Monday, April 10, 2006

Secret Identity

I have a Superman watch.

I wear this watch almost every single day. It's a very nice watch. There's nothing garish or brightly colored about it. It's a silver finish watch with a black leather watchband. On the face of the watch, there is a silver Superman S-shield.

From a few feet away, all you would see looking at it is the fact that I'm wearing a standard watch with a black leather band. If you look closely, the watch will identify that, Yes, I am in fact, a nerd.

I like the fact that my nerd-hood is there for anyone who cares to look, but that it doesn't define every element of my life. I purchase over $100 of comic books a month. I own several thousand comics in longboxes in my garage and my library. I play role-playing games at least once a month, and I play a superhero on City of Heroes almost every day. Once a year, I go to a 24-hour Science Fiction movie marathon, Origins and GenCon, and I occasionally go to other conventions as well.

But at the same time, I have a regular full-time job that has nothing to do with comics, role-playing or science fiction. I am married to a wonderful woman, who shares some of my geekish tendancies, but is also someone I can sit down and watch American Idol with. I have a beautiful daughter, and I am heavilly involved in theatre, both as an actor, a director and a stage combat choreographer/instructor.

My life as a geek is almost a secret identity, and I guard it at least as well as Peter Parker does in Spider-Man. I unmask it far more often than I should, but I do take some effort not to display it to everyone on the street.

But sometimes I wish that I could be more like the Fantastic Four, and wear my geekdom on my sleeve. I wish that I lived in a world where reading comic books didn't make me a "freak." I have no desire to change who I am, but like a Marvel Comics mutant, the world isn't ready to accept us yet.

We have people like Bryan Singer, Christopher Nolan and Joss Whedon who are doing their best Charles Xavier impression, trying to create a world where the hard-core comic geek can live openly in their admiration for superheroes, alongside the mundanes who watch X-Men for a chance to admire Hugh Jackman and Halle Berry.

Sadly, for now, if I want to mix in to everyday society, my love for superheroes must remain a secret, hid beneath the veneer of an everyday worker, husband and father.

But I do have a Superman watch.


Anonymous Moo said...

My husband had (what sounds like) that EXACT watch and it was truly a glorious thing.. it broke.. we were both very sad!! I hope you and your superman watch have a long and happy life together ;-) xxx

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Nico said...

With great nerdiness comes great responsibility.

4:40 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...


Oh, you don't know the lengths I've gone to to keep this watch. I've replaced the batteries at least a dozen times, replaced the watchband at least four, and when the glass got cracked, I took it to a jewler to get it fixed.

The watch came from the Warner Brothers Studio Store, and was purchased, I think, in 2000. If it's the same one, Fossil has a new Superman watch that is almost identical, although there is a red tinge to the outline of the S-Shield.

6:02 PM  
Blogger Leon said...

Unmask it! Be proud of who you are!

7:31 PM  
Anonymous Don Foley said...

I am with you brother. I am also a sci-fi, roleplaying, larping, comptuer gaming geek. But I don't bother hiding it anymore, I figure let them go suck on an egg if they don't get it.


11:11 PM  
Blogger Chana said...

So you love superheros? that doesn't make you anything less than anybody else. So you have a Superman watch? i have a Winnie the Pooh small backpack kinda purse that i absolutely love and use often. I love Kermit and Miss Piggy and turtles and parrots and mountains and the Bugs Bunny Show and i sit and watch and enjoy most of the cartoons my kids watch. There is no shame in any of that. You are a person who likes and dislikes all sorts of things just like anyone else. Don't feel that you have to excuse it or flunt it, just enjoy being you. You and the real you are the best you can give your beautiful wife and daughter. No titles, no names, just a person. So enjoy your watch and your passions. I'll go hug marshmellows-mama monkey stuff animal that i bought myself for Christmas to go along with the baby monkey i bought for my daughter. :)

11:50 AM  

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