Nerd Pride June 19, 2009Posted by Sparkel in books & movies & shows, to friend or not to friend.
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I am going to the beach for July 4th weekend with M’s sister and some of her friends, so they decided that we should get together and discuss money, transportation, etc. for the trip. We had a bbq the other weekend, which two friends of M’s sister who have somewhat become friends of mine, attended. One of the friends is reading the Twilight series, which I am a fan of. We delved into a discussion about the last book and were almost immediately teased. M’s sister brought up that I am currently re-reading the Harry Potter series, and said that she sees me reading every night into the wee hours and that she just doesn’t understand how anyone could like reading that much, or like to read “those books.”
My initial response was ‘what a close-minded idiot.’ I expected everyone else there to scoff at her and tell her that both series are actually quite enjoyable and that reading is awesome.
Instead I was greeted with a chorus of jeers and derogatory questions about what I could possibly see in reading, that it’s something done only by losers with nothing better to do and nerds.
Nerd [nɚd] is a term often bearing a derogatory connotation or stereotype, that refers to a person who passionately pursues intellectual activities, esoteric knowledge, or other obscure interests rather than engaging in more social or popular activities. Therefore, a nerd is often excluded from physical activity and considered a loner by peers or will tend to associate with like-minded people.
Now, maybe I am a little strange, but this definition makes me beam with pride. I have been teased, called “four-eyes” and “loser” and “nerd girl” for as long as I can remember by people I genuinely just rolled all four of my eyes at and regarded as utter morons who were jealous because their imagination didn’t stretch as far, and thought ‘wow it must really suck to be that dumb’ so I would just cock my head and give a sympathetic look instead of crying like they so obviously wanted.
I spent my formative years feeling different and like an outcast. And I’ve spent the last decade feeling a kinship with those who don’t think it’s weird to look forward to new releases and to read your favorite book until it’s so worn that pages start falling out and you’re forced to buy another copy. Who don’t find it strange for a person’s idea of fun to be perusing Barnes and Noble and used book stores. Who think a third of every paycheck being spent on books is money well spent.
I know I am not alone in my Harry Potter love and Twilight squee’s because JK Rowling and Stephenie Meyer are millionaires several times over. Rowling is actually a billionaire. Plus the stories are so difficult to put down!! Harry Potter is so. freaking. GOOD!!
I tried explaining this to bitch-faces and little giggles that brought me back to middle school. I was outnumbered and immediately defensive, telling two of the girls who are expecting that I realize it’s obviously too late for them to develop any kind of interest in something other than themselves, but that the people I really feel sorry for are their children. Not only with they likely be illiterate until they begin school and are forced to read, they will probably develop the same close-minded jeering at those who enjoy taking their minds to wonderful places, and that the world will suffer for having more people like that in it.
Needless to say, the beach should be tons of fun.
(Especially when I pull Harry Potter out of my tote and settle in for some much needed beach-reading. I’m on book 5, and have hardbacks of books 6 and 7, which are kind of huge and very heavy. DO NOT TEMPT ME BIAS!)
I just want to make it clear that if you do not like to read, that’s fine. Really it is. But just as you cannot understand doing something you claim is mindnumbingly boring with your precious spare time, I, and others like me, cannot understand not wanting to read and enjoying it immensely. There are books that I cannot imagine not reading before I leave this world. There are times when I cannot sit still at my desk because I am so eager to get back to whatever I was reading in my car before begrudgingly walking to work.
I can promise that I will not question your choice of what to do with your time if you do not make fun of what I decide to do with mine.
As quoted from a most enjoyable movie, “don’t tease me about my hobbies. I don’t tease you about being an asshole.”