compared to my passions. Boy, I can geek out with the best of them. Some examples:
Les Miserables: The number of times I’ve seen this musical equals the number of years I’ve been alive. I’m now 32. In addition, I can sing the entire show from curtain to curtain. I mean it…all three hours. Test me. Some songs (most songs) I can sing in French. I’ve read the book, the brick of an unabridged edition, half a dozen times, and twice in French. On a slightly more impressive note, I have wangled a backstage tour of the Imperial theater in NYC. When I go to Paris, I try to find all the places in the book. Actually, arguably I studied for a year in Paris due in large part to Les Mis. Basically, if someone in my general vicinity mentions Les Mis, I do something between a squeal and a sigh and then start to talk really fast. I think I really freaked out my principal last year because I practically had a brain aneurysm when he said he was going to see it.
The Chronicles of Narnia: Narnia is one of my first obsessions, an early passion. Before I knew what fan fiction was I was spinning stories about the Pevensies. Now I live and breathe them. I have turned my love for Narnia into a passion project of my own, and write roleplays every single day. Seriously–the number of days I don’t roleplay a year has got to be less than 30. I look for Narnia everywhere, and feel a little prickle of excitement every time I catch. As I type this, I am drinking out of a Voyage of the Dawn Treader movie cup. And a letter opener that is a replica of Peter’s sword sits on my bookcase. And I have action figures in my bedroom…
Shakespeare: I make a habit of memorizing Shakespearean speeches. I love reading his plays. Every year when we get to Julius Caesar, I geek out in front of my students and just start spewing quotations like lava. Seriously–at the moment I can quote probably about 10 speeches off the top of my head. It is pretty sad, because I actually want to. No one ever asks me to. I wonder why.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. I’m a big ol’ geek.
Paradoxically, while I would never in a million years give any of these things up, I’m always afraid to show them. I was watching this show “New Girl” and Zooey Deschanel makes a reference to Lord of the Rings, and the guy who is helping her get guys helpfully said “Why don’t we just bury the Lord of the Rings references in a deep, dark place where no one will find them.” She says, “Except Gollum,” which is funny. Except…that’s what I always think about my passions/ obsessions. I love them, but will anyone ever understand why I love them, or do they in turn make me unlovable…or unfuckable? Seriously–fear.
But as it happens, my paramour is a geek too. He loves Dr. Who to the point where he’ll stop talking to me if it’s on, and he knows more about cricket than any ordinary person should. He has superhuman skills in Rock Band gained through hours of practice, and he has told me about singing in three microphones at once to hit the harmonies, and how he lusts after the pro guitar controller. He has not one, but two Game of Thrones t-shirts. And this is just the tip of his iceberg.
I can’t tell you how attractive I find all this.
I can be my full fledged geeky self, and he won’t think I’m weird. No–instead, he’ll take me to see not just Hamlet, but also Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. He’ll show me his Les Mis record and happily tolerate a half hour of me singing along. In fact, we went to see it in London and during “Master of the House” *he mouthed all the words.* We once had a twenty minute debate on whether Frodo was heroic or not–in which I was right. And at the end, I’m not unfuckable. He *might* even think it’s cute. I’m not sure.
But the point is, I don’t have to hide my geekiness. I can celebrate it. And that is a very auspicious sign.