Charmingly pretentious, left-wing misfit. Prefers the West Midlands, but lives in the Midwest. Skilled taxidermist, crime fighter and former Olsen Twin. Dislikes olives. Fluent in English, Pig Latin and Esperanto. No trespassing.
1. Little brother’s pee-wee soccer game, 1995. 2. Cousin’s 7th grade basketball game, 1997. 3. Some minor league baseball game in Wisconsin during a Summer Camp session, 1998. 4. Cubs vs. Brewers game with previously mentioned Summer Camp in 1999. 5. England vs. Slovakia friendly at Wembley Stadium in 2009. 6. Chicago vs. Houston MLS match in 2009*. 7. Brandeis vs. University of Chicago Div. III basketball game, Winter 2012. 8. West Brom vs. Newcastle United EPL match at the Hawthorns, April 2013. 9. Michigan vs. Wayne State pre-season basketball game this November. 10. Michigan vs. Ferris State hockey game (currently).
I don’t get out much.
*I had to go back and add this one because I originally forgot about it—because MLS is fucking boring.
"You know who deserves a bravo? The children belonging to those of us who don’t celebrate Christmas. It turns out, they are the true heroes of the season. Imagine the pressure those kids face of being in on the act and not being able to tell their friends that the whole thing is a hoax. We train our kids to tell the truth, but they have to bite their tongues while their friends get their pictures taken at the mall and find elves invading their homes and track Santa’s whereabouts online. The whole damn advent calendar is like a ticking time bomb, just waiting to see if our kid is going to be the asshole who ruins Christmas for the ones who still believe."
I’m not really sure what got me thinking about this—maybe it was all the Doctor Who posts, or the Supernatural gifs, or the Superman arguments—but I realised something very interesting about myself the other day:
I don’t belong to a fandom.
Sure, I like things. I love things, even. But there’s a line between love and fandom, and I can’t think of a single time I’ve ever genuinely crossed it.
Even my all-consuming passion for James Bond doesn’t really bleed into that territory. I became obsessed with the Bond books in 1997, long before the internet was a place a teenager could occupy for hours on end without tying up a phone line. There was nobody to share in my discovery, and as a result, my love for the Bond franchise grew to become a very personal thing—something special that belonged to me, and me alone. Of course, I’m always happy to chat about James Bond when people show interest, and it’s great fun to have debates about the movies with genuine fans from time to time, but there are no forums I belong to, no groups, no regular outlets for camaraderie over shared interest. I shout my love from the mountaintops all the time, but I never listen for an echo.
I like Sherlock a lot, and I can’t wait for Series 3, but I know there’s a world beyond simply watching the show that I will probably never enter. When Harry Potter became popular, I defiantly declared that I would not read the books until the final one was published, and so it was only upon the release of Deathly Hallows that I finally picked up a copy of Philosopher’s Stone and starting reading. 9 days later, I was done with the series, and that was it. That was my Harry Potter experience. No discussions, no speculation, no chocolate frogs or toy wands, just 9 pleasurably days of reading. And I wonder: Why did I do that? Was I deliberately avoiding being sucked into fandom? Come to think of it, yes; I believe I was.
But why? Why should sharing in the fictional worlds I love be any different than sharing in the football teams I support, or the bands I like? What am I scared of? Because I think that’s exactly it: Despite how welcoming, and fun, and exciting fandom seems to be, I’m fairly certain that it scares me.
The local library had the first two books in this series on the OverDrive app, so I downloaded them last week. I was on the fence about No. 1, but I liked the second book so much I actually walked over to the library on Tuesday night before closing and got books 3, 4, & 5—in print (a rarity for me these days), and now it’s just past Thursday night and I’m already finished with them.
Why am I reading these like they’re crack? Two reasons:
I’m trying to read a certain number of new books before the year’s end.
THEY ARE BRITISH NANCY DREW NOVELS FOR GROWN-UPS. Like, amazingly so. I don’t just mean they’re about a female detective in the 1930s; the pacing and plotting are remarkably similar. I suddenly feel like I’m a sneaky 8-year-old again, staying up way past my bedtime to finish yet another yellow-bound mystery story.
This is why I became GirlDetective in the first place.