The oddest things stick with me sometimes. I have this wallet that I purchased at the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco. It used to have a card inside that told me about the painting and the painter, but I lost that a while back. Honestly, I bought it because it’s a colorful, funky wallet; not because I know anything about the painting or the artist, which is kind of lame of me.
I was at a deli that I frequent due to its proximity to my office, and when I pulled my wallet out to pay the dude behind the counter thought it was a Batman wallet. As I showed him the detail he said he would have been surprised if it was a Batman wallet because, “you don’t seem like a Batman aficionado.” I very briefly set him straight, something like: “Uh, I actually am;” before moving out of the way so the guy behind me could pay for his sandwich. That did not seem like a sufficient response to prove that I am a HUGE fan of the Caped Crusader, but it would have been super weird to go back and elaborate. The very small exchange made me think about two things: That I can talk for hours about Batman and; although we all know not to judge a book by its cover, I have no idea what my own book cover looks like to other people.
Not that I necessarily want to wear any of my nerdier parts on my sleeve (hmmm, or do I?), but being told I don’t seem like someone who would be into a superhero made me wonder what kind of person I do seem like. What am I projecting out into the world? Should I try to add something that says “Ask me how many times I saw the 1989 Batman in theaters?” (Answer: at least 8, probably more. 1989 was quite some time ago, but I remember telling my best friend I saw it 8 times and her looking at me like the crazy person that I am. There’s a good chance I saw it a couple more times after that. Pretty sure I even had the soundtrack on tape; yes a cassette tape, I am old); or “Which Joker is your favorite and why?” (Answer: My answer is lengthy and boils down to them all having their merits, but the Riddler from the Adam West version of Batman was way better than Jim Carrey). Sadly, I could have lengthier discussions about this crap than I could about actual world problems/current events. I’m shocked I never found a way to work in any comic book icons into any of the papers I had to write in college. I did manage to throw vampire lore into one, which was probably my favorite and most ridiculous paper, but no superheros. Yes, I got an A on my vampire paper. I also managed to bring up things like Planet of the Apes to help me support my arguments in Ethics class. True story.
The comment from the deli guy stuck with me for the remainder of the day. There was a small part of me that wanted to go back in there and drop Batman knowledge on that guy, but why? Who cares? That’s when I realized that it wasn’t totally about his assumption that I am not a bat-geek; but more about what kind of person I do seem like to strangers. When I think about this I eventually came to the conclusion that these people are strangers, so I don’t give a shit what they think of me. This just happened to be one of those times where the particular conclusion stuck with me. I would like to note here that I have no assumptions about the guy behind the deli counter; except that I assume he is one of the two owners of the place.
Maybe next time I go in there I’ll make sure to wear one of the pairs of Batman socks I have (yes, I have more than one pair of Batman socks, I have Wonder Woman, and Superman too). I’d wear my Batman pj’s, but that does not seem work-appropriate.
I feel that I should note that I saw a preview for Batman vs. Superman today; and although I almost cheered out loud at the end of the Star Wars preview that followed, I was pretty stoked about this as well. I’m fairly certain Superman wins that battle unless Batman loads his utility belt full of kryptonite. Or creates a special anti-Superman kryptonite Bat-suit.
See? Na na na na na na na Bat-nerd!
Here’s a trailer I saw today for Batman vs. Superman, in case you were wondering.