Monday, November 28, 2011

Pony Up

A few months after I came to the States, my school library held a special book-selling event (though they probably called it something more educational sounding).  I wandered between short, child-friendly shelves, clutching a twenty-dollar bill--the largest denomination of American currency I had ever held.

I do not know how many books I flipped through with growing dismay at the vapid stories aimed at my age group.  Then, I stumbled across what passed for a 'sci-fi' section in the impromptu YA bookstore.  I had never seen Star Wars, but I walked out of the library that day with a book from the Young Jedi Knight series.

Sitting in home room, I found myself captivated by the adventures of Anakin Solo (you know, Han and Leia's youngest son).  Somehow, though I had not believed it possible, this made me an even more appealing target to the kids who specialized in chucking things at me from the back of the room.

By the time I got home, I had learned to hide the book.  I even made it a cover out of paper grocery bags (which might explain why I can never remember its title).  My parents did not ask--they probably never even noticed at all.

With age came confidence and the knack for befriending others who had similar interests--or who at least would not judge me by mine.  The very idea of feeling shame over belonging to this or that fandom became laughable.

Until recently.

Within the last year, I fell in love with two children's shows--Star Wars: The Clone Wars and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.  Both target pre-teen audiences but have sizeable adult followings.  Both feature excellent writing, animation, voice talent, and titles containing colons.

While I have sung the praises of The Clone Wars to anyone who will listen, and the Captain Rex ball cap hardly ever leaves my head (see profile photo), I only discuss My Little Pony with other bronies.  In fact, I hesitate to even mention the show to any but my closest friends.  For shame.

I still have secrets, and would like to think that I keep them for good reasons.  Shame does not qualify as a 'good reason'.  The time has come to pony up and revisit the lesson I should have learned as a teen: if someone genuinely thinks less of me for my taste in entertainment, we probably would not get along too well anyway.

So, in conclusion...brohoof!