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Nerdy Cool?

July 15, 2009

I don’t think there’s a soul who knows me who wouldn’t describe me as nerdy. Not only is my face usually in a book (for pete’s sake – I blogged every book I read for a year!), I have the kind of weird memory-retention that makes me a solid trivia teammateand I love a lot of really geeky things without shame.  I even get pretty nerdy about somewhat mundane things (dinosaurs, backstage wrestling gossip, whatever).  I’m even an officer in a non-profit community called NerdNYC to help promote nerdiness in … NYC.

So, to most of the world and a good chunk of my friends – I am a Super Nerd. But to me? It always felt a little half-assed. I mean, sure I love Battlestar Galactica – but I can’t tell you the titles of the episodes, and I love Buffy but have no idea who played at the Bronze in Episode 46. I can tell you the plot of the Watchmen, but never really read a comic book. I spent many a Friday or Saturday evenings at midnight showings of Rocky Horror Picture Show, but never officially joined the cast.  I can name-drop friends who are indie game designers, when most people don’t know there are even indie games. In fact, I just realized that most of my readers not even know I am talking about role-playing games (yes, like Dungeons and Dragons).  I even went to a “don’t call it a LARP” adventure weekend. So, yeah – I am nerdy.

But then there’s this other part of me. I will never profess to be cool, or hip – but my high school years were hardly spent huddling in a corner, going over calculus proofs. In fact, my grades were pretty average. I may have been the nerdy girl, but I was the nerdy one in the popular cliques. I’ll never be a Party Girl, but I can go out dancing and drinking with the best of them (I just need to go home early and nap). In short – I can pass.

I always seem to have my foot in both worlds, never really embracing either one. To one group of friends, I am the biggest geek they know, and to others? Not even on the radar. Sometimes that makes me a little bummed (harkens to the old refrain of never living up to my “full potential”)  and sometimes? I am just grateful that I don’t fit neatly into a category, and I can feel comfortable picking and choosing what really suits me. My musical tastes range from hip-hop to Motown and some Saturday evenings find me hunched over a board game, and others – well, the pictures find their way to Facebook.


5 Comments leave one →
  1. July 16, 2009 5:27 pm

    i’m definitely the same way. i find when taking personality tests like meyers-briggs i go back and forth between my nerdy engineer type answers to my “cooler” comedy type answers.

    do you consider yourself nerdy cool, or a cool nerd?

  2. July 18, 2009 8:52 pm

    I don’t know if I’m a nerd (which is probably proof that I am one), but I do seem to have my feet in two or more worlds. I almost always have a book with me, and even if I’m out with friends, it’s not unheard of to find me sneaking off for a few minutes of page pleasure.

    Don’t you think that makes us more interesting?

  3. July 23, 2009 2:11 pm

    I have often thought about “passing” (especially in Women’s Studies classes … because I’m nerdy in THAT way!). I also have the feeling of not really fitting into any group (or stereotype). I have nothing else to say other then to offer camaraderie.

  4. August 10, 2009 10:45 am

    I think there are probably a lot more people in this category than anyone wants to admit. I’m a “passing” nerd. Even people I’ve known for years are surprised to learn how much I love Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica and pub trivia. I don’t know if it’s because through middle school I played a lot of sports as well as being super academic or if because I went to a performing/fine arts high school which doesn’t really scream “nerd”. I’m perfectly willing to embrace my nerdiness when hanging out with my friends much further down on the nerdy scale than I am, but it’s not such a huge part of me that it doesn’t sometimes unintentionally get left by the door when I’m in for an all-nighter of too much booze and loud music.


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