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5 The Fandom Closet

I made a list of 100 things I should do that scare me. In 2020, I plan to complete all 100.


There are times when I play my “like”s very close to the vest.


For instance, I’m extremely self conscious about my taste in music. I don’t mind if students ask what styles of music I listen to, but God help me if they ask me to put on a song I like This extends to close friends and family as well. If I channel surf on the radio with my husband, I seldom let a song play (verifying that I like it) unless I already know that he likes it.


I also tend to get very deeply invested in TV show, particularly due to the length of character investment for people in TV shows as compared to movies. A TV show character could get a paper cut and draw more empathy from me than a movie character’s torturous death. (It’s happened.)


Because of that, I sometimes play TV shows even closer to the vest. I hate the feeling of saying I love a character and having someone retort that they don’t like them. I’d honestly rather have someone tell me to my face that they hate the stories I’ve written—I hold those less precious than many of the characters I have loved.


Putting my likes out there makes me vulnerable. So I try not to.


For my 20th birthday, my family decorated the house with posters and paraphernalia from all of my fandoms while I was out for the day to surprise me. At first glance, I was utterly mortified. It took me several minutes to calm down enough to be okay with the decorations and rescind my reflexive order to take them down. (Somehow, it helped when they agreed to put googly eyes over some of the characters’ eyes—I felt like we could laugh at the characters unanimously, thus removing some of my vulnerability.)


I had written “outing myself about a fandom” as a fear for later in the year, planning to face it after having some more exposure to that type of embarrassment.


Today, though, it just kind of happened.


I ended up ranting, long and embarrassingly, to a coworker about a show we’d both watched. He mostly agreed with me on my opinions. Somehow, that didn’t help.


I just wished I’d never brought up the subject. It made me vulnerable and embarrassed. I also felt like it shouldn’t be a big deal—like I had no real reason to be embarrassed—but it turns out that telling yourself, “You shouldn’t be embarrassed” doesn’t really help when you are. God help me, I hope he isn’t reading this.


I had this down as a level 3 fear. It felt worse than that, but I’m too embarrassed that this is even a thing for me to rate it any higher.


On the plus side . . . 5 down! 95 to go. Despite the last couple having sucked, I’m actually kind of looking forward to this.

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