You go through elementary school and middle school as an overweight, frizzy-haired, unibrowed girl with crippling anxiety, and you lean on the “unhealthy” side of book/movie obsession. The characters you read about in a novel, the people you watch on a television screen – those aren’t just people with fake stories. These people become your best friends. The loves of your life. They mean more to you than any person you’ve probably ever met – because they are there for you when you’re sitting in the front of the bus, avoiding the bullies in the back. They’re there for you when your teacher makes fun of your chubby cheeks. They’re there for you when your parents get divorced and when you experience your first real heartbreak. They’re just…there.
So when some IDIOT comes along and makes fun of your fandom, you feel like you’re going to fall apart. You’re really hurt, and they think they’re just poking fun, but it’s not fun, it’s really shitty. You breathe a little faster, your heart twists in that way that is painful and then you think, “Oh my GOD, get it together, it’s just Doctor Who for Chrissake!!” Of course it’s more than just Doctor Who, but if someone doesn’t understand what it means when that blue police box appears out of nowhere, or that look the Tenth Doctor gives Rose in season two…sometimes it’s not worth it to explain it to them.
So you smile and shrug your shoulders when they say what you love is complete shit. You poke fun back at their obsessions, and you try to find some common ground.
“So…have you finished the finale of Sherlock?”
“What did you think of the Twin Peaks finale?”
“Did you know I’ve watched Stand By Me with the commentary more than ten times?”
“Once I wrote a Holes fanfiction!”
They continue to make fun of you and by now you’ve given up on any common ground. They walk away and you’re oddly grateful. You’re grateful for the people in your life that respect your fandoms – that even if they aren’t into it, they’ll never shoot down something you love with your whole heart.
As you walk home from this encounter (it happened at the coffee shop, at one of those asinine work mixers you’re forced to go to, at your sister’s graduation, at a karaoke bar), you think, “Is something wrong with me? Why do I feel so close to something that isn’t real? Why do I cry every time I re-read the part when Snape says ‘always’ or why do I force my boyfriend to talk about Narnia with me or why do I think about so much whether Harry Potter and Peter Parker would be best friends?”
You feel a little bummed out when you make it home. You flick on the lights of your shitty apartment, you kick off your boots and something in the corner catches your eye. It’s your copy of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and you smile, walk over, pick it up, and begin reading.
You feel better already.