I am a geek.
Let's let that sit there for a moment and sink in. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I freely admit to being a geek. Let me explain.
In order to examine the weight of that declaration, we have to go back to middle school, or as it was called in the 60s, Intermediate School. Back then, it was death to be labeled a "geek." You were an outcast; a pariah. Unclean. Kids, particularly girls, would go to almost any length to avoid that label. It assured you of lonely Saturday nights, merciless teasing in the school yard, and hellish bus rides to and from school. No, geek was, by no means, anything one would voluntarily own up to. Someone tried to call me a geek once. Once. Not in those terms, exactly, but she told me I looked ridiculous in the sailor hat I'd recently taken to wearing. Hey, they were wearing them in Teen Magazine; I was merely being fashionable. But the real issue was that a cute boy had also taken to wearing a sailor hat. MY sailor hat, to be precise, but he'd borrow it on the bus and then respectfully give it back when we got to school. And did I mention he was cute?? Cause he totally was. Anyway, when the aforementioned bullyette mocked my hat-wearing tendencies, I simply told her she was just jealous because I was getting attention from a really cute boy, and besides, I wasn't as ridiculous as someone who dives into a shallow pond and winds up in a coma-which she had in her youth. End my geek label in seventh grade.
High school geeks took on a totally different cast. Horn-rimmed glasses and pocket protectors. And I had a crush on one of them. Lord help me, he was a geek, but he was a "cool" geek. He listened to folk rock, used big words, and could carry on megaintelligent conversations. I was smitten. I took to reading the dictionary every night just to be able to keep up with him. The crush didn't last long, and truth be told, my tastes did also include boys of all groups: jocks, hippies, geeks...they were all fair game, until I got involved in theater. Then the boys had to be talented and smart, which I now realize is a very special form of geek. And that's when I began to become comfortable with my geekiness.
For what is a geek, but someone with hobbies? Someone who is intensely involved with a particular interest set. I came to realize that being a geek really means you are knowledgeable in a particular area. I am a horror and film geek. I know a lot about these things, because I like them and I find out stuff all the time. I like finding stuff out, and I constantly learn more about the things I care about. There are geeks in every walk of life: film, comics, horror, sci-fi, and fantasy. But there are also Math geeks, Science geeks, and language geeks. If there is something in which people have an interest, there are geeks to be found.
As a geek, I joined a horror message board to talk to other geeks. Guess what I found there? My husband, who is, of course, also a geek. We have other geek friends with whom we watch and discuss movies, horror and other areas of geekitude. We enjoy our geekiness, and have a wonderful relationship.
So let me repeat: I am a geek.
And I'll bet you are too.
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10 months ago