I went to one of the many celebrations that were held in honor of the 25th anniversary of STNG. What? You don't know what STNG stands for? (I'm rrolling my eyes at you.)
Star Trek Next Generation!
Okay, I knew what it was, but it wasn't my idea to attend. My husband, the man I've known so well for, coming up on, ninteen years, out of the blue, said, "let's go to the special viewing of two episodes from the series and commentary. Well, I LIKE the show, so I said, sure, why not and off we went, trekking (ha ha) an hour and a half down the highway to the special showing.
I should have known I was out of my element from the get-go when we walked into the theater and the manager had his personal collection of Star Trek memorabilia on display in the lobby. We could look, but "please don't touch."
Then the first guy showed up in his Star Trek Uniform. Noooo, not your common garden variety red shirt - the laughable expendables. He wore the late edition, James T. Kirk uniform with the strap over the shoulder, like the one worn in the movie, you know? The one with the whales? Yeah. That's what this guy was wearing. But he did it one better. He had the classic Spock hair cut. I watched as he took his seat on the front row. He was totally lacking in embarrassment, so I made up for it with a pang of discomfort on his behalf.
Then slowly, the theater began to fill as trekkie after trekkie came in, took their seats, and the audience grew more congenial, more familiar, calling out the branch the uniforms came from. "Medical officer!" and a cheer would go up. "Engineering!" Cheer. "Sit down on the front row, Ensign!" Laugh.
And then, before the credits, before the show, the manager came in and one of the best, hardest games of trivia began. I thought I had a pretty good memory for unimportant bits of trivia. But what I found out was I don't know jack about STNG! Do you know the full title of Lawaxana Troi? How about the name of Data's pet cat? (That one I did know, but I was WAY too slow for this crowd.) And when no one could give the exact answer to the question, "From where did Roddenberry get the Enterprise's numbers, 1701?" The guy who came closest by being able to name the movie hommage, received a unanimous vote from the audience to let him be the receipient of the free tickets to an upcoming I-Max movie!
And oddly, by the time we left the theater, sitting through all 3 hours of commentary and movie, I felt a kinship and a bit of a loss at having to separate from these fun people. There was good karma in that theater. Here was a group of people who all felt a kinship to something that resounded with them and the movies. The had a code of honor, a sense of being on a mission together, and a sense of adventure without fear or embarrassment. And as I crossed the theater parking lot, I called out to the guy with Spock hair, "loved you in that movie with the whales!" And he smiled and waved and I really wished I had at least worn my pointy rubber elf ears.