Firstly, apologies for the lack of posts. My upcoming wedding has eaten my brain, leaving nothing but an all-consuming need to buy a cheap veil off Ebay.

Enough of my brain has been spared from consumption, however, to be piqued by a recent discussion I took part in on my work’s social forum.

“Out of the geek closet!” was the title, or near as dammit.

The original poster went on to list those of his activities and interests he publicly enjoyed. These included writing poetry, playing in a reasonably successful band, being heavily tattooed, and having deep intellectual conversations in dimly-lit pubs.

Many people he engages in these activities with, however, would apparantly be surprised to learn that in private, he also indulges in what he described as “geeky” hobbies, including a secret fondness for a certain popular fantasy trilogy. He then invited idle readers to join him in coming “out of the geek closet”, and owning up to our hidden geeky passions.

There were several responses, mostly along the lines of “Me too!” I also concurred, but added that I wasn’t coming out of any closet, since I didn’t feel the need to hide any of my pastimes, geeky or otherwise.

This seems like a good opportunity, on the off-chance anybody is reading this who doesn’t already know me, to describe a few of the things I like to do, with varying success and regularity.

I write, poetry and pieces like this. I read essentially anything I can find with writing on it (but mostly books, and, latterly, the Internet). I buy clothes in charity shops. Sometimes I customise them, or make my own clothes. I dress in the fabulous outfits so created and go dancing. I have a pet cat, and a pet snake. I make jewellery. I watch films and TV, including a healthy selection of SF and fantasy. I bellydance. I roleplay in two separate weekly games. I go for long walks. I pose in the mirror with a katana and pretend I’m in Kill Bill. I used to play the violin, but it sounded worse than a cat in a topical joke, so I’ve put that on hold until I live in a detached house again.

I do other things too, but I can’t think of them right now, probably because my brain has shrivelled to the size of a sugared almond. It’s a pretty eclectic selection of activities, some of which could be considered geeky. Should I be hiding these?

Well, geeky or not, I’m as proud of my fifth-level cleric as I am of any poem on this blog. Prouder, actually, because some of my poems are a steaming pile of word-poo, and Cornelia the cleric kicks ass (Morrow rocks!).

I don’t do any of these things to impress people, or to make myself look cool, I do them because I enjoy doing them. I don’t like things because they’re cool. Things are cool because I like them. People may not agree, which is fair enough. The world would be a terribly dull place if we all liked the same things.

But anybody who thinks less of me because of the things I like is not worth my time or friendship.

The originator of the discussion added a definition of the phrase “closet geek” culled from Urban Dictionary. I reproduce it here, for your edification.

“A person who is truly a geek at home and maybe to some geeky friends, but mantains a public persona that is not geeky.
Example usage: I pretend to hate video games in public, but then spend 20 hours a week playing FPSs online, I’m such a closet geek.”

I replied with the observation that the term was redundant. There’s already a word for this phenomenon. It’s “hypocrite”.

I will have more to say on this subject, believe you me. I’m particularly intrigued by the varying definitions of the term “geek”, and “cool”, for that matter. But right now there’s an auction ending in five minutes that needs my urgent attention…

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