Sunday, February 13, 2011

I Was Nerdy, When Nerdy Wasn't Cool

I have found in recent weeks, that somehow, I totally missed that 'nerdy' has become cool again.  I mean, I get it - tech is cool, right now, and the ability to use said tech makes you 'nerdy'.  Thus, nerdy = cool.  I just missed it, somehow.  Because, you know, I'm too nerdy to be aware of popular culture, apparently.

Anyhow, I realized this recently on one of my mommy forums.  I made some sort of amusingly self-deprecating comment about being a nerd.  Within moments, several women had hopped on to declare their supreme nerdiness.  "After all," one wrote, "we're all on an online forum."

And it hit me: she was right.  Here I was, feeling like the nerdiest person at the lunch table, and I was talking to a bunch of people I've never even met.  All of whom were proud to declare their nerd status.  Which is what I find amusing.

Fifteen years ago, I was being shoved into lockers for being a nerd.  I was locked in the instrument closet in orchestra for being a nerd.  I was ostracized, and I sat alone, reading during lunch, because I was a nerd, and therefore, untouchable.  I wish I could say that I didn't care - I liked being smart, and if that meant that others didn't like me, so be it.

But I did care.  I cared a lot.  And I would be lying if I said that I had never wished to be one of the pretty, popular girls.  Because I did.  But now?  Looking back?  I am really glad I was the nerd.  I'm proud of that awkward girl I used to be for having the guts to sit alone and read, rather than pretend to be something I wasn't.

And I'm so glad that being nerdy has become 'cool' again.  Because hopefully, when Miles tells his friends that he wants to learn computer programming or how to diagram a sentence, they won't laugh at him.  Hopefully, they will think of him as the cool, nerdy kid, and ask him to teach them these awesome new skills.

I know it's unlikely, but that would be my ideal world for my kid.

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