Was driven home by my uncle. Exited car with two siblings, one of whom smelt of beer. Car drove off with the shouts of two girls ringing into the night.
We stared up at the dark, imposing edifice that is our house.
"I think I have my keys..." I said.
Mom dropped me off at my aunt's house - youngest sibling was playing soccer there - and discovered that what I thought was going to be a simple family dinner was actually a huge potluck gathering involving uncle's colleagues.
Am I the only person I know who cuts pizza with kitchen scissors? They're so much more efficient than a knife!
Ended up sitting on stairs with Legolas Fancier, reitering How Much Legolas and Aragorn Look Like They're Getting Married in RotK. Also ended up talking to my uncle's colleages, who also studied in London and Glasgow. (There were two of them) And they had a White Christmas in Scotland. ; ) Had another conversation with another of uncle's colleagues about how siblings fight. XD
Had wonderful discussion with Aunt and Sibling D (fresh from orientation script-writing) about friends, what they mean to us and doing without them. *is thoughtful*
Then watched Pirates of the Caribbean. XDDDD Extremely amused by Non-Legolas Fancier, who laughs at scenes I never thought she'd laugh at, and who started Primary school just this Friday.
My aunt is amazing. She saw the PotC gay. In the extremely goofy pair of pirates - the ones who had to dress up as women: Pintel and his friend? - and the pair of soldiers who accost Jack when he first attempts to make off with a boat.
And Non-Legolas Fancier does a shriek-inducing imitation of TTT Legolas saying in Elvish, "They are all going to die!"
Learnt more about guinea pig anatomy than I ever wanted to know.
Found part of this essay off this post on theferrett's journal, whom I found on sandara3's journal.
From that day onwards, I vowed never to be ashamed of anything I enjoyed again. I started reading whenever I felt like it. I talked to women, and actually became a fairly notorious womanizer for a long time. I emceed the Rocky Horror for four years straight and I was always happy to inform people what it felt like to walk around in negligee and stockings. (The answer: Itchy.)
But most importantly, I learned that the only person who could humiliate me was ME. And only then if I failed to stand up for myself.
And so I ask the collective Magic community the question:
HOW LONG ARE YOU GONNA STAY IN HIGH SCHOOL?
(Not literally. Metaphorically.)
So many of you are terrified of admitting your geeky tendencies. Of telling people that you play this silly little childish power fantasy we all share. And you're all idiots who should be grownups.
There is no reason to hide it. NONE. Get under yourself.
Because a lot of the people who deride your geek hobbies now are going to have horrible, empty deaths. Really. Because the vast majority of people in America don't really have any driving interests. They watch television, they like football, they're fond of flipping through the National Enquirer when they walk through the checkout lane... but nothing drives them to get up in the morning except the threat of bedsores.
They're like automatons. They get up, they work to survive, they watch television because it makes time vanish, they go to bed. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Rizzo alluded to this in one of his articles, but he still missed the damn point.
These people will eventually retire... And will have nothing to do.
Unless these poor clods can find some hobby to cling on to, they will spend the last twenty years of their life sitting in a room, hoping desperately that their kids call them, wondering where all the good times went. Wanna see what happens to people like this? Go watch "Requiem For A Dream," the best damn movie to come out in the New Millennium, and see what happens to Ellen Burstyn's character - the elderly mother whose husband has died, leaving her in utter isolation. The horror is not what happens to her in the end, although that's pretty damned bad... The horror oozes from her monologue in the middle of the movie, where you realize her dreams have shrunken, SHRIVELLED, to the point where simply getting on television and saying NOTHING is her utmost fantasy.
The movie is, as the title says, about dreams dying, but hers were locked away in a coffin long before she came on screen. The same could happen to you.
You wanna know where the good times are?
They're in that box that you're hiding in your jacket. The one with the goofy green beatdown deck. That's the one.
That's the passion that will keep you alive.
And by hiding your hobby, by being ashamed of the wondrous little secret, you let the world define you and everyone like you.
Every time someone talks about those geeks who play Magic or Dungeons and Dragons or Warhammer and you hide your love - or worse yet, act embarrassed to be caught doing it - then you're contributing to the stigma. You're admitting, "Yes, you're right - This IS a shameful thing I am doing, and I wish you hadn't caught me at it."
Whereas if you stand up and say, "Yeah, I play Magic! It's a fun game. Anyone wanna tell me how it's any different from, say, spending your weekends in the Fantasy Football League, balancing points and sucking down endless facts about football players who could care less whether you live or die?" They're probably not gonna leap up and join you in a game, but you have now tilted the balance. Someone they know plays it. Someone they know ENJOYS it. And is not a jot less cool for it. (Unless you're the unwashed social misfit who they all giggle at when you leave the room. You big ugly dirty guys can just keep hiding, thankyouverymuch.)
Every time someone asks you what you did this weekend, and instead of saying, "I came in third at a Magic Sealed tourney!" you mutter, "Oh, nothing," because you don't want them to think of you as That Sort Of Person - every time you do that, you contribute to the Great Misunderstanding.
Either you bow to the pressure and, paradoxically, INCREASE it - or you stand up and shatter it.
If you have a hobby, and you love it, and if you're hiding it... Well, then you're still in high school and you're always gonna BE in high school. You'll always be terrified that people won't understand you, and ashamed of the way they treat you. And you'll deserve every mock and every flash of fear you get.
Everyone's scornful of the unknown and feels a need to mock it - that's normal human behavior. But if you cave in to their pressure, you're letting the world define YOU, as opposed to YOU defining IT.
You know what? You're different. You're always gonna BE different. You're not gonna get to feel normal, ever, because you're playing a damn game filled with weird cards and bizarre interactions and you like it. And the truth is, after this love goes away, something else will replace it. You are driven to enjoy things in ways that others never will be. People will be jealous and scared of you for this. DEAL WITH IT.
Because it's a gift.
Relish it. Live your Magic. Be a geek. Be the nerd. Because it means you're alive, you're vital, and you're ahead of the game. It might not be football or Yahtzee or "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?", but screw it - whatever gets you through the day is better than 75% of the world.
Remember that. Live. Breathe. Dare to do more than just frickin' SURVIVE.