When a Chance Meeting Reminds You that You Matter

I just unsubscribed from a monthly social events club called “UpOut.” It wasn’t working for me, but that’s not relevant. The last ticket I nabbed was to the Chicago Wine Festival After Party at the Godfrey Hotel. I was promised champagne (there wasn’t any.) I hadn’t been feeling very social, and much to my chagrin, most of the attendees were part of a Meetup group. Thus, they were READY TO SOCIALIZE. Uggghhh.

Turns out, this party was just what I needed to refuel my self worth. I’ve been feeling pretty down about geek culture lately- cosplay, the blog, all of it. Two women from the Meetup group sat with my friend and me. We talked for a couple of hours. It took two and a half glasses of wine to realize we’d met before.

One of my “new” friends, Debra, is actually a librarian at Fountaindale Public Library in Bolingbrook. A few years ago, I made a day-long cosplay appearance there as Rose Tyler from Doctor Who. My good friend Zoran was the Tenth Doctor, and we were accompanied by a slew of other characters. The cast did everything from trivia to crafting. I made a ton of great memories that day; I assumed it hadn’t affected anyone else.

Deb told me this story: A little boy came into the library that day in 2013. He asked the librarian if there were any events going on. Deb encouraged this child to meet The Doctor- a character he knew nothing about. Apparently, The Doctor and I made a lasting impression. The boy immediately sat at the craft table and designed several buttons. He then checked out as many Doctor Who DVDs as allowed, and continued to do so for weeks.

He has grown quite a bit since. Today, the young man remains a die-hard attendee at the library’s Doctor Who fanclub- its president, of sorts. The library is a great place for young people to engage with art, literature, and other people in their community. This is all because one boy met The Doctor (and Rose Tyler) in 2013.

Obviously, I am delighted to have connected this child with Doctor Who, one of the most inspiring fandoms of all time. I’m also thrilled to have met Debra. She is doing wonderful things for Chicagoland children. I ended up calling Zoran from the hotel. He lives in California now, but picked up the phone. Debra got to relay the 2013 story personally. My day was made, and so was his. (See you in October, Doctor!)

I don’t know if I’ll ever really get back into cosplay. I’ve restarted writing, but not regularly in GGC. This chance meeting brought me back here. Geek culture hobbies, particularly Internet-based ones, often feel like screaming into the void. You never know who you’re reaching. You never know whose life you’re changing for the better.

Someone out there remembers the day they met The Doctor for the first time. I was a part of that. That’s enough to keep me making content for the long haul.

Keep going, gentle reader. Keep creating your art.


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