Today started as a normal day. My friend and I decided to visit a mall we have never been to before, and we spent the day looking through all the stores. There was one store in particular that I was looking forward to checking out — a comic book store nestled in between a Lush and a Forever 21. Since it was in a mall, this place had all kinds of merchandise in addition to their admittedly pretty small collection of actual comic books. Think of it as kind of an FYE, with toys and accessories relating to anything that people who would actually visit a comic book store would find appealing.
Now I am a woman with very many tastes, and until today I always thought my hobbies and interests were all independent of each other. I love Marvel and Harry Potter, listening to and performing music (especially the ukulele), literature and Disney movies, TV shows with cult followings, Greek mythology and Nintendo. I have always prided myself on enjoying the things I love and not caring that I was different from my — for lack of a better term — more “basic” friends. I am who I am and I like what I like and I won’t pretend to be something I’m not to fit in. This girl will never be obsessed with an expensive brand, will never constantly talk about how I am “the same exact person” as another human, and will never give a shit about what other people do or what they think of me. So that’s all good and well, and at this point I had stepped into this store excited to browse through items related to things I like.
I walk in, and immediately see a small wall of comic books, and lots of tee shirts and action figures of my favorite comic book characters – Deadpool, Groot, Aquaman, Black Widow, etc. Very exciting stuff, but what I expected to see in a comic book store. I then notice an entire Harry Potter section – books, tee shirts, toys, all kinds of great accessories (Ravenclaw FTW). So that’s pretty cool! I keep making my way through the store and I see merchandise for Rick and Morty, Parks and Rec, and other awesome shows I spend a lot of time obsessing over, so the excitement continues. I resume my browsing, and I’m enjoying the Pokemon section, the gay pride section, all the unicorns and cats and tacos and outer space on magnets, key chains, shirts, and mugs. A whole wall is dedicated to band tee shirts and vinyls of amazing musicians from The Killers to The Ramones and at this point I am just in heaven. Finally, a wall display of ukuleles presents itself to me and I just can not believe all of my favorite things are in this little comic book store. I think about what a crazy coincidence this is that one store would have everything that makes me who I am on its shelves.
That is until I stop, and look around in horror. Surrounding me are dorky guys with Pokemon backpacks and gamer girls in graphic Marvel and Star Wars tee shirts. My people. I look at my friend, with all the concern in the world on my face and ask him, very seriously, “Am I a stereotype?”
He of course bursts out laughing, and very kindly informs me that I am, in fact, a Quirky Girl™. All this time, I was proud to be different and to enjoy the things I like, often being the odd one out in my group of friends, only to realize that just about everything that makes me “unique” can be found in a comic book store in a mall. This store is peddling my interests to a demographic that very obviously enjoys the same things as me. I quietly walked out of the store, scarred for life (or at least the afternoon), with my friend following and laughing at my misfortune and newfound identity crisis.
I write this first blog post now, hours later, and can proudly say that I have officially bounced back and have quickly come to terms with my situation. And quite honestly, you can do worse than living a Zooey Deschanel – type existence. I am a Quirky Girl™ and I am damn proud of it. Now please excuse me while I go debate with a guy on the internet about whether Breath of the Wild or Ocarina of Time is the better LoZ.