Monday, October 3, 2011

An Explanation of "Passing For Normal"

I'm a sci-fi nerd/geek. I like sci-fi in all its forms: books, movies, TV, art, comics...well, everything but Anime. (Sorry, I just don't get it.) I've been to Star Trek conventions, Star Wars conventions, I'm a volunteer staff member for OSFest, our local sci-fi convention...I'm pretty geeky.

Now, there's a common stereotype for the sci-fi geek: think Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons, or William Shatner hosting Saturday Night Live - you know, the skit where he laid into the fans at a Star Trek convention? "Have any of you ever kissed a girl? Move out of your parents' basements!" When most people think sci-fi, this is the image they get in their heads.

Well, I don't look like that. When I worked outside the home, my job did not involve technology or computers. I tried to dress as stylishly as possible, and I can converse on a variety of topics that are not sci-fi related. And so when someone outside my circle of geek friends would notice the Jabba the Hutt figure in my cubicle, or hear I took vacation days to wait in line for the midnight opening of "Revenge of the Sith," I'd get that LOOK, followed by a comment like, "I didn't know you were into that stuff - you seem so...normal." Usually followed by a conversation where the person tells me how they never liked that sci-fi stuff. The irritating thing is, some of these are the same people who would regularly discuss their favorite shows - like "Fringe," "Lost," and "Heroes." I wanted to shake them and say "But those are all SCIENCE FICTION!!" (In fact, sometimes I did do this.)

Now that I'm a stay at home mom, my wardrobe has gotten a lot more casual, and the geek T-shirts are creeping over into everyday wear. (My current favorite says "I had friends on Alderaan!") But most of the time I still look just like everyone else, so watch out - there could be a lot more of us undercover sci-fi geeks out there "Passing For Normal."


  1. That's familiar :) I'm a drama tutor now, so nobody expects any better of me, but back in the day when I was working for the Civil Service, admitting to playing D&D was like admitting to a hangable offence.

  2. I know what you mean. I get the same thing. I don't have any t-shirts but almost everyone I know is surprised that I loved Star Trek and went to the StarCon a few years back.

  3. If anyone feels the need for some geeky tees, check out or They're the ones feeding my habit lately ;)

  4. "Passing For Normal" sums it up perfectly! As an adult with Asperger's, raising a kid with Asperger's, I know the idea so well. We may not be big into trek, comics, etc, but we speak a similar dialect. In our home we call it "Putting on the human suit"... It's so we blend. Not that we try to bend and blend too much, but if we leave our human suits at home people look at us like we are neked and covered in scales and then people just gawk and we get nothing done and really the goal is to get back to homebase so we can don our labcoats and snort when we laugh. We are not big into scifi (my husband/kid's dad is) but we are science geeks. My son's desk is a 7 foot lab table (flameproof soapstone top!) from his old school and we both have our own safety goggles (and I'm ordering new lab coats for the holidays!). So yeah, I get it. Well written and happy NaBloWriMo!

  5. Amen sister!!! I have patients who r shocked to find out I am a scifi geek. We have star wars figures in the office. My staff doesn't understand either. They thought we were crazy because we took our daughters to contagion this summer and let Skylar get zombified. We girls need to unite and educate these "normals"!!

  6. I'm not a sci-fi geek, but my husband is seriously addicted. In our house, it's SyFy channel all day and boxes of DVD's. I love the fact that even though we all have our idiosyncrasies or particular avocations, we can still pass for normal. Well, at least typical.

  7. Just received a cheque for $500.

    Sometimes people don't believe me when I tell them about how much you can earn taking paid surveys online...

    So I took a video of myself actually getting paid over $500 for doing paid surveys to set the record straight once and for all.