Vampires Don’t Sparkle: How I Became a Geek

People become nerds and geeks in different ways. Some people really get into gaming, others love anime, some have always loved particle physics. For me, I may have started my trek down the geek path by watching Sailor Moon as a child (it was actually probably when I was two and my dad taught me to count in different bases, but that’s another story), but I didn’t really get into a fandom or start calling myself a geek until I rediscovered Buffy.

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I say “rediscovered” because I actually saw my first episode of the show when I was six. It was the episode The Pack from the first season, and it absolutely terrified me. I still remember the nightmares I had of being locked in the cage in the library with the possessed hyena students surrounding me.

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It was four years before I’d be up for another episode.

When I was ten, I saw an advertisement for the season four finale. It looked awesome, so I made a point — probably for the first time in my life — to watch the new episode of a television show (back before you could record or watch it on On Demand later). It was awesome! I was still a little scared because, well, lots of demons, but I loved it. I cheered for Riley and Buffy (I’ve since learned, don’t yell at me) and was enraptured with the battle with Adam. Ever since, I was hooked.

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I watched episodes every day (thank you, daytime TV, for playing Buffy in order) and got caught up on the plot by the time I entered middle school. Then, I got really lucky when my English teacher (both years, score!) proved to be just as big a fan as I was. Seriously, we used to argue over our ships (she was Bangel, I’m eternally Spuffy) during the lunch break.

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She even let me do my epic hero project in eighth grade on Spike (I still have the project somewhere, and yes, Spike does fit all seven criteria to be an epic hero). This was the first time I’d been shown that I could discuss my fandoms in an academic setting (instead of just watching them and reading fanfiction). Thank you, Ms. Marshall!

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I went through high school and college without losing my love for the show, though I learned to love quite a few new fandoms along the way. And, I got lucky. I found some friends along the way who love Buffy and are proud geeks. It’s great to love a fandom, but it can be even better when you find people who love it too.

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Now I own every television season and a couple of the season eight books (thank you, Omar), as well as quite a bit of other BtVS paraphernalia. I contemplate the overarching themes of the show at least once a week. I’ve researched the vampire myth in my spare time (no, vampires do not sparkle, and don’t you dare try to tell me otherwise).

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I was a slayer for a Halloween. Heck, the only reason I’m regularly on Twitter now is because of Oztober (thanks, 2 Broke Geeks). I may have begun my fandoms with Sailor Moon but, in my world, Buffy is queen (or maybe Joss is queen…hmm). I earned my title as a true Buffy geek. Even better, Buffy gave me the opportunity to discover so many more fandoms of geek culture.

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So, what are your fandoms? What do you love that earned you your geek title? Do you love Buffy as much as me? Unlikely, but…

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