This weekend my boys begged me to drive them to a local Pokemon tournament at a local comic/collector shop.
Now, I knew what they didn’t; that the tournament would be a micro version of comic con or similar con. They’d never seen or been to anything like it. Nor had I, because my choice for the weekend would’ve been going to the Nationals game or hiking in Rock Creek Park. But life is kind of funny. In high school, it wasn’t so much that I made fun of the kids who were into computers or RPG games, I was just ignorant and too busy playing sports to pay much attention to cliques that weren’t my own. So God has a sense of humor when he gave me two boys who embrace the so-called Geek lifestyle.
As an adult I understand that Geek is just a teen construct we put on kids who didn’t fit into the Beverly Hills 90210 version of high school. I recognize that if you can fill an entire convention center with people of like-minded interests, it ceases to be counter culture, and is the normative lifestyle. But it was hard seeing a bunch of teens that you could tell were counting the seconds until graduation day. I kind of wanted to start a mini breakout session with social skills advice and some personal grooming tips.
We walked into the comic book store and my boys were taken aback. “There’s so many grown-ups here,” my 11 year old whispered to me. He’d expected other elementary aged kids. I was a tad surprised too, but I encouraged them to enter the fray and offer to trade cards.
It took a while, but by the end of the afternoon my boys were chatting with people of all ages because they had this one common interest. They left with promises to be back next week. As for me, I got some story ideas…I think you can count on a NA story set in this “geek” world.