Tuesday, August 25, 2009

FandomFluff: Laundry Day or Oblivious Fan?

Laundry Day or Oblivious Fan?

Hoosier Mama

Driving to Chicago from small-town-Indiana where we live, my husband and I decided we were close enough to the city to be among people who knew what an Italian beef sandwich is supposed to look and taste like. So we stopped to eat at a busy place near the interstate.

As I sat there, enjoying every bite of hard roll heaven, garlicky juices and hot peppers dribbling down my chin, I took note of a small family sitting across the large, crowded room from us. The mom looked to be in her 30’s and her shirt immediately had my attention: she was wearing a black Team Edward shirt.

I immediately felt a kinship with the woman. We shared a love of Edward, except she was courageous where I was not. I don’t own any Twilight shirts; I like to keep my fanaticism on the down-low. The last fanatical shirt I owned had, “May the Force be with you” written on it with the original Star Wars logo. I wore that shirt in high school during the late 70’s until it slowly faded to death and, trust me, it was cool with a capital C. But wearing a Twilight shirt? Not even at a Twilight convention but in broad daylight at a restaurant in Merrillville?
I’m way too sensitive to handle the snickers, the eye rolling, and the outright hostility I’m afraid the shirt would generate these days. Sometimes being a Twilight fan makes you wonder if this is what it felt like to be thrown to the lions.

Was she displaying bravery? Perhaps her character was strong enough that she wasn’t bothered by anyone else’s opinions. Maybe she was simply unaware of the building backlash against all things Twilight. Ignorance is bliss after all. Either way, I felt compelled to let her know she wasn’t alone. As grateful as I am for friendships made in the fanfic community online, life can be a bit lonely out in the real world.

We would be passing her table to leave the place, and I felt I had to recognize her in some way as a fellow fan. A nod of the head would be nice, but she wouldn’t get the Twilight connection. I could gesture to the front of my shirt, looking at her shirt and saying “nice” with a thumbs up like Kristen Stewart in the prom scene, but she would definitely think I was referring to her boobages. While I have read
’s “
Yes, Mistress
,” I’m definitely not of that persuasion.

As we got up to leave, I still didn’t know what to say or do. A plethora of thoughts quickly swam through my head. She could be one of my favorite fan fiction writers! I could be missing an opportunity to talk to Tara Sue Me, or AngstGoddess003, or (sigh!) Gondolier! (I could use Hydraulic Level Five code words, “Are you a sucky vampire?”) Then again, maybe the shirt has no meaning for her at all. Maybe it was clean and its laundry day at her house. I’ll just be embarrassing myself. I should just leave and not say anything.

But I couldn’t…I stopped at her table, looked her in the eye and with a friendly grin spoke two words, direct and to the point:

“Nice shirt.”

She looked down, puzzled, then looked back at me smiling and said, “Thanks.”

She understood. We connected. Our conversation was perfect. My husband rolled his eyes at me while I got in the car, gleefully content.

This has been a Fandom Fluffy Moment brought to you by
Hoosier Mama


  1. I admit- I am a 42 year old Twilight addicted mom, and I do own a Team Edward shirt, an OCD (Obsessive Cullen Disorder) shirt and a prom scene shirt. Yes I am a loser. I admit it. I have worn them in public. I won't anymore. My compromise is to sleep in them, with my Edward pillowcases.

  2. i have 2 Twilight shirts
    a"don't talk to me about Jacob Black" shirt (yeah,it's presonalized)
    and a I <3 Twilight shirt
    im reconsidering wearing them...esp. the JB one.
    to hell with that.
    im wearing those babies to school.
    everyone else can back the freak off.

  3. I feel the same way when I see someone with a Twi shirt or bag or flair...or keychain or hat.. you get the picture right! But now, you've brought a whole new meaning to fandom, what if one of them is AG or TSM or Ohlalaaa? I mean what are the chances but still... Thanks for the new obession...

    A 30yro mom...

  4. lol, I so enjoyed this article, thanks!

  5. You know, the funny thing is...while as I mentioned above I don't own a Twilight shirt, I would totally where a "Hydraulic Level 5" shirt or a "I <3 tby789" shirt or a shirt that said something like... "Got cookies?" with "Wide Awake" printed on the back. Where can I get something like that?

    Hoosier Mama

  6. I have the same inclinations against openly broadcasting the fact that I'm a Twilight fan. I sheepishly mentioned it to my best friend and he was really cool about it, but if I have a hard time mentioning it to him, how could I possibly bring it up to strangers? And even then he surprised me with his shrug and nonchalant acceptance. He happens to be a huge Angel/Buffy fan so I guess even though we aren't on the same fandom, there's still a kindred spirit thing going on (plus he's been my best friend for nearly a decade, so bitch better accept it). Regardless of his reaction, I'm super cowardly and probably wouldn't have walked up to someone. You certainly have more courage than I do.

  7. Hydraulic Level 5 shirts are available here


  8. I don't own any Twilight shirts because I don't feel like being judged too quickly... however I do wear my "The switch was gone and my girl was beautiful" shit allll the time. Custom made @ a t-shirt place. No one gets it except for the few at work I gave the story to. ^_-

  9. hmmmm...i have no shirts.

    but i stop and ogle rob's face on every single piece of merchandise if I am at target or walmart or the grocery store.

    maybe this is why i don't wear a shirt like this...i want people looking at my face not my chest.

    excellent article!


  10. Thanks Sophie!
    Gondolier actually included the website in her author's notes with the latest update of HL5.
    I think I'll get the one that says, "I'm a sucky vampire" and wear it at the midnight showing of New Moon. It could be interesting...

  11. I have an 'Edward Prefers Brunettes' shirt that I wear with my girlfriends on Twi nights.

    I also have a Cullens baseball shirt that actually looks like an official baseball shirt, so it's nice & subtle. Only Twifans would actually notice.

    I would also love some fic tshirts (I love the ones that you guys have here, btw!)

  12. Ha! I love it. I'm actually having coffee with a reader on Monday, whom I discovered lives ten minutes from me. I'm so excited. If only these lil moments of connection happened more, gah.

    For example, my book club's choice for September?...Twilight. Oh sweet mother, if they only knew.

  13. I have a Cullen baseball shirt, too. A couple of people have asked me, "Do you play baseball?!" I'm just like, "Er, no..." and walk away quickly. I have three Twilight shirts and three Fanfic ones (the ones AG made) and I wear them everywhere, especially the fanfic ones. No one gets them, though.

  14. I am 34yo and I'm shameless about my affection and obsession of all things Twilight. I proudly admit to owning *counts in head* ten, yes, I said ten, Twilight related t-shirts and I wear one every Friday to work (in a professional office environment). I suffer little teasing and when I do get teased I puff out my chest proudly and defend my beloved Cullen's. All in all, my friends and coworkers respect my obsession and even indulge it from time to time. My 'I love boy's who sparkle' shirt actually prompted a fangirl/fanboy moment in the bank one day with the male teller; it was awesome. Be proud girls! :)

  15. Dizzy:
    You go girl! I think it's awesome that you can wear your Twilight shirts every Friday. I think I'm just way too insecure.

    Just drifting:
    I'm totally getting me a fanfic shirt, even though no one will likely understand. Someday, maybe someone WILL understand and talk to us about it and that connection will be SO cool!!

    I'd love to be a fly on the wall during your bookclub discussions of Twilight! Does your bookclub know of your super secret fanfic identity?
    Enjoy your coffee chat on Monday (stupid, lucky, coffee-drinking reader...grumble, grumble).


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