I have never read the Twilight or 50 Shades series – not because I think they’re stupid (which from what I’ve gathered from Wikipedia and generally being alive, I do), but because I am afraid I will secretly like them.

I pride myself in being able to detect good from bad writing and the thought of me liking books that allegedly contain such horrible writing – well, I find it wounds my self-image. In addition, I want to be special and an arbiter of good taste. How can I maintain this falsehood if I should actually *gasp* like mediocre books that millions of fangirls and fanmoms adore?

How ridiculous is this? Who cares if I like these books? Or don’t? Who is this arbitrary Gatekeeper of Coolness that I am trying to appease?

Never mind that I read plenty of Regency romance novels (although I do toss the poorly written ones to the side – I have standards, people). I have slogged through plenty of crappy fan fiction (I have a low tolerance for that, too). I even made it through two books of The Vampire Diaries and they were awful! Why should it matter if I like or dislike Twilight?

For some reason, I seem to have a perverse need to seem “rebellious” or anti-mainstream. A hipster-like mentality without actually being a hipster. In college, I steadfastly refused to like *NSYNC or Britney Spears or Harry Potter not for any valid reason, but because so many people liked them. The irony being that once I got over myself, I absolutely LOVED all three. ABSOLUTELY LOVED.

All you careful readers out there might be starting to notice a trend with me. I constantly avoid or deny activities, hobbies, even careers that I don’t think I should enjoy. As a result, I have often lived a fake life, including what I like and dislike, in a pathetic attempt to appease a non-existent Gatekeeper. That’s just sad, people.

The most ironic thing is that until recently, I had prided myself in being such an authentic person! It is only through writing this blog that I’ve come to recognize just how much of myself and my life was for building an image vs actually living. Only in the last five or six years have I become more and more comfortable with who I am as a person, gradually shedding the affectations of a person I thought I should be.

I am thirty-five years old.

How mortifying.

I don’t necessarily think the solution is just to read more Twilight or 50 Shades of Grey. (Although, I’m not as opposed to the idea as I once was.) It’s more that I can unabashedly claim the things I enjoy without shame. It also helps that geek culture seems to be on the rise in both popularity and acceptance.

Sidenote: Do you know that it was at least five or six years into our relationship before Hapa Papa realized how much I LURVED Batman and dinosaurs? (Separately, not together – although that would also be awesome.) HOW COULD HE NOT KNOW I LOVED BATMAN? THE MOST AWESOMEST SUPER HERO EVAR?!? Or dinosaurs? I mean, what’s not to love about dinosaurs?

Anyhow, suffice to say, I’m a dork. A nerd. A geek. Math humor cracks me up. I love science fiction and fantasy novels/books/whatever. I love books. I read CONSTANTLY. I love romance novels. I love YA fiction. I love Batman. (OMGERD, I LOVE BATMAN!!!) I love cartoons. Board games are awesome (especially Puerto Rico). I read fan fiction. I have written fan fiction. (No, you may not read them.) Puns rule. Most crappy pop-music is awesome to me. Star Trek: The Next Generation is the best Star Trek series ever and I LOVE JEAN-LUC PICARD (without apology!). I secretly wish I could code. I constantly find cartoon characters incredibly attractive. (I’m looking at you, Prince Zuko.)

And one day, I just might love Twilight.