Friday, November 29, 2013

A Bit of Admiration: How I Came to Terms with being Nerdy

Yesterday was Thanksgiving, and we didn't necessarily celebrate it in the way that we usually do. Typically, my father, stepmother, husband and I celebrate this wonderful, gluttonous holiday on our own in my parents' house in Connecticut. This year, given the unfortunate stroke of a close friend, we decided to go and spend Thanksgiving with him and his family instead. Having never met his family, and given my propensity towards awkward social situations, I was nervous. The first few uncomfortable handshakes had confirmed what I felt positive about: this was going to be awkward, I was going to be the weird one that no one would talk to, etc.

Luckily for me, I was wrong.

We were all sitting in the back room looking at the family's annual Thanksgiving puzzle, when I noticed that one of the younger girls (probably about 12 or 13) had a Batman case on her phone. "That's a great phone case," I noted, gesticulating towards her phone. "Yeah, thanks." She said, in a way that I took to mean Buzz off you old bag, you don't know about Batman, so don't pretend to. I know, I'm not old, but I remember what 25 year olds seemed like to me when I was that age, so that's where I'm making that assumption from.

Either way, moving onwards from my obvious paranoia, what came out of that conversation were a few things:
1. We talked about our similar tastes and interests, the look of disgust we give people when they say they don't know what  GameBoy Advance is, and how Tardis Blue is a beautiful color for a car.
2. She mentioned that she had heard of my blog, and how cool it was to meet me.
3. She got really excited to show me the number of signatures she had from MineCraft players on the back of her phone. She'd gotten them at MineCon, which she had chosen to go to over PAX East.
4. I realized that I have similar tastes to a 12-13 year old.

Now, instead of feeling weirded out and uncomfortable about this, I think I am now at a place to embrace it. I am 25, and I love Pokemon! I like spending my days of playing League of Legends, and on my birthday I am laying in bed drinking wine, eating mac and cheese, watching Doctor Who and playing my 3DS. And, let me tell you, it is awesome.

For too long I lived under the confines of what was cool and what was expected of me, and only now that I am married, finally happy and comfortable, can I let my freak flag fly and embrace conversations that I should have been having my whole life. Nerdy ones. About Doctor Who and Squirtle. Conversations that make both participants' eyes light up with an almost maniacal glee because sometimes it is hard to believe that someone likes the same things that you do when you've felt alone for so long.

It's a weird thing to think that, as an adult, many of the things that I partake in regularly are similar to the ones that this young lady is. It's even weird to think that she, about half my age, feels as protective over older consoles and the games that she originally played on them as I do. It's exciting to think that, despite the fact that there are so many other little jerky mouth-breathers out there that, some day, there will be people like me, like us, to carry on our nerdy, awesome legacy. As strange and uncomfortable as it is to think about our likenesses, I guess it is also comforting. Stranger still was that at the end of the night her parents came up to me and thanked me, not only for talking to her, but for sharing common interests, "You are just such a great role model." Not something I've heard before.

All it took was a conversation with a 12 year old about how much she liked my blog, geeking out over computer games, and campy old BBC shows to make me realize that maybe, just maybe, I might be kind of cool. And I'm okay with that, we can't pick the people who admire us, but we can definitely strive to continue to be admirable.

No comments:

Post a Comment