It’s Hard Being a Geek

I was talking to my grandfather-in-law on my lunch break today and after we had chatted for a little while, he started asking me questions about all the toys my husband and I buy.

He is from the school of thought that believes one of two things: either 1. Toys are a complete waste of money, or 2. Toys are only of value if you keep them mint in box and hold on to them for $50 years. And if you have to wait that long for them to be of value, that means they are a waste of money.

I don’t agree with either thought.

I love my grandfather-in-law dearly but I think he’s wrong about this one. What makes “toys” valuable isn’t their resale value. It isn’t whether or not I play with them. Whether or not I keep them in the box.

No. What makes them valuable is how they make me feel.

Some inspire awe. Others spark my creativity. Others make me swoon with joy. Or go crazy just because of how freaking cute they are.

(File these under figures I want.)

There are even some I know we can never own because they scare the be-jesus out of me. (See action figure below.)

(Thanks McFarlane.)

And even if a figure doesn’t make me feel anything, so what? Am I not allowed spend my money as I want? I work hard and deserve to enjoy what I make – at least every once in a while.

This is a hobby that not everyone can understand. But that doesn’t make it wrong.

And despite what many people think, being a geek doesn’t lead to isolation. No, instead, it can lead you to become a part of a community – become part of something bigger than yourself.

Geekdom comes in all shapes and sizes. In all income brackets and age groups. All genders, ethnicities, and beliefs.

When it comes to geeking out, all that matters is that you enjoy it.

And this is something I definitely enjoy.

How about you? What are your thoughts? Do you spend money on toys, figures, games, plush, anime, transformers, etc.? Or do you think you should leave all that behind and “grow up”?

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5 thoughts on “It’s Hard Being a Geek

  1. Great post. I collect Transformers and I do like to pose them – and yes, play with them – rather than keeping them unopened. They make me happy. I’ve experienced some friction between those people who open toys and those who keep them mint in sealed box. People can do what they like with the stuff they buy but personally I do I think as Transformers particularly have a gimmick that involves movement its a bit of a shame not to experience that.

    I think part of being a grown up is the independence to decide how you spend or save your own money!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Amen to that! I’ve only really had the moment once where I thought, “Oh my god! I can’t believe you opened that!” My husband had just got an original Krang off eBay. New in package, great condition. He ripped that sucker right open.

      But as we both agreed, what good is it to buy it if you’re not gonna enjoy it?

      We all have different ways of enjoying our collections and no way is better than the other. But for us, we’re gonna keep on opening up packages and playing and posing figures! Especially Transformers! One of the most fun things to do is to create a city, add some PVC’s, and make them fight. Yeah, good times!

      Years ago, I told this teenager who scoffed at us because we collect: A grownup is just a big kid with responsibilities. Besides, it’s our money. We’ll spend it how we want! And I’m glad you do the same. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What bugs me about attitudes like the one your grandfather-in-law gave you is they take a subjective opinion and treat it as a universal. Opinions like that don’t take into account various backgrounds and values that exist even within a small family, let alone larger communities. I remember being really, really baffled as a young kid when I heard my grandmother saved all the crown bottle caps she came across, because I couldn’t see how you could re-use them and that was the only reason my kid-brain could see. I later found out it was because my grandparents had had really hard times during WW II, and were saving bottle caps for their metal. That opened some baby-me eyes there.

    Similarly, there may be little value in collecting figurines for me at this time in my life (collecting other things now), but that doesn’t mean anyone else couldn’t see value in it. I frankly see collecting baseball cards – or even better, baseball balls that were used in a particular game or another – but I know there are people who find it really rewarding and exciting. Why would I want to take that joy away from them?

    I also think this XKCD comic on our generation being the grownups now (https://xkcd.com/150/) is relevant. It has stayed with me for years; just love it.

    Like

    • First, let me say, that link is now my favorite comic ever. And secondly, I agree. Unfortunately, not everyone can see the same value in the things we do or collect. But I’ve learned over the years, that pretty much everyone collects something. Be it jerseys, shoes, coins, cats, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you enjoy it. For people like us, it’s normally not about resale value – it’s about having fun.
      Most of the time my grandfather-in-law understands this. Every once in a while he’ll get on this kick about how we should keep the boxes and not remove our purchases from them because it diminishes the value. It’s difficult to explain to someone that we’re not in this for potential resale value. We collect because we enjoy it.
      But then again, he’ll never understand the appeal of spending hundreds of dollars cosplaying. It’s something you have to experience to understand.
      Overall, he’s a great guy and I know he’s trying to look out for us but he doesn’t realize that we don’t look at our collection as a retirement piece but as enjoyment. 🙂

      Like

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