It’s a scene I’m sure is familiar to many of my fellow fans: you’re standing there, likely preoccupied with
muscles something Sam Heughan has posted on Instagram when, without warning, you hear someone say “Sassenach.”
How do you proceed? Clearly this provides an opening for finding a fellow
obsessive enthusiastic fan, but should you approach directly or let her come to you? The stakes are high— come on too strong and you’re likely to get strange looks. Not approach at all and you could miss out on a new Season 5 watching buddy. And it’s possible your ears were tricking you…tuned as they are to Outlander, perhaps you misheard and what they actually said was “Give me my glasses back.”
So here is a friendly guide for approaching an Outlander fan in the wild. Print it out and use it for future endeavors. (Note: if you happen to find yourself at an Outlander-themed event it’s okay to abandon caution and throw yourself into the crazy mix).
1. Eavesdrop without being obvious. Perhaps move closer and pretend to be looking at your phone while determining if your new potential friend is actually discussing Outlander. Listen closely for key words: “Scotland”, “time-travel”, and “hot man pecs.” If their phone ringtone is “The Skye Boat Song,” you’re in.
2. Use visual clues. Dragonfly or bee-themed jewelry is an encouraging sign. So, too, is any employed use of tartan or knitwear. Surreptitiously look to see if they have their pocket Jamie or Roger close by. Try not to be too creepy about it.
3. Proceed with caution. Ready to make your move? Don’t appear too
crazy eager. Good opening line: “Were you talking about Outlander?” Less great opening line: “Do you have a moment to talk about our Lord and Savior Jamie Fraser?”
4. Wait for confirmation. If they weren’t talking about Outlander, smile and move on. Who needs people like that in your life, anyway?
5. Good news! They WERE talking about Outlander! Next, determine their level of fanship. You must not scare them. I repeat: YOU MUST NOT SCARE THEM. Ask if they’ve watched all seasons or just one episode. Have they read the novels and novellas? Do they know all the cast members, even the non-speaking roles? Do they have an Outlander-themed Twitter handle? Did they name their children Jamie and Claire? Mentally place them on a sliding scale of “New fan that must be brought into the fold gently but firmly,” to “Fellow Sassenach Screwball.” (Side note, since I operate a whole blog devoted to this show it’s safe to assume I am the latter of those two extremes).
6. Success! You have found a fellow fan. If they are a new fan, perhaps invite them to some of your favorite Facebook groups and welcome them on Twitter. Slowly reveal the depths of your obsession until you are both wearing cosplay, drinking whisky, and watching the Season 5 premiere together. If they are already a deeply enmeshed fan feel free to jump into the deep end…Brunch buddy? NYCC hotel roomie? Maid of honor? One never knows.
7. Be constantly vigilant…you never know when an opportunity will present itself. The grocery store, the hairdresser, a PTA meeting…these are all ideal places to find a Sassenach in the wild. And, chances are, if you talk to enough people about Outlander you’ll eventually find a fellow fan. Just ask all the people in my world…I’m not annoying about it AT ALL. I’M TOTALLY NORMAL.
So…just over four months until season 5. Your mission is clear: go forth and multiply. The FANS- multiply the FANS. Feel free to, you know, multiply in other ways but that’s probably none of my business.
Have fun and remember…if you ever need a fellow crazy fan, you know where to find me.