Friday, June 26, 2015

5 Fandom Friday: Fandom Guilty Pleasures.

I think there's a notion that's commonly accepted that once you're a grown-up, you shouldn't get too excited about things that "don't matter".  Grown-ups are allowed to get excited, to an appropriate degree, over things like toilet paper being on sale (I still remember the first time I got excited over that), but we're supposed to leave behind the things of our childhood.  After all, we have responsibilities now.

Bullshit crap (sorry, Mom).

I bought into that for a little while.  Or at least, I kept my excitement curbed to more "appropriate" levels, because I didn't have anyone around me who geeked out about the things I loved.  I think it's even harder as a mom--when your kids take up as much time and attention as they do, there's very little time for you to be your own person; other moms often reinforce the expectation that your mom-ness needs to utterly define you, at least for this stage of life.  But you know what?  It isn't true.

I am me.  What matters to me, matters.

Yes, being an adult and wife and mother means that I need to make time for my responsibilities, and, consequently, I have less time for myself.  But I think finding the freedom to be myself, within the context of those responsibilities, is important not just for myself, but for my kids.  Like it says in my sidebar-bio, I want my kids to passionately pursue whatever it is they love, and I want them to have the courage to speak up about and fight for what matters to them.  I want them to know that they are okay being who they are, no matter what others think.  And I think that message starts with me leading by example.

So I quit being afraid to embrace my geekiness.  Of course, there are a still a few things that I'm almost-but-not-really ashamed to admit, per this week's 5 Fandom Friday prompt, here are my top five "Fandom Guilty Pleasures":

1. "Lord of the Rings" & "The Hobbit" LEGO

I don't care what it says on the box--29 is not too old for LEGO.  There's no such thing.

LEGO Middle-Earth: my choice of home decor.

The first shot up there is of the top of our dining room game cabinet (because that's what dining room tables are for--games, right?), and Smaug is on a shelving unit in the corner of our dining room.  Weathertop and the Helm's Deep wall overflowed into our living room, on our desk hutch.  Much better than your average candles and knickknacks, right?  (If you disagree, Smaug will eat you--can your decor do that?)

So far, I've only splurged on LOTR and Hobbit sets, but, really, I want all the LEGO.  In fact, just the other day, I shamelessly used my four-year-old to get this free promo set at a build event at our local Toys'R'Us:

She loved it!

But it looks rather out-of-place alongside all my Middle-Earth sets.  I think I really need would like some raptors to go with it...

2. Geeky tees

This much of my closet is geeky tees:

I didn't actually realize how many I own until I got them out to take photos for this post...

Row 1: Firefly, Firefly, Firefly, Harry Potter, Doctor Who/Sherlock
Row 2: Buffy/Firefly/Dr. Horrible, Doctor Who, Star Wars, Star Wars, Doctor Who
Row 3: Iron Man, Sherlock, Firefly, Firefly, mash-up
Row 4: Doctor Who, LOTR, Hunger Games, The Guild, Star Trek

And this one didn't fit on the bed with the final round:

Firefly/Jurassic Park mash-up.

I really like my geeky tees.  Also, we moved to Atlanta two years ago, and I've found that wearing your fandom is a great way to find fellow geeks out in public.  We even became friends with an awesome family at our church that way--I wore a "Doctor Who" shirt and my TARDIS purse one Sunday, and they invited us over to watch the Christmas special. :-)

3. Twilight

So, I own these:

Twilight...hardcovers, no less.

I'm not quite a "Twi-hard", but I did read the series twice and even went to a marathon-midnight-showing at a local theater when the third movie came out.  I enjoyed the books.  They're not the greatest literature, but I liked the world Meyer created and the supernatural system of her vampires and werewolves.  And say what you will about her skill as a writer, but both times I read the second book, I found myself struggling with feeling depressed even while I wasn't actively reading.  So, yeah, this one's a guilty pleasure.

4. Movie prop replicas

plan on decorating our basement family room with movie-and-TV-themed paraphernalia, but it hasn't happened yet.  But it needs order to justify all the movie prop replicas I already have, and all the ones I still intend to buy!

Strider's sword, William Wallace's claymore, Evenstar pendant, Eowyn's necklace, Ten's sonic screwdriver, Hermione's wand, and Katniss' mockingjay pin.

I also have a crapload of movie posters that I bought back when I lived in a college dorm.  I'm going to pick out my favorites, frame them, and line the basement walls with them.  I'm hoping to find shadowboxes for the replicas pictured above--the swords will need to be hung somewhere, but I haven't quite figured out how to fit it all yet.  Also, all the props need to be displayed non-permanently, because I totally still play with them.

5. Buying stuff "for my kids"

If we're defining "guilty pleasure" as something that we're "supposed" to feel somewhat ashamed about, but don't (or do it anyway), I guess I should feel bad that I try to indoctrinate my kids with my own fandoms.  I mean, I'm all for getting excited along with them over what they love (mostly "Toy Story" these days), but if I can get them excited about my stuff sometimes--score!

Like what I bought for my son's birthday last weekend:

Playskool Heroes Jurassic World sets.

He loves Rex from "Toy Story"--he runs around the house, RAAWRRing with it--so I figured he'd go for these dinos, too (he LOVES them). I loved "Jurassic Park" as a kid, so I'm psyched about introducing it to my kids in several years.  For now, them getting into dinosaurs in general is fun!

My daughter loves the TARDIS and has helped me build one out of DUPLO (toddler version of LEGO--both of which are the greatest toys ever), and we've made "Star Wars" cookies a few times.  We also have regular lightsaber fights.

DUPLO TARDIS.  And Kaylie is also trained to call that thing in front of her a "Dalek".

There are a lot of fantastic geeky kids' books, too.  I've picked up a few:

Because toddlers only want to read one book, a thousand times a day.

Because nothing is worse than having to read "The Foot Book" four hundred and sixty-two times in a row.  Geeky books are great, because if your kid latches onto one for the day, you can point out all your favorite characters and tell stories from the original.  There's only so much you can say about feet.

(You can find the Star Wars ABC & 123 books, and Pride & Prejudice counting primer (and other BabyLit books), at most major book retailers.  "Counting with the Doctor!" can be found here, and the other three ("Cybermen's Picnic", "Leaf", and "If You Give a Hobbit a Ring") here.)

Of course, I don't just buy things I secretly want my kids to like: I also make things for them.  I made Wil some geeky onesies for his first Dragon Con, along with a "Firefly"-themed ribbon tag blanket.  Later, I made him a "Firefly"-themed stuffed dinosaur, too.  After I started making more geeky tag blankets for friends, I opened my own shop on Etsy, and it's given me a wonderful opportunity to connect with other geeky parents who share my guilty pleasure fandom interests!

Shameless plug...but really, you totally want these for your kid.  (More fandoms also available!)

Those are my fandom guilty pleasures--though, really, I've gotten past the guilt part. ;-)

So what are your fandom guilty pleasures?


  1. Love your list. You t-shirt collection is awesome and your shop is brilliant. I favourited it for fututre reference! ;)

  2. OMG your Lego collection I wants it *grabby hands*!!! I totally use my nephew as an excuse to buy/play with Lego to as he's a big fan and he LOVES the Star Wars stuff he also loves Dinosaurs so I'm looking forward to getting us some Dino sets to play with! xoxo


    1. I CAN'T WAIT till my kids are old enough for LEGO sets of their own!! It's so hard not buy some in advance...but my son is just two, so I think I need to hold off for a couple more years... :-P

  3. Thanks! All the feelings, indeed--the movies just didn't quite capture it all! :-)

  4. I love your post, Sara, especially the part about maintaining an identity beyond motherhood. I, too, am waiting with anticipation for the day I can (do nothing but) play legos with my kids. My husband has a childhood collection just waiting for its second generation of play, but alas, we must wait until the kiddos' ability to clean up after themselves increases and the likelihood that they choke and die on little pieces decreases.

    Maybe I need some board gaming t-shirts? We really need some board game geek friends. Probably going to start GM'ing Mice and Mystics for kids 1 and 2 and busting out Heroscape soon, because if you can't find sufficient gamers around, you can always raise your own...

    -Laura P

    1. Haha, yes! I can't wait till mine can participate in family game nights...I need to try Candyland with Kaylie again--last time was a few months ago, and she still wasn't quite ready to find fun in following the rules. :-P

  5. My inner geek got locked up when I became a mother, and I am still struggeling to let her loose. I love your view on raising your children, and try to do the same. I want them to find their own interests and the courage to pursue them. Although I do take them on "field trips" to the local gaming/comics shop ;) I have to see if I can find some of those childrens books!
    And of course dining rooms are for gaming. We recently bought a larger table so that we could fit the bigger board games. Eating is done in the kitchen.

    1. Kara, you are such a skilled seamstress! And so is your daughter...I remember checking out your blog once before, and being so impressed by your post about her making her own fairy costume. I think it is AMAZING that you are inspiring such creativity in her and teaching her such a valuable outlet for it!

      Yeah, we only clear off the dining room table for eating when we have guests over or family in town. The rest of the time, it's either piled with junk we want needed to put down out of reach of the kids and never got around to putting away, or GAMES that we are playing night after night so we just leave out. We stopped ever taking the leaf out of our table because our favorite game takes up so much room that it's just worth it to leave the table as big as it gets. :-)

  6. Very nice Lego collection! :) And the geeky tees are awesome too!