Who's up for costuming?
You may be getting a picture in your mind already. People dressed up in Star Trek garb with Mr. Spock ears giving the Vulcan salute saying "Live long and prosper."
Sure, they have the extremists. The ones who have to watch a movie 10 thousand times to get the costume exactly right. How many red buttons are on the Star Wars Ep. I holoprojector? I'm sure there are quite a few bulletin boards devoted to in-depth discussions on that topic among other trivia.
But, they also have folks on the other end of the fandom spectrum who only read the occasional novel or comic book. Maybe they just enjoy the movies or artwork or what-have-you without a need to get too technical, too involved in the sci-fi dynamics. And these people might attend a con as a mini-vacation, just checking it out, shopping in the dealers' room or what-have-you with other like-minded friends.
And I have to confess, though it's not much of a confession as my close friends already know - while I attended many conventions, I rarely officially participated in much more than the occasional panel. I went just to hang out and cut loose within a group of people who are known for being more open minded and welcoming than many other factions of society. My particular sub-culture within the fandom sub-culture was incredibly fun.
And Hell yes! We too would mock the fans of the extremist variety. With all due respect. But you have to learn to laugh at yourself don't you? I can truly appreciate the many parodies of science fiction conventions and the type of people, fen, who attend. And most are not far off the mark. A couple of my favorites are the William Shatner Get a Life! Sketch on Saturday Night Live as well as the motion picture Galaxy Quest (1999).
When my nieces were teens, I introduced them to fandom in small doses, mostly by taking them to conventions, aka "cons", at hotels and hanging out with them around the pool. I did the same for ~K~ but at an earlier age. She was 3 months old at her first con. But as she was growing up, I has less energy and other responsibilities that kept me away from fandom. So her total exposure was minimal.
~K~ has, however, come to develop an interest in "Science Fiction and Fantasy" all on her own. I neither cultivated nor encouraged it. Having spent too many years hanging out with geeks of one type or another, I have had my fill.
Yes. It is now biting me on the ass.
My child is a Sci-Fi geek. I'm thrilled, can't you tell?
For the past few years, it's been Star Wars. She quotes lines from the movies and knows every character/actor. She will spend hours telling me about the subtle variations on the historical development of the light saber as evidenced in Episodes 1 through 3 as well as the colors and hilts allowed to be used by the many and various characters. Huh? What? Yeah.
Anyhoo. Once again, on October 1st, as happens every year, I opened negotiations on the current year's Halloween costume. (Explanation Here.) I have come to learn that I will save time, money and much frustration by setting a budgetary limit and just buying a pre-made outfit and accoutrements.
I am only thankful that ~K~ is not at that extremist geek, I mean, Fan level where accuracy in costuming really matters to her or her peers. We recently purchased and received a simple Jedi Knight costume from eBay and a build-your-own light saber kit from a toy store (so she can change the style and colors as she pleases). She couldn't be happier.
We did have quite a bit of bidding competition on the costumes though. We lost several auctions early on as we had to keep within our budget. After one loss, ~K~ turned to me and said, "It's not like a lot of people would want to dress up like Star Wars characters."
Ahh. She has much to learn.
Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will.