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So Many Types of Nerds

July 31st, 2011 · 19 Comments · Conversations with Meredith, Daily

Yesterday afternoon we went to the animal adoption event where we met the little Dachsund I had shown you earlier in the week. We hemmed. We hawed. In the end, our family works like this: It takes Four Yesses, but it only takes One No. We had a No. Meredith was pretty much destroyed at the thought of leaving that building without the puppy. (Meredith is VERY sensitive when it comes to animals who need homes. In the past few months, I’ve been keeping up with a rescue group’s activity online, and I have to be very careful to not have the page up when Meredith walks by.)

When your kid is tearful, you do what needs to be done: You take her to 7-11 for a cherry slurpee, and if that doesn’t help, you throw a local cheese pizza on top of the slurpee. And then you throw a Dairy Queen Blizzard on top of that. (Please note that six hours passed between Slurpee and Blizzard. Nevertheless, now that I’m typing it all out, it really does look like we feed our sorrows. By the way, these are wonderful. Hi there, Weight Watchers! Long time no see! Catch me if you can!)

Last night after Harper had fallen asleep, Meredith called me into their room.

Meredith: Mom, do you think I’m a nerd?

Me: Hrm. What exactly do you mean by nerd?

Meredith: I know there are smart nerds and I know there are dorky nerds who are weird, and sometimes I think I’m one of the weird ones.

Me: If you’re weird at all, it’s a really good type of weird. Plus, yes. You’re really smart. You read smart books. You hit all of the notes when you’re singing Selena Gomez songs. If Nerd is a good thing, I would wear it proudly. If you see Nerd as a bad thing? You’re no nerd.

College for Kids starts up tomorrow, where both girls will be taking Xtreme 3-D Studio Art, plus a few other classes. School starts up on August 15th, and I’m terribly excited. Not because I want the girls away from the house, but because it’s at school where they get to see their friends. Once again, I’ve been pretty terrible at keeping them social this summer. (I hate that I’m one of those weird nerds Meredith is so afraid of becoming. I keep hearing myself say, “If you don’t like it, change it.” BUT, it’s not really that easy, is it?)

All of the nerd talk last night stirred me into revisiting my past while wondering when I started falling onto The Nerd Spectrum.

Answer: It had to have happened sometime between elementary and high school.

Have I ever shown you my senior picture from high school?

Welcome to Masterpiece Theater

I dressed like I was fifty, I rarely smiled, yet I tried my hardest to rock asymmetrical hair. When I had this particular photo taken, the photographer said something like, “Well, we typically use that chair for our church directory or career shots.” It didn’t matter. I begged for the blue chair.

Sure, I had this one, too:

redsweatersnarl

I sort of look like an athlete who occasionally kneels down and punches herself in the face. What you cannot see in this photo was my golden brooch—carefully chosen to add a touch of our school colors, which were brown and gold. (By the way, it STILL bothers me that the photographer used white type on a white background.)

I’m now changing the subject: Does anyone REALLY need help knowing how to wear a denim skirt or a pair of striped shoes? I’ve been wincing lately when I run across websites that try to teach me how to have fun with my kids at the grocery store or how to wear a strapless bra without drawing attention to back fat. (Hi. I’ve been cranky.)

And once more: I’m knitting a hat or gloves for a lucky reader. You can read all about it right here! (Your chances are crazy good! Apparently, not many people want gloves or a hat!)

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19 responses so far ↓

  • 1 David // Jul 31, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    You are cofusing Nerds and Geeks. Nerds are the slightly social misfits who tend to get good grades and occasionally run the movie projectors in home room class. Geeks are the slightly social misfits who tend not to get good grades and occasionally bite the heads off of chickens in sideshows. BTW, I’m a nerd…

  • 2 Cairn // Jul 31, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    I guess we are good nerds! Band geeks too!!! I definately felt like a nerd in school. I didn’t have a real spot to fit in other than band and even then, I don’t know if I fit in or if I just felt more comfortable there. My kids have been anti-social by there own choice this summer. They prefer to stay in their pj’s and chill as opposed to going anywhere. I didn’t mind. Made for a calm, slow summer and probably what I needed too.

  • 3 Neil // Jul 31, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    I was feeling down about spending so much time on the internet lately, but after seeing those high school photos of you I understand why I am here. Enlightenment.

  • 4 Mitzi // Jul 31, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    This must be nerd week. It was 10 o’clock Friday evening and Brian and I were browsing around Schnuck’s. A couple of groups of kids walked past us and Brian couldn’t help himself but to laugh and say, “what is it, bring your nerdy friends with you night?!”…to which I added, “why do you think I brought you with me?”.

    We always have some type of nerd comments for one another. I feel I don’t fit into the nerd criteria though. I consider a nerd to have more intelligence than I do. Brian on the other hand? Definitely a nerd. I love nerds. alot.

  • 5 Brinski // Jul 31, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    I have come this kinda Zen place in my life where I don’t give a damn what other people think about me. Depending on who’s looking at me, I am a geek, a dork, a nerd, an outcast, a misfit, cool, creative, talented, tough, clever, handsome, a wimp, dangerous, sensitive, a jerk, a creep, pious, worldly, deep, superficial… and the list goes on.

    I just don’t care. I am me. If ‘they’ don’t like it, they can suck it, Trebec! I got bigger fish to fry.

  • 6 haus // Jul 31, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    Another mom once confessed that she encourages her son to hang out with mine in part because he’s a nerd. Or maybe a geek? Hm. Either way, it was because she’s hoping to raise an engineer instead of a bronco buster, and figured my boy was a good influence.

    I have to find my high school photos now and scan them in. You have inspired me.

  • 7 Cindy // Jul 31, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Sigh… Hello, my name is Cindy and I am a Nerd. I like science and microscopes and books. I listen to NPR and bands like Arcade Fire. I spend a lot of time on the internet. I ride a scooter (a Vespa!). Some of those things can be put on to the “cool kids” list though.

    I wish there was a way to get kids to change their idea of what these labels mean. What if being a nerd is actually just being yourself and doing the things that you like to do and following the interests that you are passionate about? I think we are all nerds.

  • 8 Jen // Jul 31, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    I think being a nerd or geek is generally pretty cool. I know I sure didn’t know which “group” I fit into in HS (definite band/choir geek). However, I’ve now been called the “hippest chick to come out of Windsor HS”, or something like that, so who knows? All I know is I’m me…take it or leave it.

  • 9 Janeaswell // Jul 31, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    I love those photos so much. I wonder if you have seen this helpful diagram on nerds/geeks/dorks. http://www.greatwhitesnark.com/2010/03/25/difference-between-nerd-dork-and-geek-explained-in-a-venn-diagram/

  • 10 elsimom // Jul 31, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    I am a nerd. I had dual majors in Chemistry and English. I love words. I love facts and knowledge. When I was kid, I was more comfortable around grown ups than other kids. When I got to law school, I finally met a lot of guys who dug nerd girls. Here’s what I have to say about nerds……in the long run, most of us lead good, fulfilling lives, with wonderful, close friends who share our passions. We have our bumps along the way – BUT – what I learned a few years ago, is so do the kids we thought were NOT nerds…..and believe it or not – some of them envied us, just about the time we thought they had no idea who we were.
    So – I think Meredith should wear the nerd label with pride (if she wants to) – but however she wants to characterize her brand of cool – the girl has got it – go Meredith!

  • 11 Suebob // Jul 31, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    Those pictures are awesome.

  • 12 marianne // Jul 31, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    Oh, my. I am seriously going to posit that we are the same person in alternate universes. Because that is very much like my hair on and off from 1986-1991. And we graduated the same year, and OUR colors were also brown and gold. And I’m also wondering if you had that same 12 color eyeshadow palette that came with all the instructions for different ways to layer the colors (lid, crease, highlight!). My eyeshadow matched my outfit everyday. So much makeup! If I put that much on now I’d look like a used-up streetwalker.

  • 13 swandive00 // Aug 1, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Here! I’ll show you my senior portrait too. It’s replete with lots of purples and fuchsia!
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/swandive00/407436463/

  • 14 Sarah // Aug 1, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    I as well am a nerd. In our house we have tried our hardest to make it a good thing, but occasionally there are tears and thoughts of sadness at being different.
    On the puppy, well, I like Meredith have a hard time with animals needing homes, thus my house looks like a zoo always.
    And I have the same trouble with keeping the kiddos socially interactive. Homeschooling two of them does not make it any easier. A big cheer for school starting soon!

  • 15 Ani // Aug 2, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Thought you may like to read this blog. Though I just realized you may know about it.

    http://healthyassfood.tumblr.com/

  • 16 Jill (mrschaos) // Aug 2, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    Good gracious…I look at pictures of my 8th grade graduation and, even at that young age, I dressed like I was in my 50′s.

    I had to grow up to dress younger. Or my age, at least. I’m not sure what my mother was thinking.

  • 17 Alli // Aug 2, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    If Mere is a nerd then she is the rockinest nerd ever!

  • 18 Karen // Aug 3, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    Okay, now I’m wondering where I fall on the nerd spectrum! When kids wanted to cheat off of me in school, I was defintely the smart nerd. But as I got older, I think I’ve progressed (??) into weird nerd. Wherever I am…it’s a happy place. With french fries.

  • 19 joan // Aug 6, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    i love that dress. I remember it from the office, not the tv show, Cute stuff.