Psalm 139 paints a beautiful image of God hand-crafting each and every one of us in our mother’s womb. Some he made athletes, some he made scholars, some he made lovers and some he made nerds. You are fearfully and wonderfully made by God, including all of your nerdclinations. However, just because God may have given you some inherent nerdy traits, that doesn’t mean you have to fly your nerd flag at full mast.
I am not suggesting that you cease to be a nerd nor am I suggesting that you live a double life, stepping out on your normal life to spend time with your proverbial nerdy mistress. I am merely suggesting that you cover up some of the nerdiness in your life. Successfully covering up the extent of your nerdiness can lead to a fuller life where you find yourself functioning in everyday society, earning the respect of your peers while secretly cultivating the nerdiness you’ve grown to love. Here are three easy steps to that end.
Step One – Limit Nerd Conversations
In my life I have heard plenty of nerd conversations. Conversations like this range from arguments of whether or not Captain Kirk could defeat Captain Picard in a fist fight to intense discussions of how Buffy’s relationship with Angel impacted her relationship with Spike. Chances are if you’re a nerd you’ve probably participated in a number of these conversations, raising your voice as you tried to convince the other party that you were correct on some minor plot detail or some piece of meaningless trivia.
The biggest problem with these conversations is that they completely alienate those in the normal world and push them away. If you want to be a functioning member of society you need to limit these conversations and keep yourself from getting excited and worked up over an argument about fictitious people who have no impact on reality. It isn’t necessary to completely stop these conversations but you need to be mindful of when and where they take place. When I worked at EB Games we used to spend every 8-hour shift having nerd conversations which was completely appropriate within the context of a video game store. However, when you’re pulling shots of espresso or sitting in class, no one wants to hear the ramblings of an incensed nerd. Limiting your nerd conversations is the first step to covering up the full extent of your nerdiness.
Step Two – Overemphasize One Area of Nerdiness
Most nerds I know can’t limit their nerdiness to one area. While working at EB Games we used to calculate our nerd score. A nerd score was the number of areas for which you considered yourself a nerd; the average score for the employees in our store was five. Nerds love nerding for various characters, television shows, movies and books; most nerds are compulsive nerds and manage to add one or two new nerd fetishes to their repertoire every year.
Unfortunately, those living in the normal world are not accepting of nerds who claim allegiance to seven or eight areas; the normal world is really only accepting of nerds who embrace one or two areas. So even though you may have encyclopedic knowledge of Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and the Batman comics, you need to narrow that down and really emphasize one. By overemphasizing one area, take Star Wars for example, all those other areas are forced into the background and you’re simply seen as an enthusiastic Star Wars fan, not a freak with too many obsessions. You really need to commit to one area and use that as a cover up for the other areas of nerdiness in your life.
Step Three – Show Disdain For Other Nerds
No matter how big of a nerd you are you can’t nerd for everything; it’s impossible. There are too many movies, television shows and books to be a nerdy expert about them all. If you try chasing down everything there is to nerd about, you’re going to burn yourself out and miss out on those areas that you really care about, the first love which made you a nerd in the first place. My advice is to pick your horse and go with it; get excited about that horse and put all your money on that horse. Maybe, every so often, you bring another horse into the stable, but always have the purebred which you can fall back upon.
Once you’ve chosen the horse with which you’re going to run, immediately begin to distance yourself from all those other horses. This process is like selecting a dodge ball team on the playground; once your nerd players are in place, show disdain for the players that didn’t make it onto your team. If you like Star Trek talk about how terrible Twilight is. If you’re really into Harry Potter call those people who hang out in comic book stores the biggest losers in the world. If you’re addicted to playing Xbox turn your angst and ire against those nerds trapped in the World of Warcraft. Showing disdain allows you to set up an “us versus them” mentality which allows you to say, “I may be bad, but at least I’m not as bad as…”
Those are three simple steps which, if rigorously applied to your life, will help you to lead an acceptably nerdy lifestyle. These steps won’t make you any less of a nerd but they will help you function more capably in society. You’re not really covering up the nerd God created you to be, you’re just displaying limited levels of nerdiness so others will more willingly accept you. As you’re accepted, though, you will be able to pull back the veil and reveal more and more of your true self and the depths of your nerdiness. And hopefully, by the time you’ve revealed the true extent of your nerdiness, those people will be too pot-committed to leave you.
How have you ever tried to cover up your nerdiness?
Great post. Muggles don't always understand the way of the nerd. Do you have a copy of the "Nerd Quiz"?
It's embarrassing, but Ive never read Harry Potter or seen the movies so your Muggles quote is lost on me. 🙁
For the nerd score we usually just went through all of our nerdclinations and gave ourselves one point for each. Star Trek - 1 Point. Stargate - 1 Point. And so forth.
For shame Scott. Why must nerds insult one another's loves? Being both a Harry Potter and a Twilight nerd I have to deal with people who find a ridiculous need to hate something for the sake of it, not even giving one or the other a chance. I'm an equal opportunity nerd and I love watching people nerd out about things I'm not too into. Heck, I've let my guy friends take up hours of my life explaining WoW and it's just fun for me to see the excitement and happiness flow out of them (hmm...maybe I'm a nerd for watching people get happy). In fact, other nerds tend to be the place where I find my new nerdcilnations. Different youtubers, friends, etc who like something I like and then nerd out about something else bring me into something new. I would have never gotten into Twilight if it weren't for that. I'd never want to ruin someone's fun and I wouldn't want them to ruin mine.
P.S. Spike and Buffy WAY better than Buffy and Angel