Clothing, Culture

Tee Time: Mission Failed

What I learned from my first challenge as a blogger and contributer to the nerd world

A month ago, I set myself up for a challenge to get to know my fellow nerds. These would be random people wearing graphic tees: the uniform of the summer, the banners of fandom, the simple yet universal fashion piece in the nerd world.  

  The goal was 22 shirts, 22 people to get know. I would engage in conversation on why they’re wearing the shirt and what other nerdy things they enjoy. I reached 11. Epic fail. 


The cool thing is that I got to know 11 awesome nerds!

Here are some things I learned about myself and others while doing this challenge:

  1. Be Vulnerable – This is easier said than done. I had to jump in with “I love that shirt.” Which may be why my success rate is only 50%. If the shirt didn’t catch my eye, I may not have been sincere about it. But when I was sincere, people totally opened up about where they got the shirt and why. Then I was able to ask if I can post it. The vulnerability went both ways here, but sincere interest comes first. 
  2. Take Action – There were a few awesome tee shirts that I missed capturing due to “analysis paralysis.” Like, that person wouldn’t know what Instagram or a nerd blog is… I held back a lot because of this. There were times where I was telling myself “Just go do it!” I need to listen to that more. People like talking about what excites them!
  3. Retreat – Being an extrovert doesn’t mean I can approach anyone all the time. After talking to an unenthusiastic person at LBCC about their tee shirt, I was demoralized. There was even a moment when I felt like throwing in the towel with this challenge altogether. So I confided in my support system (wifey) and sat quietly in a dope panel that recharged my batteries. 

This challenge never seemed to be easy. I’m outgoing but not that outgoing. In the nerd world, I’m learning that people do like to share as much as they like to retreat as I experienced at LBCC. 

This Tee Time challenge has allowed me to connect with awesome nerds. We geeked out about mutual fandoms and hope to run into each other at future cons. Totally worth it. 

Did I fail my number goal? Yes. 

But I continue to succeed in getting to know and cultivate this nerd coolture.  


    September 24, 2015