Apr 3, 2011

Comic-Con: Embracing the Nerd

Hey there, Tableau-niacs. The purpose of Tableau Your Mind is to explore as many aspects of pop culture as possible, and to do so we will be reaching out to Guest Bloggers to fill in the metaphorical cracks of the popular universe. Recently, Guest Blogger Eau de la Trine spent some time in Chicago for C2E2 (the Chicago equivalent of Comic-Con) and had a few stories to tell:

Eau de la Trine

Walking into the convention center at this year's C2E2 in Chicago instantly takes me back. Now, I'm not talking about the cartoon nostalgia evoked by the sight of a middle aged man
dressed as Skeletor posing with his daughter/girlfriend in a sexed-up Evil Lyn costume. No, I am taken back to more cringe-worthy times. 1996. South Carolina. My first ever Homecoming Dance

Held in our town's local convention center, the dance was destined to be a shit show on many levels. In our defense, I could say we were too young to know better than to expect a good time in a building usually reserved for mechanic school graduations and Bible trade shows, but on some level we must have known what we were getting into.

When I'm forced to think about it, we were, at best, an eclectic bunch of nerd-rebels that night, but nerds nonetheless. My best friend was fully decked out in a retro, powder-blue Cinderella gown and colossal beehive, while I chose an unfortunate combo of black pajama pants, plastic shoes and my mother's gold lame disco blouse, worn backwards. We waltzed into the convention center – completely without irony – behind the cooler friends in our group: the sluttiest druggie on our high school's cheerleading squad and our own southern version of Ricky from My So Called Life. Yeah, that's right- we didn't need dates. 

After a brief stop at Check-In for alcohol frisking, we followed the ever loudening bass of Metallica's "Enter Sandman" down the convention center hall to the dance. Inside, a celeb-u-DJ from the local radio station was fist pumping and cranking up the volume to levels unreasonably loud for an empty dance floor. No one was participating, for obvious reasons.

Teacher chaperones outnumbered the students 3:1. Some flashed us exaggerated smiles and toe-tapped along in a desperate attempt-fail to convince us that this was a good time. Others, who'd surrendered to the utter suck-dom of it all, didn't even bother faking it.

By the time the three girls known for having an even lower social standing than us shimmied out to the middle of the dance floor (in a bold attempt to get ‘tha party’ started), we were well turned around on our way back out the door. The whole damn trip lasted all of four minutes, including the frisking. If I recall correctly our night may have ended well - something about Berry-flavored Boone's Farm or lowest-shelf vodka suckled out of a sheepskin bag. But that's a story for another time. 

It's not that the C2E2 convention drove me to want to drink. On the contrary, when you find yourself on an escalator at the Con witnessing a Guitar Hero band (whose members range in age from 6-24) delicate-rocking "Dr. Feelgood" to a crowd consisting of one passed-out chick with blue hair and a lone security guard, you can't help but feel...good [Ed. Note: Pun Alert!]. And feel proud to have embraced a time when either you were a nerd or were simply too cool to care.
Blogger Eau de la Trine enjoys an active social life and adventures outside of the world of comics and the internet.

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