The Inner Nerd

I’m someone who loves experts and researchers. It seems as if I have always enjoyed the company of such people. My dad was a mathematics nerd. My best friends and room mates have mostly been nerdy to some extent. The people I relate to most are nerds. I suppose I’m a nerd, too because it takes one to know one.

Folks no longer need to be in the closet about their nerdiness. Everywhere I look, people celebrate their love of superhero movies. There are car and motorcycle junkies in my neighborhood. The neighbor across the street is a camping trailer nerd who haunts campgrounds across the U.S. He just replaced his old trailer and is itching to hitch it up for another journey.

My high school best pal was a religion nerd. He wasn’t actually religious, he simply liked to figure out the nuts and bolts of world religions. During our sophomore year, he looked into Rosicrucianism due to its esoteric texts and also because the materials were free.

Another good friend was a camera nerd. He had a collection of antique cameras that were hard to find film for. He only used one old camera–a decrepit Nikon that had no automatic features. Two of my cohorts were electronics nerds. Whenever people’s gadgets failed to work, they could count on those two friends to figure out and fix the problems.

Nerds are percieved to accessorize and dress in certain ways when it comes to appearances. Stereotypically, they wear thick-rimmed glasses, wear peculiar or out of fashion clothing, and young nerds may have braces on their teeth. However, I believe this stereotype applies more to geeks not nerds. Most nerds I know have some semblance of fashion sense. Geeks seem to be clueless.

A few of my friends have been jewelry and watch nerds. Jonathan is big into men’s jewelry and accessories. He has exploited his inner nerd to excel as an apprentice jeweler. My late friend Charlie was a clock builder and watchmaker who owned and worked on hundreds of timepieces. Charlie was a funny, smart guy when it came to self-awareness. You might say he was a sensible nerd.

“We’re four misfits who don’t belong together, we’re playing for other misfits. They’re the outcasts right at the back of the room. We’re pretty sure they don’t belong either. We belong to them.”–Freddie Mercury as quoted in his biography Bohemian Rhapsody

I know at least one “gatekeeper” nerd. She likes non-mainstream, avant-garde music because such music is not well-known in popular culture. She likes to hate current music because it’s popular. She even hates Queen and Freddie Mercury music. I suppose I’m somewhat like her except that I enjoy listening to Freddie Mercury’s voice. I also enjoy other popular music as well as classical, electronica, and arcane, experimental works. Does that make me a music nerd?

Perhaps one difference between geeks and nerds is that a geek has knowingly abandoned himself into eccentricity. One of my acquaintances has integrated himself into Batman culture and has a friend who dresses up as Robin. “Robin’s” girlsfriend likes to dress up as Catwoman. Meanwhile many nerds are not aware that they are nerds–many of them deny being nerds. Geeks tend to be socially awkward and eccentric. Geeks tend to self-identify as geeks, and are probably happier people. Nerds, meanwhile, require more introspection and analysis before they accept their inner nerds. This does not mean that geeks and nerds are necessarily introverts. I’d say both tend towards being ambiverts.

In the end, I believe that most of us have an inner nerd who needs more respect and nurturing. Being a nerd seems to mean being passionate about something. This passion helps define our uniqueness. In my opinion, it’s better to be passionate about some obscure or special thing. Passion adds spice to life. Why be someone who is apathetic and blasé about everything?

The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes author and journalist, the late Tom Wolfe. “Nerds: the ‘nerd’ has never been precisely defined, thanks to the psychological complexity of the creature. The word has connotations of some level of intelligence. The typical nerd is a male with intelligence but no sense of giving it a manly face.”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in cultural highlights, Friendship, Meanderings, Youth and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Inner Nerd

  1. Oh oh! I sometimes identify as an avgeek.😃

  2. bloom|time says:

    Love this. Married a geek and am deeply nerdy myself.

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