From the Vault: unpublished and unfinished scene from a grocery store

I'm working on repairing and restoring WWdN (don't get too excited or update your bookmarks just yet, my blog will live here no matter what), and while I was cleaning up duplicate blog entries, I came across several unpublished drafts of posts that I decided were too personal to publish, too unfocused, or just never finished.

This looks like it was probably the beginning of something that I never finished. I think it kind of shows something important – a blurry snapshot, I guess – from a very particular time in my life. This is from 2003. I haven't published Just A Geek, I'm struggling like crazy in every way that maters, and I'm not quite 31:

I just got back from the grocery store, where I was picking up breakfast for tomorrow morning. While I was picking up my bags to leave, the cashier, a man in his 40s who has helped me in the past, turned to me and said, "Hey, you know who you look like?"

I told him that I didn't . . . but I was pretty sure I knew where he was headed.

"Wil Wheaton," he told me.

"Yeah, that's me," I replied, feeling self conscious and embarassed, as I always do when this happens.

He paused, and frowned.

"No way. You are not!" He declared with a chuckle, "good try, though."

I didn't write beyond that, so I don't know exactly (and can't remember) how it made me feel as I walked out to my car, but I imagine I felt pretty lousy. Prove To Everyone was loud and relentless back then, and what would make me smile and laugh now just made me feel like shit then. Maybe that's why I didn't write about it, because it would have been a big old pity party.

I can look back on it now, though, since I know what happens (eventually), and want to tell 2003 me not to worry too much, that we're going to (eventually) be okay, so just stay on target and keep on working at it … but even if I could, I wouldn't. Those years were painful, but they were necessary. 

Still, a little hug wouldn't hurt, right?

81 thoughts on “From the Vault: unpublished and unfinished scene from a grocery store”

  1. Heh. Nope. The relaunch is something I've been working on for two years, but suddenly ramped up like crazy in the last two weeks, due to [REDACTED].
    I think you actually know what the since-december thing is, unless for some weird reason we never talked about it.

  2. < > I know the feeling. Sometimes the best way to get through a tough time now is to ask your future-okay-self to look back and give you a hug. Which means as the future-okay-self, you have a responsibility to look back at that past-not-okay-self and give that self a hug. Sounds lame, but it really does help. And here’s one from me to you, one geek to another. < >

  3. Every time I hear the phrase “Do you know who you look like?”, my heart sinks. I know exactly what the next line will be.
    “Harry Potter!”
    Yes, yes I do look like an older version of Harry Potter (or rather, given the age difference between Daniel and I, I was here first so he looks like a younger me).
    Some day I’d like to escape from his shadow, something that hopefully will come with the final films nearly upon us.
    I know in the relative sense of things that it really doesn’t matter all that much, but damn does it get annoying.
    That said, looking like Harry Potter was the main reason my now-wife came up to me in the first place, as she wanted to show folks back home that she’d met HP in England. Conversations flowed and now nearly 4 years later I’m married to her and have moved halfway around the world. It’s a strange world we live in, for sure.

  4. I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t stop to tell my past-self that these days are much better. We all mellow with age. Thankfully!

  5. Actually, my literally brain just told me that a hug from a bear could indeed hurt. As well as other varieties of hugs. But I don’t gather you are referring to these types of hugs.

  6. *hug* Hey, I finally hugged Wil Wheaton! A life long dream come true.
    Seriously, I’m glad that everything worked out for you. I missed seeing you grace my television screen. It’s nice to know that there are actors out there who love what they do.

  7. Well, at the least the guy said you looked like you. Over the years I’ve got, “The Numa Numa Guy,” “Real Life Peter Griffin,” “The Don’t Call Me Fat Guy” and most recently, “Glenn Beck.” Sigh…
    *hugs to 2003 you, and I guess 2010 you too.”

  8. Are you going to do anything to/with WWdN (adding to it, or crossposting this blog to it) or just restore it and keep it as an archive?
    *manly clap on the shoulder*

  9. Ouch, I think I’d be able to shrug off most of those but Glenn Beck?
    I am truly horrified that I share my last name with him but thankfully there are so many of us that any relation is extremely unlikely (not least because I’m German).

  10. Great post! It’s a powerful example of the power of a little perspective. Things that would spin us out eight years ago, become important and valuable lessons eight years later. Thanks for sharing this!

  11. *hugs* I know that there are times when I want to go back and tell my 2004 self “it’s okay, self. Going through this is what leads you to that, and that is pretty damn awesome so just keep breathing.” I have to remind myself of that every once in a while when I start thinking “gah! if only I had…”
    Also? While that guy was tiptoeing along the “not a dick”/”yep, a dick” line at least he thought you look like yourself and not somebody else that you would find irritating or kind of insulting. Do you know who I get compared to all the time? Me? A 32 year old woman? Ralphie from A Christmas Story. Seriously. I give you permission to laugh because I like you. :)

  12. *hugs 2003 you. shrugs. hugs 2010 you.*
    Also, WWdN is making a comeback!? Yes! Soapbox! WWdN store! 2003 me is very excited and would like to inform you that she never deleted her WWdN bookmark in the first place.
    Thanks for sharing this tidbit from the old WWdN.
    Cheers.

  13. You know this little look back at the past gives me a lot of hope. Present day me is in a private hell now, and this gives me hope that future me will be able to look back on it and feel better and know that it was important for me to experience. If future me is reading, past me could sure use a hug.

  14. *cyberhugs* for 2003 Wil Wheaton. Back in January 2004 I posted on my blog, “Now, I don’t know where he went or what he did or how everything worked out over the last ten years- but tonight I started reading his blog and I’ve got to say that the dude is cool…Anyone who says otherwise has to deal with me.” http://bit.ly/aLvfZU So no surprise to me how the last few years have turned out.
    Meanwhile, both *cyberhugs* and *cyberhighfives* for 2010 Wil Wheaton! Woot! You go, boy!

  15. P.S. 2010 me does not really expect the same site as back in 2003, but 2003 me took over the keyboard for a second there. Exciting.

  16. That’s always kind of a strange moment when people ask or say…”You know who you look like…” What’s even stranger is when they say someone you would NEVER think you look like, IE: Harrison Ford…then you feel like you disappointed them in some way…In my case, I guess I can always come back with..”There was this COOL Hot Wheels commercial in 1975 yo may have seen……

  17. A hug from me, too. I love your old blogs about family and pets and Stinky at Starbucks. Those were the “good ole days”.
    Freeman :)

  18. And 2003 Wil was doing better than 2001 Wil. You had already decided to pursue writing as a career and published Dancing Barefoot that year if I remember correctly. You were working extremely hard to steer your life in the direction you wanted to go. Seven years later you can look back and see how that hard work has paid off. You are where you are today, in part, because of who you were in 2003. 2003 Wil should be celebrated because he was awesome.

  19. Wil,
    This was a good reminder for me today. Feeling like having that pity party today. I’m 31 not feeling I’m where I should be. Yet reading this makes me feel in time if I continue to work on things eventually I’ll get there and grow & learn in the process! Thanks for the reminder and a cyber hug to you!

  20. Oh, also? *raises hand to volunteer for any sort of forum moderation on any sort of community anything you may start if you are indeed starting a new sort of community something now or in the future.* I cost approximately zero dollars and zero cents per hour. I’m kind of with Angie K and missing some of the 2003 stuff. :)
    Sitting back to watch how many “ooh me too!”‘s this spurs :)

  21. Just in the few years I’ve been reading your blog I’ve watched you blossom and find your feet and it has been so cool. I think we ALL go through this kind of growth and uncertainty. I wish I could say we leave it behind but I find the uncertain, insecure, and “peevish” me makes appearances from time to time when something isn’t going quite right or when I’m in the midst of giganta change.
    Here is to finding those great pieces of ourselves and recognizing them for the gems that they are.
    I can’t wait until you create, write and star in the emmy award winning show. Oh wait, did future me just accidentally let something slip?

  22. I’ve been reading your blog via rss feed since about 2001 or 2002. I found you on Fark when I was still at my desk job and have been following you ever since. Back then I knew you as the guy who played Gordie and from ST:TNG, which was a very important part of my rocky adolescence.
    I’ve been wanting to say how happy I am that you’ve come sooo far from those days! I always liked your work, but you were the first celeb to really let us in and see what it was like to be you, good and bad.
    A few weeks ago I mentioned “Don’t be a dick” while at a party and the guy next to me laughed since he recognized it. My other friend then explained to others that I was a huge Trek Geek and I look at him completely confused as to why he brought that up. I was thinking of Wil Wheaton, That Awesome Guy Who’s Huge On The Intarwebs And Often Guest Stars On My Favorite TV Shows Now.
    …I was so excited when I had to actually stop and think that you are also the guy from Star Trek! At that moment I realized that, for me, you have become so much more than just that, and I am so happy for you. :)
    -kar0na on LJ

  23. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Here are a few hugs (there FREE after all) and a X(from the fangirl in me) Makes me happy that Life is better for you and your Family. It’s good to reflect on where we have been to celebrate the present and continue the journey toward the future so that we don’t forget to stop and smell the roses! Have a Great night. Also, Have you taken your Wife dancing?

  24. Aw, you’re too sweet a person.
    I always worry that I’ll look back on these years and be a little miffed that I wasted them worrying about stuff, but like you said…sometimes it’s necessary. And sometimes the most difficult of ordeals are the most worth it. It’s so pseudo-cliche, but true. Kudos for making a very private journey public. :)

  25. -hug-
    im currently listening to Just a Geek for oh about the 6 or 7th time since i got the audio and all i can say is that im really sorry i didnt know how cool you were years ago. now everyone knows your epic :) im really glad you stuck with it Wil.

  26. No reason for you to wait for future you. I have no idea who you are but you sound like you could use a hug now *internet hugs* Things have a way of working out the way they’re supposed to, even if it sometimes hurts and sometimes doesn’t turn out like we expect. Just keep at it. I have faith in you.

  27. When the LHC rips a hole in the space-time continuum, your present and future selves can get together and all go give past you a plethora of hugs! (Please don’t dampen my glee with “facts” about how that’s not going to happen. Spare me my delusions!)

  28. A hug doesn’t hurt, as long as you’re not hugging something broken, bruised, or otherwise wounded, and as long as, if porcupines are involved, all parties are porcupines. * HUGS * to both the Wils. I think it can be really neat to read glimpses from our past selves and imagine talking to them – it helps remind me to be humble about where I think I’m headed, because all the past mes would have gotten it completely wrong.

  29. Heh. Reading it now makes it sound funny, but I bet that’s weird.
    Just the opposite of folks who’ve never been in front of the camera who get the “you know who you look like?” line. I had someone a while back say I looked like Patton Oswalt…and I’m not sure how to feel about that.

  30. I would love future me to come to present me and just tell me that it’ll all be okay eventually. I don’t need to know any specifics, just seeing an older me alive and smiling would be enough for me.

  31. That would really be something entertaining, a place where all readers can come together and discuss in real time, hmm, that would be one interesting chat room!

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