Do you closet your fandom and fannish tendencies when cornered in conversation, or prodded to explain?
When asked specifically what you do for fun, do you pare it down to simple, vague basics, like, "I write speculative fiction", or "I draw", or "I sew", or do you outright lie about something that sounds more 'credible' or 'smart'?
Have you or your hobbies been 'outed' by overly-enthusiastic friends, well-meaning family members, or fellow hasty fen, to people whom you'd rather not try explaining to (perhaps people with fundamentalist religious followings, overly-clinical doctors, or people who just don't seem like they'd 'get' it and you wouldn't want to bother trying to explain)? Any experiences, for good or for disasterous?
I'm of the sort who's incredibly loathe to wear their fandom or fandom-related hobbies on their sleeve, lest I either end up embarrassed or having to explain myself to someone I'd rather not try - the closest you'll get from me is either reading a surreptitiously-hidden book on the bus, or pinning together a tiny bit of fabric in a waiting room. The only exception so far is public cosplay events outside of conventions, where there's not only strength in numbers - but there's also ten or fifteen others dressed even more strangely than yourself. However, even then I tend to keep to the group and give polite, well-thought out answers whent he questions of "what are you doing?" inevitably come to you. If I'm asked at the fabric stores what project I'm making, I'll boil it down to some sort of ethnic clothing recreation, or describe the dress without delving too deeply into its heavily-fannish origins.
I wouldn't say I'm ashamed of myself or what I like to do, per se - more that I'd like to keep from getting into awkward and potentially mortifying situations with non-fannish sorts where I'm alone, stammering, and trying to redeem myself as something other than what I'd worry non-fandom views a gal like me as - a stereotypically doughy child-woman, out of touch with reality, who should be working a booth at Denny's and daydreaming about normal things, like E.R., Sex in the City, and Paris Hilton. (Which seem like two gateways to fandom as we know it, and one to potentially-skeezy RPS fiction if I ever saw 'em. ^_-)
Do let me know if this is off-topic and I'll edit appropriately - but I'm seriously curious to ask about how other fans handle themselves with non-fannish sorts when tapped on their interests, among other things, it's something near and dear to my heart, as if you couldn't already tell.