“Some are born geeks, some achieve geekness, and others have geekness thrust upon them.”
~with apologies to William (a.k.a. “Willy the Geek”) Shakespeare
I wanted so badly to be cool. But throughout my primary school years and into high school I retained the unmistakable whiff of nerdiness. For one thing, I read books, not just when they were assigned, but for pleasure! I’d often spend entire weekends reading a novel from cover-to-cover. And I analyzed everything. According to my mom, I was kicked out of preschool because I questioned everything the teacher told us.
By high school, instead of simply doing things the accepted way, I analyzed them, and then did them the way that made sense to me. Which made me weird. One high school girl observed as I passed in a hallway, “Wow, you even walk different.”
I wasn’t just a nerd, I was a geek-in-the-making. I know, you’re thinking, “It’s all geek to me.” But there is a difference. According to my uber-geeky analysis, a geek is a nerd who’s fully embraced his or her geekiness.
When did I stop trying to be cool, and start letting my geek flag fly? It happened in the boy’s locker room. After showering, I did something un-cool. Instead of immediately toweling off with that wimpy little patch of terrycloth they gave us, I squeegeed the water from my body with my hands, and then toweled off. It made sense.
“What a dork!” a popular sporto shouted. “That’s so un-cool, man! Only girls do that!”
“Why?” I asked. I didn’t defend myself. I didn’t promise not to do it again. I didn’t beg him not to tell anyone. It was my one-word declaration of independence: “Yes, I’m a geek and I don’t care.”
He stared blankly at me. My question simply didn’t compute. It wasn’t something you questioned, it was something you just didn’t do, and that was that. He snorted and raced off to tell the cool guys.
Throughout the rest of high school I retained the whiff of nerdiness. But somehow it evolved into full-blown geekiness. Which was weirdly cool. And as a result of my letting my geek flag fly, some other kids began to do the same! Which just proves that old saw, “Beware of geeks bearing gifts.” So, is there a moral to this story? Hmm, how about this:
The geeks shall inherit the earth!