Fear not, I’m not about to launch into an evangelical tirade concerning the sugar content of the popular confectionery treat (although in the interests of full disclosure, whatever they pack in those miniscule globules of goodness is enough to see me clean the entire house in under an hour). Rather I wanted to have a little yarn about being the type of person to fit into the category of ‘nerd’ or ‘geek’ if you prefer.
My eldest daughter inspired my musing of the topic. Whilst we were shopping last week, and I tried my best Fagan trickery to hide said sweets under the salad (I deduced when unpacking they were less likely to pilfer through the fresh vegetables) she managed to spy them and asked what the term ‘nerd’ meant.
At first, I just smiled and said; ‘me and you I guess’, but I could tell from the cute little frown line and the Bewitched style wrinkle of her nose this answer was not going to be enough. Over scrabble and toasties we established the terms and conditions of our membership to this stereotypically spectacled community and why it isn’t necessarily a bad thing to be admitted within its ranks; quite the contrary.
However, I’ll admit it took a long time for me to take the lid off the pressure cooker and make amends with this defining part of my personality. Growing up in the 80s/90s and transitioning from hyperactive mini-person to skulking teenager I wanted to wear any label but that. It was already bad enough being a ‘four-eyes’; the bridge of my nose struggling heroically to carry my jam jar NHS prescription lenses! Did I mention the bowl cut? Oh yes dear reader, I had that stigmata to endure also, complete with doorstop fringe, they called me helmet head! Truly, I was a catch!
I was so desperate to fit in and be liked, but none of my attempts ended profitably. Before secondary school the only cigarettes I smoked where the ones you could buy from the corner shop which didn’t come with a government health warning. I should have known going ‘twos’ down the local park would result in me audibly resembling Dot Cotton with emphysema (it didn’t help I’d purposefully left my inhalers at home).
Often our worst critic faces us everyday in the mirror. It took a long time to work towards being a friend to myself rather than my own worst enemy. Like an abandoned construction site that’s run out of funding, I’m still a work in progress, but at least now, of all the many elements of my soul, I fly my freak flag with pride!
Sure, it might cause my eyes to wince a little when recalling the florescent shell-suits I used to wear styled with knock off Addidas Originals (an extra stripe for luck it would seem) but that was me, still is, save for I’ve upgraded to jeans and a hoodie.
What does it matter that I repel glamour and the highest heels I own belong to a pair of wellington boots; it’s our differences that make us most intriguing.
My idol growing up was Wednesday Addams! I wore pillbox coffin rings and copious black bands adorned my wrists. I was a fan of conspiracy theories and began to construct what became known throughout the household as my ‘wall of weird’ which was comprised of random newspaper clippings and extracted teeth (my sister had a lot of dentistry growing up and would often return with prized souvenirs).
Reading wise I evolved from Roald Dahl to Point Horror until the printed word made way for the X-Files and Tales from the Crypt and similar celluloid classics which only sought to fuel my over active imagination.
However just like the matrix, books had me – whispered their forlorn abandon and I was reeled back in to my first source of escapism.
For some words are little more than cheap tokens, literally wrappers dispensed casually with little afterthought, but for me words, especially the printed variety, they’re my heart’s balm, my soul’s salve.
I guess the point I’m trying to make is never feel you must march to someone else’s drum; be a first-rate version of you. If someone is worthy of your love, it’s because of all that you are not in spite of it. If you’re struggling, as I often do with a jigsaw, take a step back; eventually a pattern will surface and all the pieces will fit together.
Best of all, just as all fashion eventually comes back in vogue so too us geeks have stealthy infiltrated the mainstream to subconsciously groom the masses as to the virtues of our kind. Specs appeal first started with Clark Kent’s broad-chested arrival on the silver screen, the matinee idol of geek chic, but as time has gone on we’ve been further emboldened by the likes of Willow from Buffy (no one can handle a brass instrument quite as deftly as our favourite camp member) and then there’s hotness of New Girl’s Jess and no one (with the exception of The Rock) can arch an eyebrow quite like the beguiling Barb (gone too soon). World domination surely awaits and then we will smugly unite and steal Beyonce’s line confirming that it is us, who in fact, run the world!
Anyway, I’ll leave you in peace for now as I’ve come over all bond villainess and am chuckling in a sinister manner.
If you’re encouraged to know where my passions take me when I turn into Jessica Fletcher at the keyboard and pretend I’m penning an episode of Murder She Wrote, then take the red pill, stay in wonderland and follow the link below to find my debut novel:
Wherever your journey through this life takes you, remember one solid truth:
Goonies never say die!