I was in line for a hot dog at one of my daughter’s Parent’s Night marching band rehearsals when a young woman approached.
“You’re Joanne’s dad, right?” she asked. “Yeah,” I said, wondering what I had done wrong. “I loved Angst!” she said with a broad smile. “Oh, thank you,” I said, surprised. “How did you come across my book?” “Sarah shared her copy with me!”
Sarah is our “adopted nerd-daughter”. Ever since befriending Joanne, she has joined us for every sci-fi, fantasy, and superhero movie we’ve gone to. It didn’t take long for her to become family, she fit in perfectly.
Sarah, Joanne and I spent more than a few nights in my office talking life and nerd-stuff while I made chainmail bikinis for my muses. By her Senior year, she started asking, “Where’s my costume?” Which I’d always reply, “I’ll get right on that when you’re older.” This was always met with a firm “no” from Angie along with the wife-look, and a matching glare from my daughter.
But then, Sarah did get older, and Cristi’s schedule became busier. Sarah wanted to be a muse and she’s not one to argue with. Much to the chagrin of my stretched-to-her-limits patient wife, and a few more “no’s” from Joanne and Cristi, it happened. A month before she turned 21, Sarah joined me as a muse at Soonercon. She was amazing!
That’s because she is amazing! Sarah is beautiful, intelligent, and has a work ethic that puts mine to shame. She’s one of the most dedicated friends I’ve met, and gives one of the most genuine, heartfelt hugs of anyone I know. She has a rich passion for life that is easy to get caught up in.
Her love of music is only matched by her love of everything nerd-dom. Not only does she frequent concerts, she meets up with friends every week for Dungeons and Dragons. She just landed a bartending job, where she will make bank while going to mechanic’s school. Her calendar makes mine look empty, and yet, she still makes time for Joanne, Angie, and me.
Sarah is very friendly and approachable, which sometimes throws people off. A young man was walking by the booth at her first Planet Comicon when he suddenly stopped. You could practically hear the screeching of tires as he tripped over his own feet. He looked at her a little dumbfounded and asked, “Did you make eye contact with me?” I stepped back as she proceeded to talk superheroes, science fiction, and everything the con was about. Needless to say, he bought a book.
My muses volunteer because they are supportive friends, and cons are fun. I look for ways to thank them. With Sarah, it’s easy, because she’s a foodie. She knows what’s good, where to go eat, and where to drink.
During our first con in Oklahoma City, we went to the shwanky Vast restaurant. The food is incredible, but the dropped jaws and turned heads were better. So many nosy people wondering why the young hottie was with the short, old, fat guy (who obviously isn’t her father.) Rather than being offended, we ate it up because the reactions were hilarious. It became our game. During our last visit to Vast, we really played it up. I wore a tux and she wore a glamorous cocktail dress. We let our cool waitress in on the joke, and she replied, “It’s obvious you aren’t a sugar daddy, you care.”
We went to a great Italian restaurant one night after Visioncon, Sarah wore a little black number that was made for her. (While I do realize that some may frown on the phrase “little black number” but it says all. Stunning, breathtaking, jaw-dropping are all more appropriate descriptions, and boring. Sarah is not boring.) After turning heads and making people uncomfortable at the restaurant, we went to the great after-Visioncon Mojo party. We snuck out after a few songs and a few more drinks, to find ourselves at a fire pit near the hotel.
As a side note, once again, this is what I love about cons. We easily spent an hour talking to another couple about everything. He was a fireman who wanted to open a restaurant, she was studying to be a mortician. They were great people. The conversation went late, and when it became colder I gave Sarah my button-up shirt. A gentle, cold rain finally ended our evening and we went inside, to one of the highlights of our running joke. An older woman stood before us in the hotel lobby. She gave Sarah the slow once-over, saw her wearing my shirt, looked at me, and gave us both the most judgemental stink-eye yet. We were laughing before we hit the elevator.
My only regret (and really, I have no regrets) is that we didn’t have enough cons together. That said, I’ll forever be grateful for our adventures. (I have a feeling they aren’t over.) Sarah is not only a fantastic nerd-daughter, friend and muse – she’s family.