We have been social pariahs for all of our lives, while the kids down the street were riding their bikes and throwing their balls at each other (giggidy) we were using fire balls to kill Koopas and Goombas. If you are wondering if you’re a nerd and you understood that reference without clicking the links then I hate to break it to you….you’re a full-fledged nerd my friend. Since we’ve established that you’re a nerd, you know that the moniker comes with mountainous struggles, here are just a few of them.
Being Uber Passionate, while others are just “Meh”
I’m going to take you back a bit, so please step into my mental Delorean. Think about how you trembled with excitement like a Chihuahua that accidently drank their “mommy’s” spilled double non-fat mocha-chino latte with extra caffeine, when you heard your favorite cartoon was going to have a silver screen adaptation. You obsessed until the release and bought every piece of stupid merchandise made, even if you had no use for it (I still have my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle hair clips).
When you proudly stepped out of your house decked out in head to toe TMNT: hat, sunglasses, shirt, shorts, socks and light up sneakers you expected oooohs and aaaaahs. Instead, you got a bloody nose and your sunglasses stolen, which at least means that they liked those.
Step into the Delorean once more, we are going to a horribly grimy and bleak time, the present. Think about the first time your favorite childhood franchise was remade. That familiar child-like excitement boiled up again, your impulse to buy all things related to your favorite character overwhelmed you (and your finances) once again. The anticipation of going to the premier the very minute it was released haunted your dreams.
The moment you heard the news you ran to your partner/co-worker/parking attendant (which we’ll assume is a non-nerd for the sake of argument) and said “OH MY GOD (insert pet name) (insert favorite franchise) IS COMING OUT ON (insert release date) I CAN’T WAIT!!!!” and were immediately deflated with: “Oh, that’s nice” or even worse “What’s that?”.
Not being understood in certain circles
With great nerd-om comes great knowledge (ha!). To be a respectable nerd you will have to remember directors, esoteric bits of trivia, universes worth of characters and side stories. Which most people won’t give two rats’ asses about…I know that’s the wrong turn of phrase but giving one rat’s ass just didn’t seem enough, non-nerd people really, really couldn’t give a bigger sh*t about nerd stuff. So if you find yourself amongst non-nerds (“normals”) and you go on a soliloquy about the people that can lift Thor’s hammer, you will be approached with a look that can only be described as a combination of pity, boredom and disdain.
It really doesn’t get better though even if you are amongst “your people”. No matter how specific, exacting and obscure a nerd-fact is there is bound to be at least one Hyper-Nerd (patent pending) that will decimate, destroy and correct you into thinking you are also an unknowledgeable “normal”. And this is why we sit by ourselves in the dark, reading comic books, playing video games and thinking which super-power we’d prefer to have.
Non-Nerds are now claiming the monicker without the work
The popularity of Superhero/Comic Book movies and television series has given rise to what I’d like to call ”The Faux-Nerd.” This is an infuriating phenomenon because in the past you had to go through a gauntlet of wedgies, swirlies and beatings to be considered a nerd (or was it because we were nerds?). We paid our dues to proudly wear that (blood-stained) Spiderman shirt that we bought from the local comic book store. We read through tomes of comic-book story arcs to know who Bane was. We survived atrocious adaptations of our favorite superhero’s movie (see below).
Today, Faux-Nerds get splashy, beautiful big budget super-hero movies, they wear $100 boutique weathered vintage Spiderman shirts and act like Batman experts because they watched (an admittedly awesome) trilogy. F*ck off Faux-Nerd you have no idea about the struggle.
Most people disregard the things we like until they try them
How many times has this happened to you fellow Nerd:
Normal: What do you like to do in your free time?
To which you courteously (we’re a polite bunch) respond,
Nerd: I like to play video games/read comic books (or Fantasy/Sci-Fi Novels)/play obscure and highly complex board games
Normal: Really? Aren’t you a bit old for that?
Then one seemingly glorious day the “Normal” mistakenly slips into the realm of Nerd and falls into a delectably satisfying face full of video games/comic books (or Fantasy/Sci-Fi Novels)/obscure and highly complex board games, which even to their own surprise they love!
We’ll call them Temp-Nerds because for the first few days they’ll rave about how much they looooved the Nerd-Media they tried. That is until another Normal says the De-Nerd-afing phrase “Oh, Wow….You’re into that kind of stuff?” to which they respond immediately to with “NooOOOooo, no, that’s kid’s and nerd stuff. It sounds like something Tom would be into!” as they both laugh and point at you.
Now the Temp-Nerd turns into an Underground Nerd, which hides away in deep recess and cave-like structures to indulge in their Nerd-Needs, like a drug addict, and will deny any involvement with such disgusting, deplorable things. But even secretly they’re one of us now…you can see their ears involuntarily perk up when you mention the new Assassin’s Creed game.
Its not all bad
I know I’ve driven home how hard it is to interact with other people in the workplace that don’t understand you and aren’t interested in the things you like. That’s fine, the great thing about Nerdom is that its expansive, massive and constantly growing. Eventually, even the most weigth-lifting, hardcore non-Nerd Normal is going to get a little taste of the Nerd and get hooked. And when that happens you’ll be there to arrogantly gloat (and then run, because that dude has a foot and a 100 pounds on you).
See Also: 9 Facts About Star Wars You Didn’t Know
Are you a nerd? What kind of struggles do you deal with at work, or in general? Let me know in the comment section below.