I didn’t realize how much of a dork I was until I wore my ‘Labyrinth’ t-shirt out in public. Notice I didn’t say ‘bought.’ I kind of thought I was cool when I bought it.
I’d always loved the movie in all its campy, mid-80s glory. I mean, it had puppets and goblins and music and David Bowie dressed in super-tight pants sporting a super-spikey mullet. How could you not love it? And I was so excited when I found the shirt at Hot Topic (Shut up. I was 19.)
Apparently not everyone felt the same. My husband, for example, refused to watch the movie with me and rolled his eyes whenever he saw me in the shirt.
But that’s not what this is about. This is about the plethora of people who would come up to me, giving me a thumbs up! Great SHIRT! Awesome!
All that attention made me uncomfortable, but I couldn’t quite figure out why. See, the type of people who were so enthusiastic about my Bowie-sporting self were ones who I thought I’d have nothing in common with. I thought we weren’t on the same page, weren’t in the same hemisphere interests-wise. Now, I don’t think I’m a snob but there may have been some ideas rolling around about someone playing video games all day and living in their parents’ basement.
But then I thought about it. And I took a good look at these people. Then I took down at my shirt. And I looked back at them.
We were the same.
I’d been in denial my whole life about who I was but I couldn’t do it any longer.
I was a sci-fi nerd.
It all started to make sense. When I was home for summers in college my dad and I had an appointment to watch ‘Dark Shadows’ every morning, and I enjoyed it. For a time I read nothing but vampire books, then Christopher Pike books, which transitioned into Dean Koontz. ‘Independence Day’ was one of my favorite movies, and I could probably watch ‘The Fifth Element’ over and over. (Maybe I already have.) (Maybe I shouldn’t admit that.)
Heck, I’m drooling over ‘The Hobbit’ coming to theaters and I think ‘Cowboys and Aliens’ is going to be amazing.
And so here I am.
At the time I couldn’t deal with what I had discovered about myself, and felt like if I never wore the shirt maybe I could go back to who I thought I was. I put it away for awhile, wanting to wear it but dreading the type of attention it would elicit, and eventually donated it to Goodwill.
In the the years since I've mellowed and come to almost embrace my dorkness, though I don’t readily advertise it.
But man, I sure wish I still had that shirt.