I've mentioned in the past how amazing My Person is when it comes to learning new things. He's one of those strange people who will decide he wants to learn something and then just does it. He'll research what it is he wants to do, read everything he can about how it's done, talk to people, check out local resources, and then just goes for it. I find that frankly amazing as I'm more like the rest of us who looks at something, says "Wow! It'd be cool to be able to do that!" and then promptly forgets about it.
A few years ago, he decided that he wanted to learn how to sew. Another of his many talents is working on, building, and racing cars. This was a few years ago, and he's not really doing that anymore, but cut his sewing teeth on car interiors when he built his last race car. This time though, he wanted to work on costumes. We'd been going to the Renaissance Faire here in Colorado for a couple of years at that point and begun dressing up and thoroughly enjoyed it. But it's only for a few weeks in the summer. He'd always been interested in science fiction movie props, but decided to take it a step further and learn to sew and create his own costumes.
And this is how I came to be dating Captain America.
Most of us who don't dwell in the land of Geekdom aren't familiar with the culture, though we've heard of the big things like Star Trek and Comic Con (if you haven't, Google them). He'd looked into a local comic book convention ('Con') here in Denver, which is usually held the middle of April. StarFest has a huge following locally and is growing every year. For those of you who are completely uninitiated, Wiki defines a Con as "an event in which fans of ...an entire genre of entertainment such as science fiction....gather to participate and hold programs and other events, and to meet experts, famous personalities, and each other. Some also incorporate commercial activity". These are usually put on by the fans themselves, the biggest of which is Comic Con in San Diego CA, though there are many others. Here's a short clip that will give you an idea of what they're about: the trailer from the movie "Galaxy Quest".
At this point, he didn't have any friends who were involved in this. He didn't even know anyone involved in it. But he bought a sewing machine and got started. When April rolled around, he packed up everything he'd created, and headed to the Marriott where the con would be held. I can't even imagine the nerve it took to do this: to go to a place you've never been, amongst people you've never met, dressed in something you created yourself. I'm in awe. Like, for real. He's amazing.
That was one of the coolest things he says he's ever done. At the end of the weekend, he'd met tons of new people who have now become part of our core group of friends, fantastic, creative, wildly talented people like himself, who love having a good time. Dressed as superheros. Or zombies. Or people from the future. Or monsters. You name it; there's no limit to the things these amazing people create.
A lot of the fun of this (having gone to Ren Faire dressed up) is getting to see the little ones who don't realize it's make-believe. And it didn't seem to be different here, watching the little boys eyes light up when they saw their favorite superhero or movie character talk to them. And most all costumers are very gracious in allowing you to take their picture, admire their costume, and congratulate them on a job well done. Asking to have your picture taken is the highest honor. :)
This past weekend was StarFest. He'd worked so hard on his costumes this year and was as excited as I've ever seen him to get there and get set up. My best friend had come into town the night he left, and she's never been exposed to anything like this, so we drove down on Saturday, the biggest day of the con, to check him out, show our support, and see all the costumes.
He made this costume....almost all of it. And what he didn't make from scratch himself, he bought blank (like the helmet) and finished it himself, down to the same scratches that Judge Dredd's helmet had in the movie.
If you ever get a chance to go to one of these, DO. It really is a fun time. I mean seriously...where else can you run into a bunch of dwarves (the movie 'The Hobbit') at the bar?
Or a butterfly princess (I'm sure this is from some manga comic I'm unfamiliar with) in a doorway?
Or a minion in a ballroom?
And by and large, the costuming community is very friendly and helpful, are fun to hang out with, and more than willing to offer advice if you're having issues. :) And my friend visiting for the weekend seemed to enjoy the experience, texting pictures back to Michigan to her kids and husband as we encountered particularly cool costumes.
Me? I couldn't be happier. I get to go home to Captain America every night.