Thursday, July 26, 2012

Why be a Geek?

I hide it to a degree when in mixed company... at work I cringe when someone points out that they know I collect action figures/comic books/role playing games/PEZ dispensers/geeky graphic tees... I try in smaller ways to let my freak flag fly, or take larger steps like writing this blog...

But wouldn't it be easier to just not be a geek?

Let me tell you all about it, after the jump.

This blog is mainly about Goodwill, and all the great stuff I dig up there, and bring home... but it's a blog about mainstreaming the idea of being "geeky" too. There are lots of us out there, collecting old toys from our childhood, or science fiction accessories,  or hoarding comics as if they were dragon's loot.

Here's a shot of my Toy Story Buddies collection. (No, not one piece of this collection came from Goodwill, but I am posting it because I love it, as I will occasionally do with other things from time to time... and also to help illustrate my point.) I absolutely adore Toy Story, and I adore miniature plastic figures of many different pop culture things. So no brainer. I display this love with pride. 

So why is it that my stomach turns to knots when I know we're having company over, and these will be seen? Because I am a geek for something that most adults are not geeks for. Most adults do not collect a literal army of colorful plastic figures and then arrange them on a primary-colored shelf (my wife caught me painting this and just raised an eyebrow at me and said, "Really?") for all the world to see. 

Wouldn't it just be easier to conform? 

For me, the answer is no I guess. The heart wants what it wants. I don't want to feel guilty for liking what I like. So I keep collecting, and I started this blog... and I hope for a future where geeks can stand proudly before their wives, and God, and everyone and scream: "I love -insert random geekery here- with pride and I don't care who knows about it!!!

So I hope I get some followers on here, and I hope I can be inspiring, and that this blog is fun. I hope I don't sound like an idiot... but I do hope I sound like a geek.

(Actually, the shelf, which was an old bottle tray and some of the wooden letter blocks all came from Goodwill, so I guess I'm fine.)


  1. Your wife sounds like a troll. Sorry man.

  2. First off, my wife is awesome. But I'm sure I don't need to tell you that.
    We just don't always see eye to eye when it comes to my passions, and I get that.

    I use her as an example of people who maybe think I go to far in appreciating toys, books, and other geeky items. But I have no doubt she loves me... And cares and even encourages me in what I enjoy. (She may end up regretting the encouragement when a gift she's picked up for me turns from one item into another obsessive collection... But she still tries and wants me to be happy, whether she totally gets it or not)

    And she's a geek in her own ways too. She loves Buffy, the Doctor, Mulder and Scully, and Harry Potter more than is entirely appropriate. She just doesn't feel the need to burn through fistfuls of money to prove it.

    My wife is in no way a troll. I love her desperately, and always will.

    My mother in law, however... Is the thing trolls look under their beds at night for.

  3. "Most adults do not collect a literal army of colorful plastic figures and then arrange them on a primary-colored shelf".... Really? That's a bummer. And you gotta paint your shelves so the toys "POP!" It's a no brainer.
    Right on for praising your awesome wife!! Anonymous people be talkin smack ;) ....

    1. I sort of have a love/hate relationship with this post.

      Back when I started this blog I was still so self-conscious about my collecting. I was displaying my stuff in the living room of our tiny apartment and there was no "cave" there to keep things in check. It made me happy to look at all that stuff but it made me uncomfortable when anyone else did. I had a love-hate relationship with my collection. Nowadays I'm so much more proud of my geekiness then I was back when I posted this. These days I will admit openly in mixed company that I collect comic books and action figures. I have let a few of my wife's friends in to look at the Cave and received some compliments that made me feel less like I was going to be put on some sort of watch list for serial killers.

      And I think I have this blog (and the people I've met through it) to thank for that confidence. I feel like my being a geeky collector is a badge of pride now. It doesn't define me, but I love it. I've learned a lot in the last year about collecting, and nostalgia, and pop-culture, and really being a little more selective in what I collect (still working on that) and display.

      I'm still not open to the people I work with about this blog. I keep this side of my life private from my professional life, because I know I would never hear the end of it. It's just true. So there's still echoes of the shame I'm sort of subconsciously expressing in this post, even today.

  4. Normally I wouldn't be interested in collecting Toy Story figures, though I love the movies. But the way you have displayed your Toy Story collection, man it looks AWESOME! I want to collect every single one now!

    Also, I like how you spelled PIXAR, pretty clever!

    1. Thanks very much! I love it when a plan comes together, and I just happened to buy a big lot of old letter blocks from Goodwill around the same time as I wanted a cool way to display these.

      Those are mostly Toy Story Buddies from Mattel, and they are almost impossible to find nowadays, so I would recommend you find something else easier to collect, like Ming-Dynasty figurines.

    2. I actually came across a few of those guys at my local Deseret Industries mixed in a grab bag with some TMNT toys. I bought the bag for the turtles and sold the rest at a garage sale. I had the hand-in-the-box, the binocular guy, Jessie, ducky, and a few others. Luckily my dad saw the value of the Toy Story figures and I sold them all to him on the cheap, so they're kicking around somewheres at my childhood home.


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