Monday, March 6, 2017

I Like Kid Stuff (And I Cannot Lie)

Something happened a few weeks back while John and I were at the doctor's office - just a casual drive-by conversation, really - but I keep coming back to it, turning it over in my mind.

We were there to get John's stitches out, so to keep him distracted (and ideally, conscious) I was talking to/at him about Moana. The nurse looked up at one point, so I asked if she'd seen it.

"No," she said, bemused.

"Ooh, you should! It's gorgeous, and funny, and the music is really catchy. We've already seen it twice in the theater."

She'd been looking at me kind of strangely, but at this her face cleared.

"Oh!" she said, "That answers my next question, then; you obviously have kids." And she smiled and nodded sort of knowingly at us, like she'd just correctly guessed how many jelly beans were in my crazy jar.

"Uh... no," I said, and she looked alarmed, so I laughed SUPER awkwardly, and for some reason that didn't help, so long story short, thank goodness John only had six stitches to take out.

Again, no big deal, but I keep coming back to that look on the nurse's face. I've seen that look a lot. It's the look you get from people who want to know why anyone without kids would want to vacation at Disney World, or go to a science fiction convention, or wear costumes when it's not Halloween. It's the look you might get - you know, hypothetically - from your in-laws when they find rayguns on display in your living room. It's the amused, confused, and slightly scandalized look of an adult judging another adult for not being adulty enough. (And yes I just made up the word "adulty." WHAT.)



Years ago John and I were at a party with a bunch of people we didn't know, and as I enthusiastically described my latest cosplay to a small sea of furrowed brows, the hostess quite literally - I am not making this up - patted me on the head and said, "Awww." I mean, I get that I'm short and adorable and all, but this came across more... pitying? I think?

So I've been thinking about what separates "adult" entertainment from Kid Stuff. Because I think we can agree it's the "Kid Stuff" that gets us judged, right? If John likes My Little Pony, then that's bad, because it's "for kids" and he should only like shows made for people his own age.

This? Oh, just a random shelf in John's man cave...

But what's the difference between, say, MLP and CSI? What's the difference between a movie rated G and a movie rated R? Assuming the story meets a certain intellectual standard, of course, then I'd say the only real differences are language, sex, violence, and "adult themes" like drugs.

Let's go back to Moana, since I like talking about it. Moana's story is no less complex or emotional or action-packed for being rated G. It's beautiful and hopeful and funny, and it tells a great story. Why should those things only be for kids? And why should we, as adults, be embarrassed for liking those things?

I hear a lot of parents admitting - with guilty smiles - how much they enjoy some of their kids' favorite shows. I often think how sad it is that we feel we need kids as an excuse to watch those shows, to listen to that music, to go to that play or theme park or ren fair or what-have-you. 'Cuz you guys, we're adults. We get to choose now. We get to watch what we want, go where we want, and within the confines of laws and common sense, DO what we want.

 Like so.

I was a pretty serious kid growing up, and as a teen all I wanted was to impress the adults around me. To BE an adult. I was never outrageous or silly or spontaneous. I was careful. Well-spoken. Well-behaved. As a teen I dressed like a soccer mom and sat in my room cross-stitching or reading Star Trek books for fun. And all of that is fine, but now that I am an adult, I've learned how incredibly healthy it is to live a little more out loud. To be a little childish. To be silly and colorful and exuberant, to remember to laugh and not take life so gosh darn seriously. I'm serious enough by nature - too serious, even. Depression runs in my family, as does workaholism and a serious case of overthinkingitus. So I need Disney. I need cosplay. I need steampunk and conventions and Star Trek and friends who'll argue Harry Potter with me and glittery rainbow sneakers. I need all of that to keep me from falling down dark holes, from hardening into a boring, joy-less, perfectly perfunctory "adult."

So whether you need it or not, whether you're fighting hard battles or just frolicking in the beautiful absurdity of life, don't let people poo-poo your passions, peeps. Don't let adultier adults make you feel less adulty.  Wear that mashup t-shirt, go to that concert, watch that cartoon, do that thing. Be a little silly. Try something new. Ask a kid what their favorite show or movie is, then go watch it.

And when you're not doing things you love - when you're at work or the grocery store of the doctor's office, don't be afraid to talk about those things. Sure, you'll get odd looks. Yes, people will laugh. But you know what? You'll also introduce some sad, stodgy people to a vastly more fun way of life.

NI!

John and I are the weird ones in a lot of our circles, and we're OK with that. Our chiropractor may still shake his head at us, but I think he likes seeing pictures of our latest costumes - and now his receptionist asks us about cons and what we thought of Star Wars. The cashiers at JoAnn's ask what geekery we're up to, and the ones at the grocery store like figuring out our mash-up t-shirts. My parents love steampunk and my in-laws regard it with deep suspicion, though "some of the antiques are nice."

Our neighbors, of course, still think we're nuts.



Still, maybe that nurse will go rent Moana this month, and maybe the next time we see her she'll be singing "I'm so SHINE-AY!"

And then I can totally sing back, "YOU'RE WELCOME!"



Right, your turn: 

What's your favorite random encounter introducing a stranger to one of your geeky passions?
Funniest conversation? Most awkward misunderstanding? Have you actually converted anyone to Geek Life? This is a safe space, so c'mon, SHARE.

220 comments:

  1. So, I see no difference between us loving and "geeking" out over shows, movies, etc and other people getting crazy about the Super Bowl or World Series.

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    1. Yes, this! Why is it acceptable, and expected even, for adults to wear clothing covered in logos and paint their faces and wait in line for hours and travel across the country, and pay lots of money when it's sports, but not for geeky pleasures?

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    2. I definitely agree.
      This reminds me a Sheldon comic that compares fantasy football to D&D: http://www.sheldoncomics.com/archive/090911.html

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  2. I made my boyfriend watch Star Trek: The Next Generation. And then he watched Voyager voluntarily.

    It was AWESOME.

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  3. I've never understood the need to make someone, ANYONE feel badly about their passions. I am 41 years of age, I still collect comics, I have comic and Disney art. I dress up for conventions and Halloween, I take joy in browsing toy stores, I do Lego, I play video games, I watch cartoons AND I watch period dramas and CSI type shows. I also read books from non-fiction to fluff. I have kids, but often will go to "kids" movies for date night with my husband. If someone judges me for this, I feel sorry for them, because life is too short. Enjoy what you enjoy, but seriously do not think yourself superior because you don't like "kid's stuff". Also, be sure things ARE for kids.... too many kids at Logan this weekend.

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    1. There WERE. I found that movie disturbing on so many levels. It was good, but I can't say I really LIKED it.

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    2. For me it was perfection. It was Wolverine, Logan... James as I've always felt they were afraid to present him. It is NOT for everyone, but it was the movie I have longed for since they mucked up Origins.

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  4. As a fellow short person, I feel you on that head patting thing. I freaking hate that. I may only be 4'11" and frequently wearing Star Wars shirts, but I am an adult, demmit. You don't pat other adults on the head unless you're intimately involved with them.

    And as an anime fan, I get being judged on your interests. Star Wars is pretty mainstream these days, but most people my age still find anime weird.

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  5. I just don't care what people think...it is odd, but I think I am truly saying the truth when I say that. What they say or think does not matter to me.

    NOW, I do love when I find my people! I loved meeting some of my FOE peeps at a Harry Potter night last week. And I am very much looking forward to meeting more FOE when I am in Orlando (and hopefully Jen & John, too!!). People at work think I am crazy to go to Disney without kids...I don't have kids, so who would I take!? I want to go. I want to eat with Princesses. I want to watch parades and ride rides and spin with Woody & Buzz. Who needs kids to have fun!?!?

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    1. I was ADAMANT about doing Disney without kids at least once. I gushed to my boyfriend (now husband) for 9.5 years about how I didn't want to wait until we had kids. I wanted my magic moment at least once just for myself! It was great. I swear I couldn't speak and was probably glowing when I got to meet Belle. She was so perfect and sweet. I know she's a young woman who I normally would try to mother, but for a moment I was just speechless.

      I also understand the joy of taking kids somewhere. I went to Renfest with my dog and a friend and his kid and didn't like it. Then I took my best friend's 10 yo and her 18 mo old sister and I had a blast. My husband, his father & his step mom were just enough help when I needed it. Since it wasn't a place I really enjoyed that much I got to focus on doing what the 10yo wanted. She had a blast! I got to experience the whole thing through her eyes and I enjoyed it so much more. I realized after I left that I did no shopping for myself and I had enjoyed myself a million times more.

      I think that's why so many people think some of these things are for kids. The crowds are overstimulation probably aren't worth the joy for most adults, but with a kid it gives you a whole new appreciation for something! That was the day I learned to look at things from a new angle. I still do most "kid" stuff for myself though.

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  6. My own father still struggles with the fact that I still build and play with Lego at 35 years. My room is always on the list when he gets ranty about my 'childishness' sometimes. I tune him out and just build bigger!

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  7. I recently bought these: https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71Uo6gXG4AL._UL1500_.jpg and realized there is a UNicorn in there..i may have Squee! at that. I also bought the plus sloth from Wal-Mart when someone mentioned it and i love him. "who is that for?" ME!!!

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  8. One time I was at a group date and I mentioned going to Comic Con (in costume) and the whole group went silent...even my date! Needless to say I did not go on a second date with the guy :D

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  9. I can't recall ever encountering a sea of furrowed brows (awesome phrase btw) except in college when I admitted (GASP) that I actually enjoyed reading and would rather read than many other things. Oh, no, I lie. At work when I start in on how easy it is to conserve paper and reuse office supplies etc. instead of throwing them away. Yep, total sea of furrowed brows as in, "why would we do extra work when we don't pay for this stuff?".

    My mom (76 yrs) and I routinely go and see movies together and the last movie we saw before Hidden Figures was Moana. No shame. We sat up front and enjoyed the heck out of it.

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    1. I have 2 younger sisters and we are all geeks/nerds. And we just never really grew out of Disney. And my mom *loves* Disney, so she still took us to the movies when a new one came out and I was never told I was too old to make a Halloween costume (although at some point I learned to hang back on the sidewalk while my younger sisters collected candy so I wouldn't be *that* teen). Even now that I graduated college years ago, my sisters and mother have seen Frozen and Moana and Fantastic Beasts. So I never really realized it was weird to like kid things as an adult, so now that I am an adult, I just do my thing. My parents are the best, you can't tell me their style was wrong, so Imma be like them.

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  10. I had a hard time learning this myself, I was the "old Soul" kid, the one who could care for the younger kids, be trusted to watch them and act as an older generation expected. I was the kid who fit in in adult conversations while back in my room I'd color in much younger coloring books, or doodle cartoons. Now, who cares. Having pink hair while out with my kids, I may get looks, but meh. I love my hair. Wearing shirts with cartoon versions of characters I like (and yes even cartoon character shirts) and spotting someone else in one, or even seeing a kids face light up at my shirt spotted across a store, those things make it fun. I know that I'm often bubbly about a subject if it's brought up and that raises eyebrows, but I'd rather interact with the people who have fun with it than those who don't. ^_^

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  11. I always say I have to grow older but nothing says I have to grow up. I mean I have a job, pay my bills, and do responsible things so what I do in my free time doesn't matter (as long as it doesn't hurt me or someone else).

    My favorite encounter will always be the people in my life who say "Disney again? Why not go somewhere else lse?" My response is always "A beach again? Why not go somewhere else?" Since they also take the same vacation they just see theirs as being more appropriate because it isn't Disney World.

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  12. I remember being at the hospital getting ready for my first childbirth, when they handed me a paper to sign for her care and she told me she needed a signature by "parent/gaurdian". I remember actually thinking "why do they need my mom's signature?" And then, "ohhhhhh, that's me. Yikes." Adulting is not always all it's cracked up,to be. ��
    Anyway, I adore Disney! I've been once without kids, and am now lobbying hubs to spend our 25th anniversary this fall there.

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    1. Ha! I've done that before, too. "Oh, *I'm* the adult in this situation!"

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  13. I was looking at my Harry Potter books this weekend and wondered why the first 3 were paperback... because Harry Potter was written when I was in my mid-20's and I didn't start reading them until my friend said she was reading them, but by then the first books were already out in paperback. I just thought I was too old to be reading them. I quickly learned they're not just for pre-teens and I happily waited in line at midnight for all of the movies and my brother and I were the only adults in line without our kids at a Harry Potter exhibit at the museum. It was awesome!

    And don't get me started on the reverse judging you get from your kids on liking "kids" stuff. My kids are too young to get Harry Potter but they already roll their eyes when I dress up as Harry Potter for Halloween!

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  14. A very very uptight guy friend of mine begrudgingly admitted that one of his favorite movies is The Little Mermaid. My husband was like - ME TOO! Fast forward a couple years later and he visited Disney World with us and had a blast.

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  15. I love my Harry Potter, my Star Wars, my Doctor Who and my Lilo and Stitch. I also have shelves of items pertaining to them and even rock decals representing them on my car. I'm sure some people look at me funny and my dad likes to tease me, but for the most part people either stay quiet or are excited because someone likes the same thing they do. I get just as many compliments on my Stitch tees as I do on the ones I wear for my favorite band. I've had family tell me they thought I'd grow out of this type of behavior, but this is me and always will be. I'm okay with that.

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  16. I deal with it all the time, I'm a huge Hello Kitty and Neko Atsume fan, and love all things kawaii. And I'm an actual real life cat whisperer. Then I get the double-ding from adultier adults when I am outed for liking kid-cat-stuff and for being an actual cat lady. I'll be first in line to visit the HK Cafe truck when it makes stops in my area this month. No regrets!

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  17. Recently, I started hanging out with three other local women who also vend on the convention circuit with me. When I met them for pizza a couple weeks ago, I said to the hostess, "I'm looking for my friends. One of them has green hair, and the other is probably wearing cat ears." Yesterday, we played mini golf, and next weekend, we're getting together for cartoons and crafts!

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  18. Oh wow, yeah I feel this so much. I collect and play with Blythe dolls, vintage Strawberry Shortcake dolls, MLP, Funkos, and lots more. My living room is half craft room, which is in turn, half toy room. We get some looks sometimes from delivery people lol. My sister and I hid our Blythe dolls for years from our dad & stepmom because we were embarrassed. Now we don't even care lol. I watch Disney/Pixar movies more than anything else. Meet the Robinsons is my comfort movie. I don't have any shame anymore in anything I do/buy/watch. It makes me happy, so what do these people care?

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  19. My mom was my personal hero. She watched cartoons every Saturday. She had season passes to Disney World. Her first at home video game was Pong. She became an expert at the original Mario Brothers and Duck Hunt among others. She also played on the PS2 with Bandicoot. She had a cap covered with pins she collected (I'll post that over at FoE when I have a minute.) The night before she slipped into a coma, high on medicine, she watched Ants and told me through hand signals what was going on in the film accompanied by belly laughs and grins. She was 78. I miss her.

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    1. What an amazing mom! Hugs to you, Shelley.

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  20. Once, while shopping with a friend, I expressed a desire for a fairly expensive Lego set (Hogwarts, I think). My friend was appalled, APPALLED that I wanted to spend that much money on a toy and said, "I think you have too much extra cash." But for me, the fact that she spends $30 dollars on mascara is pure insanity. Which is not to say I think there's anything wrong with liking makeup or whatever. It's more to illustrate that we all have things we like and want to focus on and that should not be fodder for other people's disapproval.

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    1. Grr, that's on par with the always irritating, "You clearly have too much time on your hands." So judgy. Much rage. Very Hulk Smash.

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  21. I just live with my geeky nerdy moments.... screw em... I watched Star Trek first run on tv.....and loved it... I could do Mr Spock's live long and prosper long before many others could...Doctor Who will always be in my heart.. and mid60s me... says screw em if they don't understand.

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  22. I have always, all my life, assumed that everyone is exactly like us on the inside but for some bizarre reason acting all official and "normal" for some unknown reason that I could never figure out. I'm still half convinced of that. But I'm with you, Jen--I kept my head down to blend in when I was actually young, and now my house is full of comic book art and Disney swag.

    The great part about having an actual kid has been the introduction to all kinds of new and awesome shows. I am the parent who talks with SO MUCH ENTHUSIASM about PBS Kids shows (have you seen Odd Squad? It's the best!)

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    1. Ooh, I love Odd Squad! It is so great. Astonishingly good kid actors, the lot of them.

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    2. We love Odd Squad. Now that my son is in school all day, sometimes I turn on PBS kids just for me, and feel no shame. :-)

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  23. Are you me? Cos I swear you sound just like me. I was the serious teen, dressing way too adult at a young age. I think part of it had to do with being chubby and outgrowing the kid clothes but my mum had no concept of what would be good for a teen so I got stuff bought for me from the ladies section of sears and stuff like that. Now my wardrobe consists of a weird mix of or topic and Lululemon.
    I was also the kid that did crafts like cross-stitch for fun. Now I'm more into sculptural seed beading.
    I do get the eye roll when I buy a mlp plushie (not familiar with the show but I'm totally a rarity ^.^;) but: there is absolutely nothing wrong kid stuff! Personally I don't look or feel my age (I'm about your age for reference), and I chalk it up to my attitude. I frequently get mistaken for 18-23 (by two bosses now, lmao) and personally I love it.
    So go watch all the Saturday morning cartoons you want.
    You guys are my kind of people :D

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  24. I don't have any fun stories, just my general experience. (Although I did finally get my teenage daughter into Harry Potter after years of resistance - she's a proud Hufflepuff now) I started going to Renn Faires a few years ago, then started wearing costumes to them, and now have a closet with more costumes pieces than muggle-wear. I dyed my hair a fun color (purple-VERY purple) about a month ago for the first time ever. I am 46. I have decided I am not having a mid-life crisis, I am having a second childhood, only this time I have more money and access to alcohol. I spent too much of my life caring what other people think, and I am over it. The Doctor had it right-"There's no point being grown-up if you can't be childish sometimes."

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    1. Yay for purple hair!!! I think that is when I started getting more comfortable being who I truely wanted to be. My hubby pushed me to finally go and get it colored. I started small now the whole underside is blue and purple stripes. I would love to go full purple just once

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    2. "I am not having a mid-life crisis, I am having a second childhood, only this time I have more money and access to alcohol." Can I get that on a t-shirt? Amen!

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    3. I started with one small purple stripe underneath. It's now all purple (multi-shades!) with one teal streak.

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  25. I came to a realization at some point - maybe when I was in my early 30's: You're an adult when you finally realize you don't have to "act" like an adult. When it no longer matters if you love the cartoon Courage the Cowardly Dog, and you admit that to your married friends while you are still single, you've gotten there. I started enjoying adulting when I realized I can do it however I want. I'M the biggest kid in our house, NOT my 15 year old son. I get him hooked on as many animated movies as he does me. And then we get Dad, who seems to still think animated movies means kids movies. Nu uh, dude. I need to make him see Moana, although son doesn't want to see it again - too many feels for him. :) I, however, must own this movie.

    During my 3 years of single life before I met my hubs, I made a point of collecting Disney movies. Home alone, I wasn't about to watch anything to serious or scary. Sadly, I did point out that I had plenty of movies for my niece and nephews to watch when they came over, like I needed to justify it. Now, I ask for them for Christmas. I finally got "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" a couple years ago after asking for it EVERY YEAR for almost 20 years. For my first birthday after we got married, hubs bought me Shrek. Me, no kids. Me.

    Now, I'm at that age where I don't give a hoot what most people think. I love Angry Birds, Frozen, and Zootopia. Son and I can currently recite the lines from both Angry Birds and Zootopia along with each movie, and randomly quote them at each other whenever appropriate. I do love a good action movie with explosions everywhere, but we just saw the Lego Batman movie and I LOVED IT!! There WERE explosions, I suppose...

    Adulting is overrated, and I kinda want to slap the nurse for being a jerk. Also, I want to throat punch whoever patted you on the head. Do NOT patronize my friends. (puff, snort) }:-|

    Love you Jen!!

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  26. related: I HATE it when people talk about "young adult fiction." Why not just call it a book? Or just fiction?

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  27. So I remeber when all the anouncements about phase three of the Marvel movies happened. It was out of the blue and I just checked Twitter that day to get my daily dose of funny/geeky. Suddenly my dash was flooded with pictures and dates and the fact that there was going to be a CAPTAIN MARVEL movie. I was having a hard time containing my sheet glee at the awesomeness of it all. My co-workers thought I was having a stroke. I tried explaining what a big deal it was and they just didn't get it. One of my co-workers went so far as to make fun of me.

    A couple of days later I confronted him about how uncool it was to make fun of me and all he said was "I was just jealous of how passionate you are. I couldn't even get as excited as you about the birth of my daughter. I wish I had it in me to care as much as you do." which both broke my heart and made me feel vastly superior.

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  28. I teach Catholic Sunday School and I often refer to comic books, video games and super hero stories in class to clarify biblical metaphors. At one year end wind up, one of my (pre-teen) students gave me a thank you gift and apologized, saying that she tried to convince her mom (who knew me in other situations as well)to buy me a Nintendo gift card but her mom thought I wouldn't like that. I laughed and said I would have loved that gift too because I could have used in on a particular game. Mom just looked at me and went "really?" as if she was seeing me in a new light (and probably regretting buying me the nice candle set instead of what her daughter suggested).

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  29. I found a bunch of cartoon series at Costco a while back (Darkwing Duck, Duck Tales, Tail Spin, Chip & Dale Rescue Rangers). When I checked out the cashier commented that I must be buying those for my kids, I replied with "No, those are for me" and got 'the look'. Best part is my husband was as excited as me that I bought them!! Those are the shows we grew up watching on TV so why 'must' we have kids to watch them??

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  30. It has taken me so long to get to a point where I can be me. I love sports, geeky stuff, play video games and I am a girl. Being on here and finding a group of friends that let me be me, has been a wonderful thing. I have gotten so many weird looks when i am at a soccer game and I start chanting with the supporter group or yell at the ref. Guess as I women I shouldn't do that. I like more sports then most men. I also love video games and other geeky stuff. I have a horde (world of warcraft) and a pinky pie stickers on my car. I also get some weird looks when people see I have blue & purple section of my hair. I am about to get a tattoo, it will be geeky or fantasy or sports. I can't decide, it is down to the rebel symbol, a couple of dragons or something Seattle Sounders related.

    My inlaws don't understand me or my husband at all. Used to call us the oldest 18 years they knew, because we would rather watch movies then go out.

    I always tell peoole, "I will get older, but I refuse to grow up"

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  31. LOL... Yeah... I get "that" look from everyone - I am 61 - went trick-or-treating as Minnie, at Disneyland. I am over the moon for Guardians of the Galaxy :)

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  32. My best friend and I saw Moana for my 29th birthday. We saw Frozen for my 26th birthday. Next Friday we will be at the theater to see Beauty and the Beast.

    I work at a daycare but I am an outcast there most of the time. I like Jane Austen and old movie musicals. I can tell you where the name Rowan comes from and why a name like Poppy Persephone Peacock is funny besides the obvious. I love Marvel and LOTR and Harry Potter. And I love kid things. I saw Finding Dory in theaters twice, once with the bff, once by myself. I have co-workers who haven't even seen classic Disney, let alone Tangled and The Princess and the Frog. So I've learned to stick to the topics they know and geek out about the things I love at home. Like my new S.T.A.R. Laboratories sweatshirt that literally no one will know where it's from.

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    1. Oh, man, I've really been wanting a STAR Labs shirt since I saw it. Sadly, I have no money (I'm a stay-at-home mom with a farm!), but it makes me so happy to know that you have one!

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  33. We got a babysitter to go see Lego Batman this weekend. I like our version of adulting.

    PS: Moana was AMAZING!

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  34. My boyfriend and I are in ours 30-something, but we love to go to the movies to see all the Disney and animated movies. I think that what let the world know we are still kids is that our dogs are named Wookie and Spock!

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  35. I work at a school (K-8) in the office and relieve teachers for lunch. I am the resident "go-to" geek person. Kids bring action figures in, I know who they are. Pokémon cards? Check. Superhero, Disney, and other t-shirts? Check. Sci-Fi or Fantasy related anything? Check.

    One of our deans walked in one day and said, "There are some who call me...Matt?" I immediately blurted out, "Nice Monty Python reference!". I had to explain Monty Python to the others.

    I remember when I was about 20, my dad used to call me "Peter Pan". My motto is pretty much "You like what you like, and that's cool. I like what I like, and that's cool too. I will grow older, but I will not grow up".

    On a good note, I have gotten several people interested in Steampunk and crafty stuff thanks to this page.

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    1. My grandmother once said to my mother about me "Christina is going to be who she's going to be, and we just have to let her and love her", and they always have, no matter how weird they may think my interests are!

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  36. Years ago, my husband stopped at a store on his way home from work, he purchased Lady and the Tramp on DVD, milk, cookies, and roses, the kind cashier told him how pleased his wife would be that he thought of something to keep the kids busy so we could have a romantic night. We didn't have kids (and wouldn't for another 7 years), all of the items were a surprise for me. I loved it. Some people just don't know what they are missing.

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  37. I don't understand why people have to act like that. So judge. We all have our "things".
    I build dollhouses. The responses are always "who are you building that for?", or "do you sell them?". No! They are MINE! I build them for me.
    I also build Legos (I got the Disney Castle for my birthday and it's awesome!!). That gets some comments too. Why would you spend so much time and money? Well I gotta do something! I don't watch TV or (fill in the blank with things "normal" people do).
    For my 42nd birthday my mama gave me a Hello Kitty themed birthday. Cake, balloons, plates, and everything. A few months later my first grandson was born. I packed my Pac man bag to go visit him.
    Trains, Legos, power tools, kitchen toys, colored converse, I get excited about them all. A person's interests don't have to be linear. How boring would that be?!

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  38. As a doll collector, I have this conversation constantly. "Do you need a gift receipt?" "No, this is for me." *that look* or when people walk into my house and see my dolls and my husbands collectibles, they get the look but MORE. It can get tiring, but my friends and family all get it, to some degree, and my coworkers weirdly love seeing pictures of my collections and cosplays, so, it's all good when strangers think I'm weird.

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  39. In addition to my geeky interests, I collect American Girl dolls. My husband collects 6-inch action figures, so we're a good match, lol. For my birthday this year, we went to American Girl Place so my doll could get her hair done, and then we had lunch at the cafe (which is probably one of the nicest restaurants I've ever eaten at). They have doll-sized chairs that clip onto the table, and doll-sized dishes you can take home as a souvenir. We both thought it was the coolest thing ever. I was a little embarrassed at first, but everyone working there was cool with two adults having a good time and I was able to enjoy myself. If I have kids some day I hope they share my love of dolls but I don't need kids as an excuse to enjoy my hobby.

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    1. That sounds AMAZING. I cut my own hair, but I'd totally go somewhere to have a doll's hair done. And I want pictures of this restaurant! ::wanders off to google::

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  40. Jen, this is literally every interaction with my parents. They have no idea why a 30*mumblecoughsomething*, PhD-having, actual-university-professor-OMG-how-did-that-happen would enjoy... no, ADORE... all the geeky 'childish' things that I love. You know, like Star Wars, comic books, Cartoon Network, superhero movies, D&D, Legos ...*sigh*

    Additionally, were we maybe separated at birth? 'Cause I was a super-serious, totally responsible, 'kid-dult' too. Weird.

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  41. Yes! All this and more! My husband and I are mid 30's, no kids, both with very serious careers,and are very responsible finacially and towards family. Sometimes I think we are too responsible! Yet when I wear one of my (12) de who shirts to a family bbq, or suggest a round of board games, or plan my one day epic trip to universal and Disney in Orlando, our family laughs and suggests we 'grow up'. It makes me sad to think that adulthood can't have any frivolity!!

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  42. Love kid movies, usually more than "adult" movies. Unfortunately, those animated kid movies make me tear up. I need to stop caring if people see me cry at the kid movies.

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  43. This usually happens to me when I go to buy toys for myself. Recently, I went to Toys r Us to buy the retro Strawberry Shortcake dolls, and since I am grownup, I bought one of each style. I didn't have to settle for just one doll like I did when I was a kid...anyway, the woman ringing my sale said, "Oh I used to love these! Your daughter is lucky to be getting them all..."
    I didn't have the nerve to confess and I just nodded. Then I got the heck out of there as fast as I could.

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  44. I'm fortunate to be detached enough from reality (not sure if that's good or bad actually), to not see most people's reactions when I tell them I'm off to Comic Con for my holiday, or that I asked for a sewing machine for Christmas to make costumes. However, the reaction that hurts the most is my father. He's incredibly straight laced, always worked hard for his buck, and then spent it improving his home life, or spending it things that 'make him better then the Jones', which I should be thankful for. Growing up a middle class British girl, I was one of the only girls to go to Disney Florida at all... Never mind three times. However, when I speak to him about the latest Disney film, or about a video game I've been enjoying,I get a reply along the lines of "Don't you think it's time to grow up? Your nearly 30". Yeah, I'm nearly 30, and I'll always adore Disney/comics/black butler/hellsing. Thankfully, my mum is a geek in the making, who adores Walking Dead and Supernatural :3

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  45. I work at a middle school, and I often say the reason I love it so much is because I'm the same age as the kids... in my mind. �� I have a giant minion collection on my desk, and I spend my spare time reading middle grade and YA fiction. It's a good gig.

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  46. When are people going to learn that assuming makes an ass out of them? What does it matter? I hope you punched the person who patted you on the head right in the throat. Not really, but STILL.

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  47. The older I get the more I show my geeky side in public. I know the other parents think I am weird, but I get so many more compliments when I am out shopping about geeky clothes.

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  48. I may have to adult, because of death and taxes and I'm responsible for my life, but I don't have to like it! And I refuse to apologize for my choice of play or story I enjoy.
    I usually ask judgy people what they're enthusiastic about, and if they don't have an answer I smile and wave and sidle away slowly.
    Mark Sheppard once said he doesn't trust someone who is not a fan of something, that stuck with me.

    Jen, John, and all of the tribe, please keep on being your fabulous, geeky, innovative selves - weird people are the best people to talk to!

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  49. My entire family are proud kids at heart. My parents LOVE Disney and we often swap cartoon recommendations with each other. Frankly we find the 'kid stuff' way better than most 'adult things', since kid oriented shows and movies work within limits on what is acceptable, so they must notch up the creativity to achieve similar affects.

    Fun story, my high schoolers were chatting about their childhood cartoons and I commented how the most recent edition of 'Pretty Cure' is dessert themed. One student paused and asked: 'How do you know this Miss. Jones?' to which I responded 'I watch it every Sunday.' Their looks were priceless, so I followed up with 'you are NEVER too old to enjoy cartoons.'

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  50. I've been fortunate enough to grow up in a family of geeks (though somehow I didn't realize the extent of my parents' geekiness until relatively recently). We have fun introducing each other to various fandoms (our tastes vary a bit, but we like a lot of the same things and agree to disagree on the rest). We also have zero shame about liking "kids' stuff": my youngest sister is 26 and will quote VeggieTales at the drop of a hat (if I don't beat her to it).
    Outside of my family, so far I haven't had to deal with people looking at me funny for liking geeky and/or kid's stuff. I have successfully gotten a few people into Doctor Who and the Princess Bride (seeing their reactions when they watch it for the first time never gets old).

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  51. Allicia (Butterfly Princess)March 6, 2017 at 7:12 PM

    I have Star Trek insignia earrings and I frequently get compliments on them. The inside of the insignia has the Live Long and Prosper sign and sometimes people just think the earrings look neat, but my favorite is when people actually know what it is. Makes me feel like part of a super secret club. I previously wore some earrings that were the Mesmer symbol from Guild Wars 2. No one recognized those for what they were, but I still got a lot of compliments on them from strangers. That and I wear a Quaggan hat I made based off the design in Guild Wars. I've never had anyone react poorly toward me wearing it, or if they have I didn't notice. I freely admit I love video games and cartoons and have no shame in who I am. Maybe it's the way I carry myself or the area I live in, but I haven't gotten those looks of pity. Usually I get the enthusiastic responses of "Oh You too?!?"

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  52. I was standing in the elevator at work with an executive VP for my company. I was holding my TARDIS purse and he read out "Police Box?" I laughed and said "I'm a geek and I love Doctor Who." He didn't know what Doctor Who is and clearly wasn't interested in getting into it too much. I make him a little nervous because the last time he asked me a question, he thought he knew the answer and I completely shook him up by adding the concept of cadavers into a business area he didn't know could be related to cadavers. So, I let him off with a "My kids know I love the show and got me this purse for Mother's Day." He relaxed at that explanation.

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  53. My Stitch/BB8 mashup T-shirt gets so many positive comments wherever I where it. It's one of my top 3 favorite shirts. The older I get the more I realize that I get to define what adulting means. I don't need to explain or apologize for the things that I enjoy. And the more that I've accepted these things in my life, the more fun I have. I've been following Epbot all the way since the beginning, and I've take a lot of my cues for letting my geek flag fly from you. If Jen can do it, so can I. Why not let everyone know that I love all things Star Trek, Star Wars, and Disney? It led me to being more open about my geekiness with my college friends, which led to the large and diverse group of geeky friends I have now as a successful, college graduated, real job having, adult.

    I think bottom line, it's your life, you may as well live it enjoying the things that you like.

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  54. I was shocked when the first lego movie came out that so many adults hadn't seen it, because it was a kids movie, even though they loved Legos as a kid. That movie has a much better plot than most adult movies today.

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  55. I got that look when my mom and I went to see the Crimson Peak in theaters from the cashier. I thought it was weird at first but then it hit me, this was the first non-animated kids movie we had come to see at that theater in I have no idea how long. I think they were worried about us actually watching something "age appropriate". XD

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    1. We went to see the lego movie for my then boyfriend's 21st birthday with a group of friends from our college. There were a huge crowd of kids there, and I said to him that I hoped we'd be able to get tickets. The mom in front of me in line said "Oh, don't worry, I don't think you're going to what we're going to."

      Lady, unless you were taking your child to see The Monuments Men, I'm pretty sure we are.

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  56. Moana was a wonderful movie, with gorgeous animation, likeable characters, and well-crafted music! I went to go see it after hearing many great things about it (including your review!), and was not disappointed. It never even occurred to me that some people would think I was "too old" to see it without a child in tow.

    I can't think of too many awkward stories, but I can think of an event that makes me smile: I was talking to the guy (an avid comic book fan) who had introduced me to The Avengers movie a few weeks prior, and we were each working on our own craft projects. At some point in the conversation, I mentioned that I had been reading a really good Hunger Games/Avengers crossover fic recently, and the conversation continued on its merry way. I only realized later that his casual reaction (I think he nodded or agreed that it sounded like a neat premise) was a little unusual in and of itself, that a different person might have shamed me or might have been confused about what crossover fanfiction even was! I feel lucky to know so many people with diverse - and sometimes "nerdy" or "childish" - interests.

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  57. You only have to grow old; you don't have to grow up.

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  58. Jen,

    I understand you completely! I have always been a Star Trek OS fan. I have been the only one in my family. My older cousin got married and I found out a couple of years later that her husband also liked Star Trek and I asked him what movie he had seen. (The latest one was The Voyage Home) He replied "Oh, I don't watch them anymore. I'm married." My reply was "Really?!? I couldn't give up Star Trek for anyone, even my spouse. They would have to accept that idiosyncrasy about me."
    Recently we took a bunch of 15-18 year olds (My husband and work in a Group Home with Adjudicated youth) to see Moana and they fussed about how they were too grown to watch a Disney movie. They enjoyed the music but complained for a long time. I finally stated that you're never too old for Disney.
    It may sound crazy but I still enjoy listening to Blue's Clues like I did when my 21 year old was three.
    I have you and John to thank for helping reawaken those convictions. Until I ran across your blog, I still watched Star Trek but had put most of the other things on hold. After reading about your cosplay and seeing the really cool things that you two make, I decided to bring out the Ghostbuster things and the other items that I had packed away. And I even listen to the video tapes we have of Blue's Clues when the mood strikes. These things make me happy and aren't hurting anyone else so why not?
    You don't need children to continue to enjoy what makes you happy.

    Maureen

    P.S. It was great to see you in Pittsburgh!

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  59. One of my favorite movies from childhood that I still love as an adult is...Follow That Bird. For those that may not know, it is a sesame street movie made during the 80's (showing my age here) about Big Bird being adopted away from sesame street. He runs away in an attempt to get back to sesame street and ends up being kidnapped by a carnival that paints him blue to hide him. That image stayed with me for years and I was so excited when I managed to find that movie on DVD. One of the times when I was watching it I had some friends drop by unexpectedly and they gave me funny looks and asked why I was watching THAT when there obviously weren't any children around. I don't have those friends anymore.

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    1. Follow That Bird is charming. So very charming! I myself have Big Bird Goes To China far too well memorized yet from countless watchings as a child. I was over the moon when I found a DVD copy cheap and, no, I don't have kids. ;-)

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    2. That's so cool! I still need to get Big Bird Goes To China. I still randomly sing one of the songs even though I haven't seen it since I was a kid :)

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  60. C.S. Lewis said: "No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally – and often far more – worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond."

    I read a lot of books and listen to some music that's considered "for kids" (or young adults)--and not because I have kids! But if it's GOOD, then I'm going to embrace it. Being "adult" does not make it appealing to me (as you mentioned, it sometimes just makes it nasty). Being quality, being something that resonates with truth and beauty and brings you closer to who you were meant to be as a human...THAT is what makes it appealing to me.

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    1. CS Lewis is great for quotes relating to the child/adult divide. Here is another one

      “Critics who treat 'adult' as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”

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    2. I'm in love with both these quotes - and that's the first time I've heard that one, Rachel! Perfection.

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    3. I'd like to have that longer C.S. Lewis quotation printed out on cards to give to those who give you "the look." :) And for those people who ask, "Why don't you grow up?" I would want to respond by asking them, "Why?" (because I'm curious). But if I didn't have the time or the inclination to converse, I would reply to that question by saying, "Because life is too short to be passionless."

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  61. My daughter and I laugh when every where you look experts are now touting the benefits of coloring books. I've colored since I was a child and I've never stopped, I'm 61! I always purchase Dover Co. coloring books. I also was the old lady child but I had my coloring to get away to, purple horses and all (which drove my mother crazy because everyone knows horses aren't purple).

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  62. Here here! I haven't cared what people think of my interests for a long time. I do have children, but that doesn't mean that I wouldn't watch MLP or Phineas and Ferb on my own. I bought Star Wars sheets and was excitedly mentioning to someone how pumped I was that I found Star Wars sheets in adult sizes. They told me that 'it's okay, don't be embarrassed' or something like that. I was like, embarrassed? Um, no, I'm excited!

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  63. I do forum-based role-playing (for those of you who don't know, basically collaborative storytelling), and a lot of the time after work, I'll head to a library or a coffee shop for hot chocolate. I actually got to explain forum-based RPs to a barista once, and his response was at first confusion, then he said "cool". (I also got a high-five from a friend when I told her that's what I was writing at the moment.)

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    1. Me, too! It's such a fun concept, and I love doing it, but it's so difficult to tell people about it in person because it's so unknown. I usually go with "I write short stories" or "fan fiction" when I don't have time / energy to explain it fully, but I always feel a little guilty for not just saying what it is.

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    2. I've done this style of RP since college so we're talking better than 15 years here. ;) I love it and have developed a script for explaining it, based on who I'm talking to. Most people react with positive interest because writing is something they can understand and story-telling is a human universal. It especially helps when you frame it as "shared world" story-telling. I forsee an even easier time with GRR Martin's Wildcards series being brought to the screen. THAT was the epitome of shared world story-telling. Swoon.

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  64. I am 26, and as an unattended adult I am not allowed to hang out and read in the teen section of the public library. But I go there to pick out books, because that's where they keep most of the comics, and as I discovered only last year, comics rock. One of the most memorable dates I ever had with my now ex-boyfriend was the day we skipped our (college) classes and went to see Big Hero 6. Our favorite TV show that we discovered together was Dragons: Riders of Berk. I'm shy around strangers so I don't have a lot of stories about them, but there was that time Ex tried to get my mother to watch Fullmetal Alchemist...she's a very accepting mom and we have a great relationship, but her reaction to that had a definite component of patronizing.

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  65. All my life, when I've liked something, I've REALLY liked it. Like, to the point of obsession. I'd always kind of recognized it in myself, but I only figured out why a few years ago. Come to find out, I have Asperger Syndrome. Since that revelation, I've felt more free to like the things I like, as much as I like, no matter what other people may think. Case in point: for Halloween last year, my department (all women) decided we'd all dress up as witches. I got some strange looks when I showed up in jeans and a Slytherin Quidditch shirt, toting a broomstick and a stuffed Hedwig. At the age of 45. :)

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  66. I'm a high school teacher, of history, so I get to share my passions on topics and ideas that I love...many of them are not adult at all and I make it my job to make that okay. I encourage connections between history and pretty much everything from pop culture to physics (a subject so many of my students groan at, but I make connections to it ALL the time in class because it's cool and it explains so much!). And the good news I have is that many, many young people, are far cooler that I was in high school, who find their own spaces to be themselves, who wear things with pride even if no one else loves it, who feel so much more secure than I was at their age.

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  67. I was once told a bit of wisdom I often repeat to myself. "The best thing about being an adult, is that YOU get to decide what that means".

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  68. I found out today I am a legend to my friend at work's 7 year old daughter. She's heard stories about my How to Train Your Dragon wedding invitations and origami bouquet and snitch necklace and thinks it's so cool that an adult likes all the things she likes. Adam Savage says "You are ten year old you's freaking hero" and that felt so true today. Who says you can't have toys at work or Lego in your wedding?

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  69. So, I've really been knitting a lot recently to including teaching a co-worker how to knit. And knitting nerdy things (like Princess Leia buns). And we have knitting lunch where there are three to four of us knitting or crocheting and it's 2-3 PhDs plus a PhD in the making (me) doing it. While on a work trip with one of said co-workers in New Orleans for an industry meeting, two funny things happened around the knitting. First: while at a yarn shop (because I hunt down yarn shops when I travel), I mentioned having to make a bunch of I-cord. At which the shop keeper immediately asked if I was making a brain hat. Yes, yes I am. Second: during the plenary session, co-worker and I whip out and start knitting and discussing knitting before the session begins. Lovely lady a couple of rows in front of us overhears us, moved back to where we are, and starts knitting and talking with us about knitting. Another group of ladies near us notices the knitting and is immediately sorry they didn't bring their knitting, too. We don't work in knitting, we all work in forensics. Knitting is always a great conversation starter, even if the other person doesn't knit. And the rest we geek out with over knitting.

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  70. I have the stodgy judgemental "I'm more adulty than you" inlaws. I call them the "joykillers." Never did anything even remotely spontaneous, or even better, silly. This includes husbot's sisters and their spouses, not just his mom. This makes me even more deliriously happy that my mom and sisters (and of course, husbot) totally cheer me and my daughters on when we enjoy life. Be silly. Go to Cons and cosplay or go play at a theme park. I wish everyone could have a family like mine, because I fear a large portion of the world live like my inlaws. Worried about what the neighbors think, or if what they are wearing is flattering or not. So thank all you fellow Epbotters and our fearless leaders the Yates for giving me a place to be my juvenile goofy geeky self! And BTW, when I turn 50 this spring I may go full on towanda and they won't know what hit them!

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    1. Hooray for the Dead Poets Society reference! 😆❤

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  71. My attitude has always been, who exactly do you think is making this stuff? Adults, that's who. Not because they are being forced too (they could easily get better paying gigs), but because they genuinely love it! My closest friends are writers and artists and all of them have very diverse tastes. My best friend often drags me to the picture book section when we visit a bookstore, and she writes literary fiction. Another friend of mine asked me to go see Epic with her when it came out, even though we both knew it would probably be a so-so story, because the both of us agreed that the animation looked gorgeous. Art is universal. It should be enjoyed by everyone. Any adult who limits themselves because something is "childish", especially if they are an artist, is missing out on the breadth of stuff that is out there.

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  72. One of my biggest things is the way I dress. I live in Austin, TX, now, and people are super chill, so I don't get questions anymore. But when I lived in a small town in north Texas? People asked me things like, "Is that a costume?" and once when a lady at McD's asked me where I was going and I told her to play rehearsal, she said, "I should have known! You actors and your crazy get-ups!" (I was an insurance agent at the time.) I'm 44 now, and I guess I sometimes dress like... well, like those pictures parents post of their 4-year-old when she dresses herself for preschool. But, for instance, yesterday I really wanted to wear a purple plaid mini-skirt to church. It was a little chilly, so I wore black CuddlDuds leggings under them, and one of my favorite pair of Crocs. Then a turtleneck sleeveless black sweater with an off-white cardigan over it. I felt bouncy and happy and my church doesn't give a flying crap what anyone wears, but I really thought, "People in my old town would definitely roll their eyes." I married a man who is made happy by whimsical dressing and hairstyles, thank God. :D

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  73. Just today I had to explain to someone why I felt it was possible to be "child like" without being "childish". To never lose that sense of wonder and amazement for the world while at the same time realizing you have to adult sometimes. To keep the magic alive inside when you would rather not be doing boring things. I explained how there was nothing quite like the warm glow from inside someone talking about something they loved. How their eyes light up and sparkle when it comes to something they enjoy. That's the kind of thing that carries me through my day and I don't understand how someone could let that warmth and light fade from their lives.

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  74. I live in a really small town and it took me until I was around 50 to feel confident enough to talk to people about all the geeky things I am interested in. I started going to comic cons and truly felt at home for the first time in my life. The strange thing is that once I started opening up about my fandoms a friend I've had since kindergarten said that she too was a big Star Trek fan and had been for years and we had never known that about each other. I called her instantly when I found out that Leonard Nimoy was going to appear at his last convention and we went together to see him speak. It's one of my most treasured memories.
    Having kids was a great excuse for doing "kid" things, but what are you going to do when they grow up? I finally decided that I don't care at all about what anyone else thinks. It's incredibly freeing. Luckily my now adult daughter and I still hang out and enjoy geeky things together and I have new friends who love to go to geek movies and play trivia. (Logan was incredible, even if I did shut my eyes a lot.)
    Anyway, everybody, you be you! And Jen, I am so glad you know this at a way younger age than I did! You said it all beautifully.

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  75. I needed to read this today. I most get odd looks for my love of Miyazaki. I think most people assume it's Japanese and for kids. How can it be good? It's always frustrating when people don't give something a chance just because they are afraid they will seem silly for liking it too.

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  76. "That's the real trouble with the world, too many people grow up" Walt Disney

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  77. My husband has a Cthulhu t-shirt. It says "The most interesting great old one doesn't always drink blood ... but when he does, he drinks it from a human skull with a bendy straw." It is appropriately illustrated.
    He was getting lunch at a Panera when he realized the woman in line next to him was GLARING at him. Like she couldn't decide whether he was actually a practicing satanist or not, and whether to denounce him or exorcise him.
    He could not figure why this random stranger would be so hostile ... till he realized what shirt he was wearing. I think that encounter made it one of his favorite shirts. Though he is a bit more mindful about where he wears it :)

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  78. While briefly living with my aunt, she once came home to find me watching an animated movie. Apparently this worried her, as she later asked my dad if he was concerned that I was still watching cartoons at my age (which I think was 18 or 19 at the time). I think he just kinda laughed and said no. Luckily, my immediate family has no problem with cartoons and other "kid stuff." I think the most recent movie I watched with my parents was Finding Dory, and my dad was the one who chose it.

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  79. My dad once objected to me watching anime and Disney cartoons. He wanted me to watch something that was more mature. I pointed out that the cartoons were more mature than the latest r rated blockbuster smash. I introduced my nephew to Nintendo, he and his brothers now play during the weekend.

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  80. I was also the super serious adult-child for my teen years. (I would read my Star Trek novels at lunch in the bathroom so no one would see me.) I spent my early 20s in a serious relationship during which time, I wasn't me. He wanted a partner that was a toned-down version of me. (Not that he was ever a bad person about this, I want to make that clear. Just that he a quiet person, I wasn't. He was a planner, I enjoy not knowing what I'm doing every minute of a weekend.) When I found myself single at 24, I had a 'now what?' moment and realised that I had spent 4 years trying to be the wrong person. I wasn't going to let it happen again.

    So, yes. My work desk is covered in LEGO. I have framed BSG posters in my hallway and Doctor Who Royal Stamp and Star Trek Canada Post stamps in my living room. I make nerd references in staff meetings. I rewrite song lyrics to discuss what it going on with my friends. I saw LEGO Batman opening day. I've attended Emerald City Comicon multiple times. I wear my comic book high heels when I need a little extra umpf for a presentation. And I know that some people have and still do judge me for my unabashed love of my interests, but I've a) found a lot of people who support that love and/or share it, and b) reached a place where I don't care because I know how soul destroying it is to deny that part of me.

    In an odd way, I will be forever grateful to my ex for breaking my heart.

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  81. I was the geeky girl in high school that everyone laughed at. I love Star Trek, Dr. Who, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, etc. I go to Renn Fests and Comicons, and will take any excuse to wear a costume. I found a t-shirt at Walmart several years ago when I was shopping with my niece and her husband, and had to buy it as I had been saying the caption since I was a teen. "Growing Old is Mandatory. Growing Up is Optional."

    I went to a Sci Fi convention one time, and left the information at home by accident. It was on the opposite side of town where I lived, so I went to the motel where the previous year's convention was at. It was the wrong hotel. There I was, velveteen tunic, leggings, boots and a sword, walking around a hotel with a bunch of what we would now call Muggles. I kept my head up, swaggered a little. I was perfectly normal, THEY were the ones who were weird. Found a payphone, called home, said please give me the address of the hotel off the paperwork on my desk, and found my way to the right hotel. My People were there.

    Joy

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  82. There are so many people on here who I would love to like. It's not always easy to be a fangirl (and certainly harder that being a fanboy). I'm happy to have spawned kids (and by association) nieces who are into the cosplay/fandom/geekorama that I can fully indulge my inclinations.
    Plus, we even brought our mom along into it: https://scontent-sjc2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/14650272_1337799342899572_5206138576453332283_n.jpg?oh=32e7a586aaca3199e1951abc05a6e029&oe=5970831E

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    1. https://scontent-sjc2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/14650272_1337799342899572_5206138576453332283_n.jpg?oh=32e7a586aaca3199e1951abc05a6e029&oe=5970831E
      This is link that leads you to her awesome cosplay

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  83. Sadly, been there, done that. My sister and I (and my husband) loves a lot of things that many consider "for children". There's one toy store my sister and I love to shop at, where they always ask if they should gift wrap what we're buying, and they then always give us a weird look when we say "No, thank you. It's for us". I'm thankful we grew up in a home where we were encouraged to play with whatever we wanted, at any age.

    I'm 30 now, and I never stopped playing with Lego, video games, coloring books, paper dolls or needlework, or stopped watching Disney and animation movies, Cartoon Network, all nerdy things and so on. And I wish I still had all my Barbie's that I gave away when I thought I was bored of them.

    And every time my husband and I go clothes shopping, we're always devastated when we go through the children's departments, since the awesome clothes are not available in adult sizes.

    I'm not really in to decorating with signs, like "Home" etc, but I had to buy one a few years ago that said: "Growing old is inevitable. Growing up is optional" :D.

    It's really the "adult" ones that are missing out, because we are clearly the awesome ones! :D

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  84. I have never been worried about what people thought about me, fortunately. I'm 56 and still the most exciting thing(s) I've ever done was go to the famous NYC Star Trek Conventions in 1975 + 1976 (the '75 one was the second official Star Trek con, ever!) My wonderful mom rented my best friend & me a hotel room there in the Commodore Hotel (mom mostly read books in the room) and she let us 15 & 16 year olds loose in conventions of 10,000 people in NYC!

    We were "Helpers", so we did lots of running around, back stage stuff, and guarding the Stars! These were old-school cons, Stars weren't tired of telling their stories, and you didn't have to pay anyone for an autograph (Shatner was the only "star" who refused to sign autographs - he was still in his "get a life!" stage...).

    They had a "Helper's Party" where we could mingle & chat with everyone - Gene & Majel Roddenberry, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, De Forrest Kelley, James Doohan, Robert Lansing (Gary 7), David Gerrold (Trouble with Tribbles), Issac Asimov, Hal Clement, Jesco von Puttkamer (NASA), etc... Most of the stars were the nicest people, smart & funny, too!

    I met a lot of other cool people, as well, one was author Jacqueline Lichtenberg, who liked my name so much, she asked if I'd mind if she used it in a book. "Fine with me", I thought no more about it. Many years later a librarian said "Did you know your name is in a sci-fi book?" She used my name for the heroine in her "Dreamspy" telepathic space vampire book! ;)

    (Leonard Nimoy didn't come to either of those cons, but I was very fortunate to meet him and have a private interview with him later - I wrote a 'zine, back then...) It was a great experience! The only cool thing I can ever say about my life, still all these years later, & people are usually interested...

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    1. Oh my gosh, I just learned so many cool things about you, Kyllikki! This is amazing! I feel like you should open every conversation with "I have a telepathic space vampire named after me." Best. Ice-breaker. EVER.

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    2. <3 Thanks so much, Jen! You are wonderful! I never thought to use that ice breaker - it does sound good when you say it! I'll try it on my acquaintances that have heard my old Star Trek con stories ;)

      <3 Jen & John - Thanks so much for your hard work entertaining people at Cake Wrecks and making people happy at EPBOT!!! You, two, are national treasures! (& I don't mean a Nicolas Cage movie! ;) )

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  85. This is us! My mother in law asked whether our Baby Groot (in his plant pot) that was displayed on our living room window sill was a real plant....and was very confused by the explanation. Although that's pretty much how she views our whole house/posessions!

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  86. I've always loved cartoons and anime. As an adult, I explain it by saying that I live in reality, so I want my entertainment to be truly escapist.

    I'm definitely grateful for the internet, it makes it much easier to find my tribe. I know the friends I've made there that I'm closest to are the ones that also "weird". Really though, I think we're fine; everyone else needs to loosen up a bit. :)

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  87. Before Child, my husband and I were the two adults waiting in line to take pictures with Wallace and Grommit. I feel like demonstrating that it's not what you love but how you love it is important for our Kiddo.

    My latest obsession has been LEGO Elves. I have a LEGO perpetual calendar at work that I embellish in a new way every month.

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  88. Haha, I just realized that I have that same problem in my life but I have taken a different turn about how to react when people are shaking their head at me: I look at them with pity. You know, the "your life must be so boring" kind of pity. Also I realized that the more enthusiastic I tell about my geeky nerdy side the more people get actually jealous about it. I've had so many friends and strangers listen to me and say then: "I wish I had something that I was so passionate about/ I had time to do that/ I had the courage to do that." I guess attitude is everything! It did take some time to develop that attitude (a lot of work went into excepting myself the way I am). The nice side effect it comes with is that you don't care about what other think of you... That helps when sometimes I do still get the "you're weird" pity look...

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  89. I wanted so badly to be taken seriously as a child. I shunned MLP and would list their conformation faults any time someone asked. After beginning to deal with depression in college I discovered all the joy I had been shutting out. Now I have all the MLP shows memorized. I spend time each day with legos and I just had my first trip to Disney world at 41. I wish I could go back in time and let the younger me know that being taken seriously is over rated.

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    1. Me too! I was such a serious kid. I actually hated Calvin and Hobbes because he didn't like school. Clearly I was Sally.

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  90. Having kids has been fun. Not just because I got to have a "valid" reason to do kiddy stuff, but because I have the magical power to transfer all my interests to my kids - yay! The oldest is now moving on to Hellraiser, Alien-saga and Pulp Fiction, the youngest is yet to see Teletubbies and the middle one is in the glorious age of taking everything in. Which means lots of Star Wars, Ninja Turtles, Lego Batman/Elves/SW, Disney toons and other classic cartoons. I'm doing a pretty good job, I must say. This is my gift to my children. I am hoping they will grow up open-minded, kiddy and dead serious, all in one package. This is the only life we get, so better make it a fun one.

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  91. This is kind of the opposite. I had always wanted to play D&D and those types of games, but never did because teenage years are hard and those kids weren't in my "circle" of friends. I was introduced as an adult to Harn and my GM had me eventually try running my own game of Traveller. I am not made to be a GM, BUT! this in turn lead me to one of my players who ran a D&D group. I finally got to play D&D....even better this said player/GM had a party and it was there I met my now husband.
    So moral of the story...do things that interest you...you never know where the path will take you.

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  92. I remember visiting my dad's family right around my 13th birthday. My (fortunately now ex-)aunt asked what gifts I had gotten. I mentioned a couple of space Lego sets. She got "that look" and asked in a condescending manner wasn't I getting too old for Lego sets? 28 years later, my house is decorated mostly with Lego sets (and Mr Potato Heads) and I bought the Doctor Strange set for myself last weekend. I also coach a FIRST Lego League team, so I get to be "the adult" and teach kids about science and engineering while having fun playing with Lego robots. And, sometimes, I go on vacation to Space Camp. Yes, they have programs for adults and it's even more awesome than you'd imagine it would be!

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    1. you are fantastic.
      that is all.

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    2. Thanks for being an FLL coach! While I do miss those crazy coaching days, we are enjoying the FRC bots now.

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  93. I'm lucky enough to have a decent group of at least reasonably to fully geeky friends. Even my "non-self describing geek" friends love harry potter, disney movies, and one of them is into binge watching sy-fy shows. But most my family just kind of smiles politely when I talk about my costumes I make or the weird stuff we do.

    But I did get my parents into video games! When I was in college I had a DS and I played animal crossing. My mom saw me playing and thought it looked cute, so I let her make a home in my village. She was stealing my DS so much that I ended up getting her a DS and animal crossing for christmas. Then my Dad started stealing HER DS to the point where she went out and bought him his own and animal crossing as well. So on evenings when I was home, we'd a lot of time sit around the TV together, going in and out of each other's villages to sell fruit.

    And now Dad has an XBONE that I got him for Christmas because he likes playing racing games and playing Call of Duty.

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    1. I was just thinking about this as I was reading through comments...why do we associate "geek" to things OTHER people will think is childish? I'm passionate about riding horses and yoga (in addition to Harry Potter and spinning yarn and TNG and other so-called geekdoms), but I'm not a "horse-geek" or "yoga-geek."

      I know people find the word geek empowering and that "geekdoms" create community, but for me (and for many other people I know), it is an alienating term...both when I'm not 'geeky' enough to really be welcomed into the community and when people outside of the community are jerk-faces about my interests.

      Anyway - hooray for friends who do geeky things unabashedly and without labels! Hooray for politely smiling families who play video games. And most of all, Sheri - thanks for letting me take over your post to write about things that I've been thinking a lot about. :^)

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  94. What always amazes me are the people who give me a judgmental look when they find out I'm reading The Lord of the Rings again. I always want to respond with, "Yes, it's fantasy, but let's talk about the themes, and the WWI-inspired storylines, and the life lessons!" But, for every judging adult I meet, I meet at least one appreciative adult. I've had great conversations with so many random strangers, all because of a shared love of something "geeky" or "for children." I was on a flight home from New Orleans about five years ago, and the guy next to me was reading a Star Wars book. I made an enthusiastic comment about it, and we spent the entire flight talking about our Star Wars collections.

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  95. My dad is one of the biggest kids I've ever known, so I've always had an example of "you have to get older, but you don't have to grow up." It took a while for me to get there, but I"m proud to say that at my actually serious job where I'm responsible for real-life things affecting not an insignificant number of people, that I have SW art, legos, a papercraft TARDIS, GotG Funkos, a Marauder's Map, and not one but two large plastic dinosaurs on my desk. My coworkers may look a little askance, but I couldn't care less- I have to be here all day, I'll have things here that make me happy. Only took 31 years to get to this point, I'll be damned if I let someone else's judgement take away my happy place.

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  96. I attended one of Rick Riordan's talks by myself. In a room surrounded by kids and their indulgent parents, I got some looks. Then I won a t-shirt and got major stink eye. I wear that shirt all the time (like right now) and it's started some conversations. It started a conversation with my now favorite cashier at the grocery store. We geek out whenever I see him and it's glorious.

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  97. I always like to remind the folks who tell me cartoons and Disney movies are "for kids" that these things were written, directed, created, and acted by - guess who? - ADULTS. Seriously. That means - guess what? - an ADULT had to sit down and be silly for a while and got paid to make something "for kids". So really, if it's created by an adult, how can it be 100% kiddish? I don't get it. I don't buy it. And I never will.

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  98. My husband literally plays with toys, er *collectibles*, all day for work. So do his friends. I felt what you are saying recently when I subscribed to a monthly sticker subscription by mail. I questioned if I was too old to still love stickers so much but I quickly got over it. I really appreciate the Epbot community and knowing I'm not even close to being alone!

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  99. Years ago, when the movie Elizabeth came out, by then-boyfriend-now-husband and I went to see a movie. It was a 10 o'clock showing on a Friday night, and the several couples in front of us were all purchasing tickets for Elizabeth. As we approached the counter, the guy took one look at us and said, "Elizabeth, right?"
    "Actually, um, Babe, A Pig in the City?" I managed to squeak out. He cast me a sideways glance, but printed out our tickets without a word. I swallowed my pride, took them, thanked him, and we went in.
    And that is how we watched Babe, A Pig in the City (which is fantastic, by the way) all by ourselves in an enormous theatre. Still no regrets.

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    1. :^) Love this story!

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  100. i kind of totally love shocking "normal" people and making them push their boundaries. if they want to live their life according to "norms" that is just fine, but i love showing them that some other things are great fun. yaaaay for opening doors! (one doesn't need to be into everything i am, but dammit, you will respect my right to find great joy in whatever you might have never experienced.)
    when i was in school my mother encouraged me to enjoy what i enjoyed, without regard to what others thought of it. i need to live my life without worrying about how others lived theirs. she often quoted "you can't please *all* of the people *all* of the time."
    mom was also very clear about the difference between childish and childlike. i believe you are john are very childlike (full of innocence and wonder) and not at all childish (bratty). you are both good people with great hearts. it is more than ok to be different from the pack!
    love to you both.

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    1. p.s. i remember buying a house and on moving day, after everyone was gone, i sat on my couch, looking around. as i was staring at my china closet, with big girl fancy stuff inside, i burst into tears. i called my mom sobbing, "I'M AN ADULT! I OWN A HOUSE AND A STUPID CHINA CLOSET! WHAAAAAAAAAA!" what a horrible moment in my life. everyone wants to be an adult and i am over here all oh hell no...

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    2. Did you then proceed to have chocolate cake for dinner, as a grown-up decision, made by a grown-up?

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  101. I don't have many 'kid' things that I like, but...I do love going to Disney World. As an adult. By myself. It's hard to describe in any terms other than 'it's magical' but...it kind of is.

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  102. I, too, have learned to let my geek flag fly. My small inner circle of family and friends get me. That said, I'm so glad there's the Fans of Epbot Facebook page where we can hang out and celebrate the things we love without being judged.

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  103. I've always liked kid's stuff, though I went through a period where it was kept quiet. But, you know, it's more fun to like what you like and to find other people who do too.

    I almost think I would have challenged the nurse..."Why do you think I have to have children to see a Disney movie? Do you have to have a husband to watch an action flick?"

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  104. This reminds me of an old webcomic, Queen of Wands. There's one about eating cake for breakfast, and it basically sums up that whole "I am an adult, so I am choosing, as an adult, to do something not-so-adult."

    It has taken me almost my whole 28 years to finally accept that I just like and prefer animation. I love pretty princessy cartoons, like that ridiculious Princess Genevieve and the Jewel Riders. I always find myself embarrassed to be downloading and playing pretty and silly phone games. But I have finally found a perfect compromise in the flutter game. Sure I'm raising digital moths and butterflies, but there is biology too (I like looking up the scientific names and seeing what they look like in real life).

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  105. My husband is FINALLY coming around to seeing that animated movies aren't just for kids (his favorite is Tarzan). I'll slowly work on the geek thing, maybe once the kids get into it then we'll get him to watch Star Wars. You should check out this guy http://escapeadulthood.com/blog/ He is a comic book artist, but he does speaking engagements and hosts seminars on escaping adulthood. It's great!

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  106. I am known among my 4 nephews as Aunt Lego - proud to wear that title and to know I have more Legos than they do.

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  107. One of my bosses always had this quote hanging up in his office. Apparently it's by George Bernard Shaw. "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." I really think this is true. If we can't allow ourselves to love and get excited about things we do grow old. There are also people who are afraid to break out of the mold in anyway whatsoever, and I think they just live in fear. Fear of not being good enough, or disappointing someone and I don't think that's anyway to live.

    I tell people that the real reason I went into engineering was because I wanted to design and/or fly X-wings. My love for Star Wars came first then the math and science. Full Disclosure: I am a NASA engineer and have designed rockets, and now model how often the astronauts are injured, and what needs to go in the med kit. (More Star Trek style, than Star Wars these days) I got lucky my geeky interests match up really well with my career.

    It's such a integral part of who I am and for someone to just dismiss it as kids stuff is really annoying. Or when I go to buy a set of Percy Jackson books at the bookstore and the clerk asks if its a present. Really New York Times Bestseller list, you have a huge display in the front of the store for the first day it's out and you assume the only ones reading it are kids.

    But my favorite thing is to wear something that's subtly geeky and then wait and see who notices. I have a silver necklace of the Star Wars rebel symbol. I have gotten compliments in meetings on it as a necklace. And then one of the geeky people at the table will look at it, facepalm, and ask the complimenter if they know what it is. Totally awesome, and an easy way to identify fellow geeks.

    I learned a long time ago I can't hide who I am even if it's just because of my job, and interests so I don't try. Some people are put off by that but finding my tribe has made things so much better.

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  108. I am constantly (CONSTANTLY) introducing my coworkers to various and sundry geeky and meme-ilicious things. They all think I'm a little weird, but they are amused and amazed by my quirkiness and allow me to enjoy all things odd.

    As I was reading your post, I started to wonder how many of us who now enjoy "kid" things had messed up childhoods and that's why we allow ourselves the opportunity to take part now. I know for myself, one of the reasons I love Star Wars so very much is because it was one of my escapes and sanity savers when I was a kid. It was also one of the few things that my mother and I actually connected on. Anyone else find that their enjoyment of non-adulty things is directly correlated to their dysfunctional childhood and survival thereof? Like it's my reward for having gone through it and come out the other side (relatively) unscathed.

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  109. I am reminded of the XKCD comic: https://xkcd.com/150/
    "Because we're grown-ups now, and it's our turn to decide what that means."

    As for my personal experiences... Hmm... Bit of a tossup. I have found myself explaining both the Furry fandom and MLP.
    I would say my favorite would be listening to someone at my gaming club talking about what he had heard about furries. Loads of stupid stereotypes and misinformation. I just sat there giving him a grin that can be described as 'patiently bemused'. He prattled on for a bit, then noticed my smirk "... aand crap. You *are* one, aren't you?" I just nodded, then pointed to the three other furries in the room, including the girl he had been awkwardly hitting on for weeks.
    Such amusement.

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  110. Oddly enough, I had these exact same thoughts just this weekend. My 3 children and my 7&1/2 grandchildren (my daughter is pregnant with her first! So excited!)came to celebrate my 50th birthday, and I got exactly what I wanted: a replacement AC/DC cd, a promise from my middle son to take me to the next Transformers movie, a Bon Jovi "Slippery When Wet" T-shirt and a pin that says "I Wanna Rock!".

    Going back in time a bit, I was talking to a new friend and telling her about my love of theme parks and roller-coasters. She was horrified and told me we couldn't do those kind of things anymore because we were in our 40's with grown children and grandchildren, and I thought why can't we? My tastes haven't changed. I still love 80's hair metal, horror stories, legos, X-Men action figures (Beast still sits right next to my computer), and collecting stuffed tigers (not real ones! just toys!)and dragons.

    So I'm going to wear that pin on my new t-shirt while listening to my new cd as loud as I can in my car while driving to that movie! :)

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  111. OMG! Trying to explain fan-fiction to adults. Then trying to explain writing it. Or writing period when you aren't actively attempting to make a living at it.

    Dollhouse miniatures they sort of get, it's semi 'respectable' and been around for a long time.

    But fan-fiction? Nope. I get a lot of looks like they need to back away slowly for fear of contagion.

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    1. Oh yeah, and my 'adult' job is accounting. Talk about hobbies not meshing well with work.

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  112. I didn't choose the geek life. The geek life chose me. More specifically, I started hanging out more with a friend who was super into the geeky things and got me into them too. But I wasn't a child when this happened. I was a full grown adult. As a kid, I just wanted to fit in/blend. Being overweight, I already stood out and I didn't want to be even more weird. I only wish I had opened up to loving what I love sooner.

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  113. I encounter the awkward stares a lot. My S.O. is a scientist (and I don't have many friends) meaning that all social events are a lot of talk about science, beer, outdoor sports (skiing, hiking), real estate and politics. So when someone is being nice and asks me what's going on in my life (and I feel bad about being vague or lying) so I say, "I'm staff at an anime convention and we had our annual meeting yesterday!" or "I'm sewing a new costume!" or "I'm crocheting a character from my favorite fantasy podcast!"... It's definitely a sea of furrowed brows. But I try not to let it get me down and reading blogs like this help!

    I just went on my first trip to Disneyland last weekend(we don't have kids) and it was magic. I cried. I laughed. I spouted a million fun facts to which my fella respectfully listened then laughed at how cute I was. I feel like a new person and I've been floating on a cloud since.

    I will never stop being passionate about any and all things that light that spark within me. I hope that for us all!

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  114. I'm about to spam a bit of CS Lewis:

    "Critics who treat 'adult' as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."


    This is one of my favourite quotes.

    People look at me as childish sometimes, and I used to care. Now I don't. I'll go see Disney On Ice, or animated films as much as I damn please.

    As for an example, for my mother's birthday last year, I took her to Willowbank, a wildlife reserve. My brother scoffed at it, saying that it was childish. Mum loved it, though. We got to play with kea. It was slightly painful, though - my brother used to be a geek, enthusiastic, and fun, but now he's gotten very serious and judgemental :/ But I'll have my fun how I like, no matter how childlike or innocent it is.

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    1. Aww, I somehow missed that this quote had already been posted.

      Oh well, still love it. :D

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  115. Oh my god, I absolutely hate this attitude. I learnt long ago that the people who would judge me for my interests are not people I want in my life. Since then, I started to wear my geeky heart on my actual sleeves - I wore geeky clothing, accessories, displayed them in my room for all to see. Most of my best comments with strangers have some from mutual recognition of each others clothes. The girl I saw wearing the same N7 hoodie as me, the "I like your shirt!" "I like yours, too, I was admiring it from over there!" I had with my Zelda shirt and her Totoro shirt respectively. The older trick-or-treater dressed as Altair who was overjoyed that someone recognised his costume.

    I don't know if it's the assumption that it's for kids that gets people. I normally answer with "It's not for kids, it's for everyone!" but that sounds like I'm implying that things aimed at kids is automatically bad, which isn't the case.

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  116. My husband and I have been married nearly fourteen years without children . . . not by choice. :( Watching "kid" shows and movies is what keeps us feeling young! It lets us connect with the kids in our neighborhood and our nieces and nephews. I love anything to do with Legos, and I have several sets in my office for my students to look at and play with. In particular, my husband and I have a soft spot for Big Hero 6 (it's a no kids/no parents thing).

    I am a chemistry professor, and my husband is naturally soft and squishy, so dressing up as Honey Lemon and Baymax for Halloween was a natural fit. My husband made nearly all the costume parts from scratch - a lot of time, craft foam, paint, and an inflatable suit.

    I started my class that Halloween day like normal, explaining my costume to the students who had never seen Big Hero 6. Unannounced, Baymax entered the classroom slowly, awkwardly turned corners, and told everyone he was "not fast." He kept in character the entire time, handing out lollipops, bumping fists, and speaking slowly and monotone. He then wandered the halls of my building until my class was finished.

    The best part of this experience (and all others like it) is sharing something you're passionate about. How else do adulty adults learn about all the nerdy, kiddy, awesomeness that is out there?

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    1. Love this! I would have given Baymax a fistbump, for sure!

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  117. I have a We Bare Bears/Ice Bear bumper sticker at my desk at work. My co-worker saw it and asked- in which I launched into a geeky explanation about the comedy behind Ice Bear's delivery and the references to three bears living in San Francisco. It...was harder than I expected. So I told her to go watch the show- yes, it's a kid's show. Yes, it's on Cartoon Network.

    And she came back the next week as a brand new fan. It felt good expanding the show's fan base, and expanding her idea of "worthy" entertainment. And I now have someone to quote the show with at work! "Tote life!"

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  118. The most memorable odd look I've gotten in recent days was when my husband said "2 for Antman" to the teenage cashier. He repeated "TWO? For ANTMAN?", and stared at me. He did not print the tickets or accept our money until I confirmed. My husband and I were doing the full "dinner and a movie" date night because my mother-in-law was able to babysit. Maybe I looked too "adulty" to be going to a Marvel movie, or maybe that teenager was shocked that my husband could be so lucky. My husband and I have always done the animated films and comic book movies as our dates because I don't like rom-coms.

    My younger sister (30 this year) told me this story. She was visiting my parents for a weekend. She was ironing a shirt first thing in the morning, and my mom put some chocolate on the ironing board as she walked by. My sister said "Thanks. I'll eat that after I get some breakfast." My mom told her, "You're an adult. You can eat chocolate FOR breakfast, if you want."

    I'm glad to realize we have such healthy views of adulthood in my family.

    As for the difference between CSI and MLP? MLP is definitely a superior program for those of us with squeamish stomachs or otherwise easily offended sensibilities.

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  119. Your glittery rainbow sneakers are awesome. Also, yay Moana! It took two tries for my friend and I to go see that. The first time, she got a ticket but when I tried to buy one, it was sold out so she had to refund her ticket and we watched Assassin's Creed instead.

    I had plans to stand in line for Star Wars Episode I so I told one of my high school teachers, "Sir, I'm not going to be in class next day because I'm lining up for Star Wars." He had this highly amused look on his face along with a good dash of thinking that I was joking and responded with, "...okaaaayyyyy..." I think he was waiting for the punchline. *shrug* I was just trying to be nice about skipping his class. :)

    And then there was the time that I had "Let It Go" from Frozen on repeat all afternoon because I was trying to memorise the lyrics and I didn't realise that the person working behind me in the office could hear it leaking out of my headphones. She didn't say anything to me but apparently she mentioned it to someone else afterward and that person told me that she was pretty amused by it.

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    1. Years ago I had a college professor in a writing class who permitted one "sanity break" excused absence per semester. One day a fellow student asked me to tell the professor that she wouldn't be in class because she had just gotten the latest Thomas Covenant book (yes, I'm dating myself) and would be reading instead. When I relayed the message, the professor said that if she had the book, she would be reading instead as well.

      Joy B

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  120. The Doctor : "There's no point in being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes."

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  121. I so agree with this post, Jen. My and my husband's Netflix viewing habits are such that they automatically set us up a "Kids" profile about a decade before we actually HAD a kid; our movie collection is basically SF/F and Puxar/DreamWorks. (Also, the only complete runs of TV shows we own on DVD are A:TLA, Batman Beyond, and NewsRadio.) And as the recipient of a literature degree from Very Swanky Liberal Arts College, I will fight anyone who doesn't think that the stories we tell our children say a lot about us as a culture. ;-P

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  122. I have to say that it honestly surprises me that people would react that way. I mean, I guess I know that there are people out there who don't "get it", but maybe I've just been fortunate enough to not be around too many of them. I also think the culture of where I live (in Utah) is very into "kid's things", especially Disney. I have lots of friends without kids who visit Disneyland regularly. One of my best friends told us how her parents always went to Disneyland without any of their kids. Because as cute as it is to see kids get excited at Disney, let's be honest, it's a whole lot more fun without them!

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  123. My favourite moment was being out to dinner with two friends and one of their friends. When I said I was a Steampunk the "other" asked if I didn't think that was a bit weird/sad. (I forget her actual wording) Before I could respond my two non-SP friends jumped in saying how cool it was and bragging on my costume and the props I had made.
    This is why they are my friends.

    Oh and my 21 year old stepson has a complete playlist of Disney songs, has memorized les Miz and thanks to older sisters is able to discuss the relationship between Pride and Predjudice and the latest rom/com. This has definitely NOT hurt his success with the ladies.

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  124. When someone asks my husband where he grew up, he says he got older in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and that he refuses to grow up. My hubby just turned 60 last month and always tries to have fun!

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  125. There's a difference between "childish" and "childlike." I think there's great value in having a child-like wonder about the world, and in being able to enjoy life without thinking you have to "live up" to someone else's expectations about what you SHOULD like. I mean--I'm an adult. I'm responsible. I pay taxes. I don't break the law. I clean up after myself and act respectful of others. The things I do for enjoyment are for myself and don't hurt anyone. So who cares? I think sports are a complete waste of time and all sports could vanish off the face of the earth without me missing it a bit. But if you're a sports fan(atic), then fine: I don't judge you, and you don't judge me. Have fun throwing the old pigskin at the basket with the lacrosse stick or whatever. And I'll have fun going to the Lego Batman movie.

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  126. I hate it when I get the "you're going to Disney again?" question. Yes. I've been many times... the first time being when I was 27 years old. I felt like I was 4 years old again and had no cares in the world! I could relax and let someone else cook for me, make my bed, drive me around, and have fun all. day. long! I love Disney movies and Star Trek and conventions and Star Wars and Stranger Things and sci-fi and Dreamworks and Pixar and... and... and the list goes on!

    I have a very stressful job. I work in substance abuse treatment services and see people come in everyday broken and depressed and abused and hopeless. They live for one thing and one thing controls them, their thoughts, and their behavior. It's my job to repair them in 28 days. Until they decide to do something different, it's usually a futile effort. I need childlike things to help me take the edge off.

    I proudly fly my kid flag! I wear a WDW lanyard with Cinderella's Castle on it. All of the charms on my Pandora bracelet are Disney related (except for the 3 Wise Men because Jesus comes before anyone or anything else). I wear a Mickey Pandora ring. I have a Vera Bradley Mickey backpack that I take to work everyday and am now on hipster bag #2 in the Midnight with Mickey print. I blast various animated movies soundtracks all day because they are usually upbeat. I have so much serious in my life that I need an escape.

    I know how to "adult". Most people do, but they don't know how to have fun. I think I've gotten pretty good at it!

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  127. I still feel like a lot of my husband's family thinks I'm childish for loving Harry Potter and throwing a party every year for Harry's birthday, but they are all "mortgages, financial planning, and work". I work and have a mortgage and think about my retirement, but I would rather do fun things and argue over whether or not wizards have grocery stores like Muggles do or if they grow most of their own food or what. I surround myself with people who are nerds like me, including people from the FoE group, and then I can handle being around "adulty" adults when I have to. I've often had people ask me about my Harry Potter birthday party: "Well, WHO'S birthday is it for?" "Harry's birthday, obvs." Then they look at me like a weirdo and I have to change the subject, because clearly they don't understand how fun and awesome I am :)

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  128. My Mom and I lost my Dad to cancer in 2008. We went to Disney for the first time in 2009. My Mom was diagnosed with Cancer in 2009 - She ended up going Walt Disney World at least five more times in the seven years that she lived after the diagnosis. Disney was her Escape - It wasn't exactly being childish, and the money may have been more wisely invested in some of the mess of debt that I inherited. But.. For all the times I wished she would have been a bit more frugal with her Disney Trips, I am so glad she went - many times with me, once with her Mother. When she was facing the most adult thing of her life - a terminal cancer diagonsis, she went to Disney. She saw Cinderella and got to see her Waltz with Prince Charming. She got a Birthday Card signed by all the cast members at a Restaurant (I forget which one but I still have the card). She got to ride the monorail. She got to fall in love with Big Thunder Mountain and her favorite smoking spot right near by. She was brave enough to ride Everest - her biggest roller coaster ever. She got to try plantains and eat really good chocolate and stock up on Pepsi in the airport because Coke was Satan's Piss. She got to drink glowtinis.

    Sometimes, you gotta say 'F--- being an Adult!' and go be a kid.

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  129. Favorite geek moment: Many years ago, I was crossing an international border by car and had to declare the purchase of a 14" plushy Darth Vader. I was explaining to the Customs Agent what it was, so I picked Darth up off the passenger seat to show him, and accidentally squeezed Darth's chest, causing him to 'breathe.' Oops.

    The Customs Agent's response? A long pause, and then... 'Move along.'

    I love to tell the story, because it always makes me smile. Also? I still have plushy Darth.

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  130. My dad is bemused and teases me good-naturedly about my "cartoon conventions" (his nickname for ANY convention I go to... despite the fact that HE drove and dropped me off at my very first convention which was Highlander). He clearly doesn't get it but I never feel judged by him. My mom tries to pay attention and remember things and I've gotten a number of lovely HP things from her that she found on clearance.

    As for interactions that bemuse one and show the random differences in how people treat you... Last February, my sister-in-law organized a trip to WDW. She invited me (who hadn't been since middle school), I invited a close friend (who had never been), and then there were 4 other women. So 7 gorram adult ladies. We wanted to do the Princess Lunch at Norway so we did it and some of us Disneybound (me as Joy, my friend as Sadness, my SIL as a mash-up of Ariel and Figment - don't ask). Belle greeted us without even an eyelash flicker. Snow White was unfazed as well and told us a silly joke. Ariel admired my SIL's full sleeve tattoos but expressed concern that there was an Ursula-octopus on there. Sleeping Beauty was in her own blissful little world. Cinderella? Just about visibly recoiled at seeing a table of 7 adult women. Bad form, Cinder-wench, bad form!

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  131. So, a few years ago I watched my first episode of Star Trek, and I'm hooked. I didn't realize just how much science fiction had become a part of my life though for a long time. One day, While I was at the grocery store, on of my friends asked me why I was still wearing my Star Trek "Make it Snow" shirt in June. Sometimes, it's best to do what you want, as long as it makes you happy. :)

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  132. My Beloved Wee Granny passed away last week aged almost 94. Her mission in life was to "grow old disgracefully" and I try my hardest to follow in her wonderful footsteps. By growing old without growing up. If I live as long as she did I have another fifty years of Funko Pops, cosplay, comics and cartoons and I don't care who knows it!

    I haven't a disparaging story to tell - I have never had anyone openly diss any of my "childish" loves. In fact, my girlfriends and I didn't miss a Disney film at the pictures til we were about 30!

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  133. Preach it, sister!!! I've had a few friends mock my frequent trips to Disney but most people think it sounds fun. I'm known among my work and social circles as the person to ask about all things Disney.

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  134. A glorious 'aha' moment for me was when, after I had described role-playing to a dentist he looked at me and said "So, you are people who have imaginations and are not afraid to show it".

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  135. Hi Jen!
    I Loved this post. So true. I'm a gamer and a cartoon lover and my family thinks I'm crazy. I have nieces who tell me that I'm "weird in the coolest way". And a friend of mine once said that the way my house is decorated, he didn't know if a grandma or a child lived there. (very traditional furniture, with lots of toys around)

    And this needs to be on a Tshirt:
    don't let people poo-poo your passions, peeps

    pattycakes

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  136. I, uh, may half talked more than one parent to get that toy their kid totally wants by letting them know that I also have it and think it's great. Or when those grandmas come in and know their grandkid like Monster High but seeing the dolls scared them, reassured them that they're cool toys and showed them some webisodes to show that they're just about being positive about yourself. There have many a conversation with random little girls in the doll aisle about who the best Monster High doll(Ghoulia!) is or who is the best pony(Rainbow Dash, duh!) I can't count the amount of times I've "argued" with little boys about Batman being better than Superman or that "Magneto was right."
    Anytime someone tries to give me flack for liking "kid stuff" I just brush it off because I don't need their opinion in my life. I usually pat THEM on the head because it's mainly early twenty somethings in college and it's like, "you haven't lived life on your own long yet, you'll learn."

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    1. I love this. I just tell people, "embrace your weirdness. It's all you have."

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  137. The best part about being an adult is that we can do what we want. Because we want to. It doesn't make us any less of an adult. If you can successfully take care of yourself or your family, then who cares what quirks or fandoms you have?

    I don't have kids, by choice. But I volunteered to watch my friend's kids (a 13-yr old, 10-yr old, and a 5-yr old) for a week and a half while she was away. I had to turn down a lot of invites for activities during that week, and when I explained why, I always got, "How adult of you". Excuse me? Why does having kids make me an adult? Why is that the deciding factor? I can adult just fine without having children, thank you.

    But on the point of this post, and convincing people it's cool to be a nerd: I have talked so many people into watching Heroes, and liking it.
    And I may have talked my dad into dressing up as a Star Trek character and going to a con with me... but he refuses to wear red. :)

    --Piper P from Washington State

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  138. I hate how judgmental some people are about what other people love. Why is golfing supposed to be better than cosplaying? Why is fantasy football okay but D&D is for nerds? Why is raunchy low-brow comedy fine for grown-ups, but a well-made, intricate movie with an amazing message like Moana "for kids?" Just let people enjoy what they enjoy!

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  139. I find passion-less people so very boring. I don't need to share your passion to find you fascinating, you just need to have one (or several). Even better if you're willing to talk about it.

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  140. I do have children - 29 & 24 now, so I am significantly older than you. Even so, I love being able to choose to play with "children's" toys. I have a large collection of automata which I made and display. Anyway - to my story. It was my children that I freaked out. Back when the Disney Store was a new thing over here and Monsters Inc had just come out (2001) we went into the Disney Store in Farnborough and they had a Sulley Costume. My kids were 13 and 8 at the time. It was for an 11 year old. I am also short (5ft 2) and I held it up and thought I would fit. I went to the assistant and asked if they had changing rooms, he said "No, but you can try it on here" which I did. My children immediately walked out of the shop. Sigh. I always used to say to them, you don't have to walk with me, as long as you stay in sight. I was always embarrassing them, singing, skippping etc. I am glad to say they turned out as mad as me, and yes, I did buy the costume and still wear it when it is appropriate. You go girl. Being an adult is about having choices.

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  141. Oh, and I just bought this. I think its very appropriate and Chatty Nora is ace. http://www.chattynora.bigcartel.com/product/blessed-are-the-weird-typography-screen-print

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  142. I teach 5th grade, and my favorite part about it is I get to shove my interests onto my students. I'm currently obsessed with Legend of Korra and Miraculous Ladybug, and as a result all but two of my students have nicknames from these two shows, which they insist I call them by. Seriously. If I try and say their names, they stare me down until I address them using their nicknames. Every Friday afternoon, if all schoolwork was completed for the week, we watch an episode, and the kids talk about it all week long.

    One of my favorite things about the nicknames is how it has changed the relationships between my students. There are characters who are part of a family, so my students now refer to each other as "mom," "dad," "brother," "daughter," "grandma," and so on. One of my students who is the "father" of the family would discipline his children if they got in trouble in class--and his "kids" listened. Besides being hilarious, it cut down on the discipline I had to do. This is my fifth year of Avatar nicknames, and without fail, my class bonds over it and grows closer, and kids who would never talk to each other under any other circumstance now have something to discuss.

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  143. I think it is also important to realize that you don’t have to be obsessed with something to be a legitimate fan. I enjoy football. I even have season tickets for my college team. But I can’t name every team member. Nor do I think I have to be able to do that to be a fan. I understand the rules and I love my school. I also love watching the excitement of the game. But it seems that most men like to challenge women on exactly how much they know. So even though sports seem to be an acceptable pastime for adults, there are people who will say you aren’t a “true” fan.

    I was sitting at my Christmas luncheon when I had to explain to my coworkers (mostly accountants) that the Irregulars meetings that I attend are a Sherlockian society. I got some eye rolls at that. The odd thing is, although I enjoy the meetings, I am the odd one there because I am not a writer, a publisher, or part of the literary world as most of the attendees are. Too much of a geek for some people, not enough for others.

    I can’t win. So I am going to break out the coloring books, hula hoops, and bubbles for my next party. And if that is too juvenile for someone, then they can just stay home.

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    1. Very true! It's okay to like something casually or obsessively or somewhere in between, and liking something without knowing every last detail about it doesn't make someone not a "true" fan.

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  144. Sympathy for us?! No, they're the ones to be pitied, who will miss out on all of the fun that is comic cons, and delightful cartoons, and thought-provoking animes, and anything on Cartoon Network. I love me some Steven Universe and Totoro is maybe my favorite movie. I have to say my life has been made MUCH better with "kid stuff" in my life; those are the things that I can think about during a stressful day and smile or laugh to myself. At least we have healthy ways of dealing with stress. The "adulty adults" probably have far worse ways of dealing: either not dealing or something potentially harmful (alcohol, other substances) or maybe even taking it out on others or on themselves. As far as stress relievers go, I will take "kid stuff" over most anything else on any given day.

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  145. I think it's important to remember that everyone likes and finds happiness in different things. I love Disney, but I'm not interested in cons or dressing up or other things like that. I have family members who love those things, and I think that's great. I don't pity them or look down on them, and I certainly hope they don't pity me for not liking those things. I love my life. I love the things in my life that bring me joy and I don't think people have less-passionate lives for not liking them. NOBODY should judge ANYBODY for what they like.

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  146. Our sons cut their teeth on all our favs (Me - Star Wars, Star Trek, X-Men, LOTR, HP. Hubby - ANYTHING Disney). By the age of 6 or 7, both my sons could quote voluminously from all three Star Wars movies (original trilogy, of course). As they got older, they introduced Hubby and me to anime and video games (Hubby was in the military and we spent their elementary years in Japan). The boys are in their late 30s now and they are passing their love of all things geeky along to the grandkids. In our family, "adulty" means that you are big enough to ride the good rides at Disneyland.

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  147. I know I'm a couple days late on this one, but I just have to say don't let the Muggles get you down. :) I may be closer to 40 than 30 now (yikes), but I honestly think that much of what is created for children is the best stuff out there. Many of my all-time favorite books are still the ones I read when I was a kid, I still love dressing up in costumes and otherwise geeky clothes (I sew a lot of my clothes, and one of my more recent favorites is a skirt covered in the exploding TARDIS from the Van Gogh episode), and Pixar seriously has some of the best storytelling in the movie world. Also, like you said, a lot of "adult" stuff is just ridiculously depressing, and isn't there enough of that in the world? I am a parent, but my boys are both less than 2 (still waiting about a month for the younger to be born, lol) and I'm definitely looking forward to when they're old enough to actually start enjoying the geeky stuff too! And in the meantime, I'll just keep shamelessly watching My Little Pony and laughing at their legitimately funny picture books and plotting more "secret costumes" for my everyday wardrobe, when my clothes start fitting again. So there.

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    1. Also, I'd like to think that the possibility of legitimately sharing some "kid" interests will make me a better mom. Especially since most of my pep talks to myself about being a boy mom have involved things like my liking Star Wars and Marvel movies!

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  148. Sometimes you just need to fly your freak flag. Proudly.

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  149. Just before I read this my 62yr old Mom shouted down the hallway that we *were getting* Fantastic Beasts, in a tone that brooked no argument. Not that one would ever exist, of course. ^^ She had just seen a commercial for the DVD being out. She has always loved Disney movies and has to see every single one in the theatre and has a collection of Tigger and rubber duck plushies on her bed. And I am the cosplayer, the writer, the crafty one that my SIL silently sighs about when I buy her 7yr old daughter *another* FNAF toy she wanted. My Niece was amazed the first time she saw my room with all the anime posters, fake weaponry and plushie horde. Someday...she will be one of us. ^^

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  150. I went to see Moana with my 27 year old son and we both loved it. The Shiny song was my least favorite though, with You're Welcome being my MOST favorite. I can't wait for grandkids someday to have my excuse to see Disney movies!

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  151. Just got back from an adults-only trip to Disney World. I gotta say, I don't understand why anyone would want to go WITH kids. It's so much better with just adults acting like kids!

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  152. I realized a long time ago that all kids tv shows, movies, games, toys, etc are designed and created by ADULTS. These are professionals that offer fun and education while being engaging and entertaining. So, it is perfectly NORMAL that adults would enjoy them, too. We need to stop being ashamed and embarrassed. We should encourage those that look at us funny to broaden their interests, at the same time remembering that, while kids are not into everything they see, adults will not necessarily share our same interests.

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  153. If I see "adult" I expect something I can't tell my grandma that I watch/read/listen to. If I'm looking for "family friendly" I expect something that is for tiny kids only (which is funny, because my family consists of older teens). Most every thing I read is YA (young adult) not because it is cleaner, but because it has a youthful hero(ine), and I tell my peers (all adults) "ok kids, lets go". I love TV shows like "This is Us" that are have content that kids wouldn't necessarily get, but are clean enough to show my grandma. And I love the entendre included in kids movies that the kids will never understand.

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  154. I was sitting at the Storm Crow -- a super successful geek themed restaurant/bar funded with PopCap money -- and two 'normies' had wandered in. The food there is good so I'm not surprised.

    They started chatting to me about everything they were seeing, asked me to guess the woman's last name (she was South Asian and I said 'Singh or Kaur' and it was Singh) and they became INCRDIBLY excited when I knew the provenance of all the props and posters on the walls because they thought it was all a gimmick and they would never meet a 'real live geek!'.

    They were both very very drunk and managed to be charming about it all.

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