Bordering on Geek

Saturday night hubby and I went to see the musical Oliver, which was a collaboration between the Phoenix Symphony and Phoenix Theatre. I’d forgotten how much I love that show and how much I miss reading 19th century British literature like Charles Dickens novels.  What a treat. Acting, singing, and music were all fabulous.

But to get to Symphony Hall, we had to make our way through streets peopled by the denizens of Comicon. Think of it as a place, not an event that occurs inside the convention center and spills out onto the surrounding streets. Particularly, think of it as a place in the minds of these people.

Sometimes I think I would have more fun if I were more geeky than I am. I know I am more geeky than hubby. So maybe he’s the one holding me back. He would never appear in public in a costume, for instance. I have a Renaissance Faire outfit all ready to go, but I haven’t actually worn it because he would be embarrassed.

In fact, I wouldn’t have minded dressing up as a character out of Oliver.

But I know I am not as geeky as the people who seem to be having a lot of fun at Comicon. From the deck of Symphony Hall I took a few pics. They aren’t very good because the angle was wrong and the tree was in the way.

Just before dark when things started happening

Just before dark when things started happening

Wait, is this Mimi from the Drew Carey show? Or is it some character I’ve never heard of?


Here are some others:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

My favorite costume was that of Daenerys Targaryen, Mother of Dragons (Game of Thrones). Oops, yes, I am a Game of Thrones geek. I loved seeing young women in strong, beautiful costumes like Daenerys.

However, I did notice quite a few groups of young females in costume (mainly long princessy gowns) who had frustrated and longing expressions on their faces. I suspect that they weren’t having any better time than when they go out en masse to a local club.

As my kids were growing up, they wore their share of costumes for school events. My daughter wore plenty of dance costumes and, later, play costumes (and still does). I dressed up sometimes for Halloween to pass out candy.

The last year I was allowed to Trick-or Treat (Mom thought kids got too big for going out begging for candy) I wore a real 1920s Flapper dress–silk with beading–that had belonged to an elderly relative. Of course, the dress was ruined by wearing it out like that–the fabric was 40 years old and very fragile. And I couldn’t think of anything to wear under the transparent dress but a PRINT shorts outfit my grandmother had sewn for me. Luanne Oct 31, 1967 last Halloween treat or treatTherese dress

The purse was also vintage, and I made the headband. Not sure about the earrings, but I know I loved them. I always loved long dangly earrings. Looking at this pic, I’m wondering how I ended up with a cool husband when I have always bordered on geek.

Are you a geek or are you cool?


I have a DOLL GOD Giveaway going on at Goodreads until June 7. Hop on over there and sign up if you want to win a free copy!




Filed under #writerlife, Arizona, Art and Music, Book Giveaway, Doll God, Nonfiction, Photographs, Vintage American culture, Writing

50 responses to “Bordering on Geek

  1. Look at you, all flapper-y and everything! I’m a lukewarm geek. I have to be in just the right mood to dress up. But minimally. Just a token item or two – a hat or something round the neck. I don’t have the imagination or motivation to put a whole lot of effort into it. Maybe I should revise that: I’m cool-ish.

    • A hat can really create the impression of a costume, if it’s the right hat! A nurse’s cap, for instance. Or a hat with a dragon head on it. You have a touch of the geek to you more than my hubby, but are definitely on the coolish side, Maggie ;).

  2. Luanne, I definitely fall on the geek side. I, too, have a husband who would be mortified to appear in public in velvet and tights…sigh! (Many other lovely qualities, of course!) I took my son to see Dickens’ great grandson Gerald do an interpretation of A Christmas Carol this December. It was pretty amazing, and sent me off to read a Dickens biography. Something about seeing a descendant…makes the author real and immediate!

  3. I wore a flapper costume as a 20 something for a party. Made it myself with tassels. Loved it!

    • Kate, how fun!!! I did, too. I took a dress I’d never finished making and added fringe to it! That was the same Halloween that hubby dressed up for his only time (as an adult) ever–as a newsboy.

  4. Luanne!! What a completely darling photo of you in your stunning vintage dress! Does that make me geeky? Loving vintage clothing? I’d buy it in New York vintage stores and mix it with my work wardrobe long before vintage became fashionable ( or does that statement just make me ‘totally’ vintage?)!

    But costumes or geeky stuff? I think I could have gone either way but as a child I was reined in too tightly to ever learn I had a geek side. You wouldn’t catch me in public with a flamingo on my head. Marrying a buttoned-up non-geek kept my reins in place.

    I would much rather have been with you at Oliver! I LOVE the plot, characters and songs. Coincidentally neither my DIL nor Raqi have ever seen Oliver so while I was ordering Annie for Raqi’s birthday, I ordered Oliver, and we’ll be watching it next weekend. I’m so excited 😍💖

    • Woohoo, I hope they enjoy the movie! And wouldn’t we have fun going to a fun old musical together!
      I love that you’ve always worn vintage clothing. I always loved the idea of it and rarely have had the guts or talent, although I used to wear my mother’s old belts and jewelry and those were fun. Maybe it’s a good thing we found our buttoned-up types 😉 or we might have been out there with our own flamingos!

      • Yes, I find I’m healthier fantisizing about a Flamingo Life while living one in which Hub keeps me on a loosely loving rein 😀 fortunately I’ve had a few fanciful female friends along the way to indulge in the weird and geeky.

        One summer we all put on 50’s clothes and bright chiffon scarves, working our way around Boulder (with the occasional stop for Manhattens and Martinis) looking for convertibles with the top down ( there were none to rent and few on the streets thus more cocktails than convertibles). When we found one, we’d drape ourselves around and on the hood for photos like we were car models of yesteryear.

        Sadly a couple friends are gone but I still have my chiffon scarf 💖

      • 🎶🎶. I love you that’s why I say Cheerio, not goodbye!!

  5. I suspect I’m neither cool nor a geek, since nowadays being a geek is actually cool. I’m not much of a costume-wearer, either, but I’m happy so many others are. It provides great entertainment for the rest of us! 🙂

    • Ah, Carrie, good point about geekdom being cool today. So much easier to be a geek today than years ago. When I was a kid, once you thoroughly slipped to that side you had no choice of getting out of it. I guess that’s where the typical storylines of movies about high school life come from–unlike Glee where the quarterback and cheerleaders mingle with the outcasts.

  6. Love your flapper outfit Luanne. What I admire about the people who attend these conventions is their unselfconsciousness about their interests and their costumes – although it’s a form of armour too. When I was young I was a punk, so I would get looked at a lot, yet I was painfully shy so in theory I should have worn something to blend into the background….

    • Oooh, a form of armour. Very perceptive, Andrea. I think you are right about that, including kids who were punk, greasers, goth, etc. I found an old pic of myself with my Brady Bunch looking family wearing my maxi dress and poncho (hippie) and remembered how much of a protection that outfit was to me.

  7. Perhaps I’d prefer to think of myself as being a ‘cool geek’ — reality however is different.

  8. I love your vintage Flapper outfit. The sheer fabric makes you realize just how risque these outfits were for the time. I heard someone on NPR not too long ago who said that there were seamstresses at some of the rich wild parties in the 1920s because the young women’s gowns were so fragile, they would come apart from dancing.

    I think I’m a nerd. I could probably sing a most of the songs from “Oliver,” but I don’t dress up. 🙂

    • I believe that about the dresses because this one was such gauzy silk that even new it would have been very very delicate. Old, it was impossible, especially under the heavy beading. Why my parents let me ruin that dress this way, I don’t know. I would have taught my kid how to wrap it in tissue paper and save it for the future. It made me feel so awful about ripping it.
      We could sing the songs together! In my 11th grade drama class we worked on the show in class. I was Fagin and my best friend was Oliver–both of us girls, of course. The best sort of casting–where you choose your own role.

      • The dress is so cool, and your show sounds like it was lots of fun. I’m a total nerd–I was listening to Oklahoma! in the car this morning because I thought “O, what a beautiful morning” on a cool, rainy day might turn it around for me. Haha!

  9. Yyyyyeah, I don’t really think I need to even answer this question. LOL

    • HILARIOUS. Yes, I suppose by the standards I’ve “set” here, someone who dresses up in costumes and wigs and photographs herself is truly a geek. But what a COOL geek and such COOL pics you create out of the masquerading!

  10. Pingback: Because. Modess. | The Zombies Ate My Brains

  11. I am a geek, was in high school band, Girl Scouts and also, Science Club. I did get involved in theater but not sure that would qualify me for ‘cool!’ ha ha! I love dressing up and did attend with my second husband a Star Trek convention. I had lots of fun and enjoyed almost everyone I talked to! Smiles, Robin

    • Theatre is a space where there can be some comingling of types ;). Star Trek for me is the essence of fun and geekiness. I love Star Trek. It would be fun to go to one of those conventions with someone who REALLY knows Star Trek inside and out.

      • It was very cool to be there, my Dad was so jealous, too! My second husband had a journalist’s pass from writing for Ohio Magazine. We had some amazing stories we collected data together. I even illustrated two of them with pen and ink drawings. (I am sure he has those in his stuff, Luanne.)
        Anyway, it was in Atlanta, Georgia and Felicia was a baby so maybe 26 or 27 years ago? I ran into my first husband’s brother’s beautiful pewter and other metal figurine’s company. (He ended up selling it to his partner about a few years after this, since his partner ‘stole’ and married his wife.) I was so glad I got to see his brother Chuck Crain, who created Ral Partha company. Jamie, my son, has several wonderful dragons and creatures of fantasy. chuck passed away while only 55 years old, when I was 51 years old. That was the last time I had seen him due to our being divorced. It is always strange how I met my ex at only 18 years old, freshman year in college. I felt like his family was mine, Luanne.
        My Dad loved for us to gather and watch, “Star Trek” while young and he bought memorabilia for Jamie, from when he was a little baby and years afterward. There are plates and all kinds of stuff in a showcase at my ex-husband’s house.
        It was an amazing convention to be, so many people caught my eye with their incredible ‘geeky’ costumes, Luanne! I can just imagine the ‘fodder’ for bloggers to read! Smiles, Robin

  12. I’ve done some freelancing writing regarding ComiCon. It looks so much fun. Interesting people everywhere.
    You look great in your flapper costume.

    • Rudri, is your piece published someone online? I’d love to read it. It does look like fun for those who know the shows and games, and I think I would enjoy a couple of days of it if it was focused on ones I know, like Star Trek and Game of thrones.

  13. Love this – wonderful pictures. I’ve only heard of Comicon on the Big
    Bang Theory. I precede both geek and cool so must be a species of a third kind. Your fanciful Flapper costume brings back memories. When I was in High School my friends and I loved Flappers and the Charleston, also the Can-Can. We took dancing lessons and convinced our teacher to let us wear Flapper and Can-Can costumes in a recital doing the appropriate dances. 🙂

    • I realize they have Comicon at quite a few different cities. I thought it was only San Diego, but then discovered it here in Phoenix a couple years ago. Now I see many cities have the convention! Oh, how fun! What a great time! I so miss dancing!

  14. What a great photo of you in the flapper dress! I’m not much of a geek. I had a brief spell the first few years I lived in CA and hung out with free spirits and hippies. We had a lot of parties where we dressed in costume and it wasn’t always for Halloween 😉 The geekiest I’ve ever been was when I was obsessed with Alice Cooper and would make up my face and claim to be Mrs. Alice Cooper. My husband probably holds me back much like yours does, but I have fond memories of those days of dress up.

  15. Well here is one geek for you Luanne. Me!! And let me tell you, I would so dress up in my renaissance outfit with you (if I had one, that is, ha!). My Aspie daughter went through a goth phase as a way to hide from the world when she was really struggling as a 13/14/15 year old, but of course, she got stared at even more which made her furious. She used to go to the London Expo to Cosplay with a few school friends some years ago, usually as one of her favourite Japanese Manga characters. But when her social anxiety got too much for her, by the time she was 18, she couldn’t handle the crowds any more and stopped going. I showed her this post and asked her what Comicon was and her reply was thus: “Something I would kill to go to, it’s so cool.” So you see Luanne, that makes you very cool indeed 🙂 We love dressing up in our family when we have murder mysteries and costume parties (not so many these days, but when we do, they are a blast). So you can see why I loved this post so much. Oh…and glad you had such a great time at the show, sounds wonderful 🙂

  16. PS Sent too soon! Meant to say, we are total GOT geeks too, and I love the photo of you…your expression and pose is priceless. Dressing up at Halloween was one of my favourite things to do when we lived in CA 🙂

  17. This post was really enjoyable and I loved the young photo of you in the flapper dress. So darling. 🙂

  18. On a whole different topic, Luanne. . . Are those wooden carved figures of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza to the right when you are looking at you? I think, by the way, you looked really stylish and almost like a flapper, Luanne. Just nosy or curious. . . xo

  19. Geek, geek, geek–that’s me. An entire period of my life was defined by dressing up in costumes and parading down Capital Street. I was in heaven. And, of all things, I got my then-boyfriend, now-husband to join me. My favorite was when he dressed as a 6 foot Mr. Potato Head. But no blue shoes. He drew the line at blue shoes. And your flapper outfit looks like something I might wear today. Seriously. Very cool, I say. But then I’m a geek.

  20. I would dress up in a second for a party when I was young. Now, not so much, definitely never been cool or geeky, a comfortable zone in-between.

  21. Pingback: All Cats Today | Writer Site

Leave a Reply