this author gives reasons why she's always been nerd...
|For as long as I can remember, I’ve been socially awkward. While most kids get a few tease-less years before entering school, I had no such luck. I went straight to nerdom when I started wearing glasses at age two and a half. As you can probably imagine, there aren’t many choices for frames when your head is the width of a small grapefruit. I wanted the glittery pink ones, but the only ones in my size were dark brown. Even though I let potential friends try them on at recess, these fair-weather friends ran for the swings when the teacher came over to reprimand me for not keeping them on my own face. Any hopes I had of being popular dashed before I even finished my toddler years.
Besides being a four eyed freak show, I was raised by hippie parents who consistently sent me to school with a lunchbox full of chickpeas, tofu and apple slices. I’m positive this was the reason I didn’t get invited to sit at the popular lunch table. I longed for the chicken nuggets I saw on McDonald’s commercials. The golden chunks were so intriguing. I never even knew Happy Meals existed until I was invited to a birthday party in 1st grade. I, of course, had a sub-happy peanut butter and jelly.
My nerdom continued through grade school. Instead of learning to play the flute like Ashley Sullivan and Gwyneth Manweiler, the two most popular girls in school, I learned the drums. “The percussion section is lacking. We need you!” Mrs. Garrett, the band teacher, persuaded. The part about being stuck in the back of the band room with boys who pulled ponytails was never mentioned. In the drum section I participated in endless conversations about Super Contra. Thanks to those boys, I could win without the super cheat: Up-up-down-down-left-right-left-right-B-A. I wondered what the conversations were like up front in the flute section.
Along with being a geeky chickpea loving kid who played the snare, my sense of fashion was also seriously deficient. Most of my clothes were my sister’s old ones passed down to me. Sure, she had some really cool things. But she was also always at least 40 pounds overweight (which was no small feat eating chickpeas and tofurkey all the time) and I was always the tiniest, scrawniest kid in the neighborhood. Her stretched out clothes just made me look smaller. Once, while playing kickball, the elastic on my new pair of old sweatpants completely gave way and I ended up finishing the game with a jump rope tied around my waist to hold them up.
Sure there’s more, like I was never asked to prom thanks to an unfortunate perm. Or the fact I was crammed in lockers (yes, that actually happens outside of Saved By The Bell) until my senior year of High School. I was always scrawny and sincerely blame the meatless meatloaf and soy ice cream for that. But, after all the awkward experiences combined with “why me’s?” and wasted tears, I’ve gained a pretty great ability to roll with the punches. My rewards for being a geek are a light heart and a good sense of humor. And now I laugh all the time. I’ve gained the ability to laugh at even the simplest things…and the embarrassing stuff like, tripping in last week’s kickboxing class, is easier now.
I’m still 100% nerd. I still hate wearing my glasses, but at least my hair no longer looks like a moptop (most days). Now I actually pick out my own clothes when I’m not stealing the worn out ones from my sister. And I’ve continued eating crazy foods and have an undying obsession with peanut butter. I’m a drummer in a band, and these days I actually don’t mind those ponytail-pulling boys.