It’s funny how you learn things about loved ones sometimes.
When I was in high school, I started writing funny short stories and essays, some of which got printed in the school paper and became pretty popular to the point that I was eventually made a columnist, then assistant editor for the paper, thus giving me exactly one extracurricular activity to put on my college applications. At some point in this four-year process, we went to visit my dad’s side of the family in Texas, and multiple aunts, uncles, and grandparents came up to me and said basically the same thing: “we had no idea you could write like that.”
I don’t know if they were surprised that I was funny, or that I was clever, or just that I could write whole sentences, but I suddenly realized that these people, relatives whom I’d seen three or four times a year since I was born, did not know these things about me and only found out when my mother started sending them copies of my papers every month. I’d been writing since I was in third grade and won the “Young Authors” competition at my school, and I’ve always been “the funny girl,” probably because as a tomboyish redhead, it was the best defense against bullying besides breaking fingers.
I bring this up because today I found out that Amanda has a Princess Leia golden-bikini fetish I didn’t know about despite living with her for more than a year as roommates/best friends and dating her for another year after that. Of course, being us, I couldn’t find out about this in any normal way, like while watching Return of the Jedi or discussing sexual fantasies or looking at cosplay pictures online or something. No, it came up while I was discussing becoming a prostitute.
Me: Did you hear about this guy who’s starting a nerd brothel in Nevada?
Amanda: Like, a place where people pay to have sex with nerds?
Me: No, a place that caters specifically to nerds.
Her: What, does it look like the cantina from Star Wars or the bridge of the Enterprise or something?
Me: Oh, so you heard.
Her: Holy shit, it actually looks like that?! Which one?
Me: Uh…both. It’s supposed to be modeled on the cantina, but there’s a “Kirk Room” with a replica of his chair. You really did not know about this?
Her: Nope. If they had Kaylee’s room from Firefly, I’d go there just to use that. Uh, with you, of course. No need for the hooker.
Me: Ha. You would. I wonder if the prostitutes are, like, familiar with their roles? Like if they’re cosplayers who want to make money having sex, or just hookers who are just dressing up.
Her: Seems like it would be easy enough to get some geeky prostitutes these days. You told me there’s geeky porn stars.
Me: Yeah, tons. Hell, I’d do that as, like, a summer job. If I had a summer. And was single. And lived in Nevada. And was skinny like in college…
Her: So this is one of the legal brothels like The Bunny Ranch?
(We had both seen a few episodes of the reality show before.)
Me: Yeah, same owner, actually.
Her: Ah. Smart guy. Too bad for him I have my own geek girl so I don’t have to pay someone to dress up in a gold Leia bikini.
Me: Wait, you have that thing for the gold bikini? I knew a lot of guys were into it, but…
Her, suddenly bright red: I…never mentioned that?
Me: Noooo… Should I look for one online?
Her: Eh, maybe. It’d have to be a good one or I’d probably just laugh.
Me: That’ll be expensive. And I don’t think I’d wear it to a convention or anything unless I lost more weight than I expect to.
Her: You could pull it off, though you might blind people if you wore it outside.
Me, flattered: Aw, you really think so?
Her, smirking: Oh yeah. You’re whiter than me.
Me: Oh, fuck you.
Me: I’ll bet I could find one cheap enough if I shopped a bit. My fox ears were only twelve bucks.
Her: Those are fox ears?
Me: They’re orange with black tips, what’d you think they were?
Her: I thought you got, like, custom cat ears to match your hair.
Me: No, I just shopped around until I found some cheap ones that matched.
Her: Huh. I was afraid to ask how much those were. They match perfectly. (pause) …are you a furry?
Me: I don’t think so. I just think they’re cute. Cat ears can look cute, but they’re kind of…overdone. Plus, foxes are like half-kitty, half-puppy, but with floofier tails and they’re viscious predators for their size.
Her: Yeah…that’s you, all right.
Me: I was on Etsy for like 3 hours.
Her: Three hours?!
Me: Well, only about 30 minutes was finding the ears, but once I ordered them, I got into playing Etsy Wars…
Me: It’s a game I made up, like Wikigroaning, but for Etsy. You take two or more fanbases, like Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and Dr. Who, and search for them on Etsy. Then you compare number of things for sale, number of handmade things, and the general insanity of the handmade things to see which thing has the largest number of batshit crazy people in the fanbase. Harry Potter won. So many creepy, lovingly-drawn portraits. And the handmade Gryffindor wedding garters. Dr. Who probably has the highest percentage of crazy people, though. Very few handmade things for sale, but most of them were really…committed.
Her: Like “they should be committed,” or just really dedicated?
Her: Such as?
Me: Oh…like a drawing of a Dalek in a bathtub saying “EXFOLIATE!” or handmade Dr. Who perfume, or really, really accurate versions of scarves and coats and bowties from various Doctors.
Her: Well, the coats aren’t really handmade, I’m sure. Just similar to the one on the show…right?
Me. Ha! Sure.
Her: People hand make coats? That’s kind of over the top. What?
Me: You OWN a handmade Dr. Horrible coat!
Her: YOU found it! I thought it was just a costume.
Me: It is, but remember how I had to measure you for it? Yeah, that’s because it was custom-made for you by someone I found on ebay. Lab coats don’t actually button up the side and shoulder like that.
Her: Some do. Doctors used to wear them.
Me: No, you’re either thinking of Frankenstein, which was basically double-breasted, or the doctors from Firefly, which is where Dr. Horrible’s coat came from because Joss Whedon was recycling props. Like the death ray. Same episode.
Her: Oh. So you found someone who made me a custom Dr. Horrible coat for like forty bucks?
Her: The internet is pretty awesome.