Birthday Bash Day 1: Mary Sue IN SPACE or How I wanted to marry Geordi LaForge

For complete context about why I’m not having a birthday party for my 27th birthday this year and how you can still celebrate with me, read You’re Invited to My 27th Birthday Bash.

Erica standing in front of a poster of Captain Picard.
Sadly, standing in front a Captain Picard poster in an Oregon mall is the closest I've gotten to meeting Patrick Stewart.

Star Trek: the Next Generation premiered when I was 3, almost 4-years-old. Some of my first memories are watching it with my mother. I’m pretty sure I cried when they killed off Tasha Yar. In addition to my early sci-fi addiction, I also started authoring stories as soon as I could write my name. My stories usually featured the adventures of myself and my cat. But everything is better IN SPACE.

Soon my cat and I were space travelers, and it didn’t take us long to board the USS Enterprise-D. Once aboard and in the grand tradition of all Mary Sues, I discovered that lo-and-behold I was the long-lost daughter of Captain Picard. (Because seriously, who wouldn’t want Patrick Stewart to read you bedtime stories and order you Earl Grey from the computer?) Yes, I realize Picard hates children (“Disaster”), and my young mind possibly ripped off the idea from “The Last Outpost.” Still, having Picard as your father would be pretty damn awesome.

But not everything was cups of hot tea and kitten snuggles, no, my first fake!daddy and I didn’t see eye to eye on everything. I wasn’t a child in my fantasies; I was an adult. And I had a life and a freaking spaceship of my own. I wasn’t always the best spaceship captain and got myself into a boatload of trouble. A little bit of a cross between Malcolm Reynolds and Vala Mal Doran (before they were invented, dammit). I could shoot a phaser and fight hand to hand combat with the best of them. Take that, Worf! But I also figured that some day, I could easily join Starfleet if I wanted. I was a genius after all.

Things became more amicable between my fake!daddy and I when I started to date Geordi LaForge. You see, in my weekly TV watching schedule, I watched 3.5 hours of television which featured LeVar Burton, and when he wasn’t traveling in space, he was reading children’s books and encouraging me to go to my local library on Reading Rainbow. My local library which was filled with Star Trek tie-in novels, among other books I picked up. Geordi was smart, had a great career IN SPACE, and liked to read. Clearly, he was my soul mate.

And thus, I’ve spent the last 20-odd years harboring a great (but respectful) crush on LeVar Burton.

Erica standing with friends next to LeVar at a signing.
In college, I finally met LeVar Burton. He was just as awesome in person. And he read us a book.

Eventually in my stories, Geordi and I married. We might’ve even kissed in these stories. (Kissing anyone or anything, but my cat’s forehead, was still very gross.) But our marriage wasn’t easy: me marauding out on my own spaceship and him loyal to Starfleet. But we made it work. And when my starship broke down, guess who got to fix it?

I’m sure these stories still live somewhere in my mom’s many storage closets, written down in spiral notebooks or scrawled in crayon or marker on blank pieces of paper. They’re packed tightly away with the Star Trek uniform my mom sewed me for Halloween when I was in the 4th grade. These were the beginnings of the geeky woman I became.

Erica and her brothers getting ready for Halloween.
That's me in my freaking awesome Star Trek uniform. (It would've been the ugly gold color, but mom couldn't find that color at the fabric store.) My brothers just went as skeletons. Boring.

If you enjoyed reading about this, stay tuned for more embarrassing, wacky, or otherwise interesting facts about me in the next 12 days in my birthday celebration. Also donate to Geek Girl Con, a convention and unapologetic coming together to celebrate geeky women. Your donation will reach all the way through time, right to the happy heart of that Mary Sue spaceship captain I once was.

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