I have always been what I would describe as a “happy nerd”. If you saw most of my school pictures from fourth through eighth grade, you would say, “Whoa,” and see my point. I was a nerd in some way, shape, or form ever since I can remember. However, despite my nerdiness, I always had a wide variety of friends, nerd and non-nerd. I just did my thing, and if people liked it, they liked it; and if they didn’t, they most likely are working fast food right now as a career. True story.
But be advised: there is a broad spectrum of nerdiness. They come in all colors, shapes, and sizes. You might be walking out the door every day wearing your new Missoni dress (that you didn’t buy from Target), but if you’re on your way to the local Comic Con to complete your collection of Star Trek captain’s autographs, well, then, you’re a nerd.
My point: there are lots of types of nerds, and they’re not always easily identifiable. Here’s an easy checklist you can use to determine whether or not you (or a loved one) is walkin’ on the mild side:
1. You may or may not have a button on your coat that (attempts) to make a joke about how much you like footnotes.
2. Any and all cash in your wallet is facing the same direction, and is organized by denomination (NOTE: if you have to ask whether or not it’s OK if any of the bills are folded or crinkled, just stop reading right now.).
3. You have put serious thought into the ranking of your favorite Star Trek characters.
5. You didn’t have to click on the links in #4 to know what I was talking about.
6. Your books at home are organized following a specific organizational pattern, preferably Library of Congress, but Dewey is acceptable. Also acceptable is simply author’s last name for fiction. This, for obvious reasons, doesn’t work with non-fiction. Obviously.
7. The cans in your pantry are all facing out, so you can read the labels. You placed them that way on purpose.
8. You would let your phone bill lapse before you’d let your Internet bill lapse.
9. It takes everything inside of you not to correct spelling and/or grammar errors wherever you see them — Facebook posts, the company newsletter, wedding invitations, billboards, etc.
10. You have more than one college calling your house asking for alumni donations.
11. When I say, “D12”, you know I’m not talking about the rap group.
12. You have began a story using the phrase “This one time, at band camp…” and you weren’t quoting that girl from American Pie.
13. You have tried out to be a contestant on Jeopardy! at least once.
14. You have found yourself at a store in the middle of the night to buy a fucking book.
15. One of your children is named after a character in a major sci fi/fantasy series (TV, movie, or literary).
So take heart, fellow nerds/geeks/dorks/generally awkward people. There’s a whole wide world of people out there that you probably thought were cool, but in reality are just as anxious to see how George Lucas has fucked up Star Wars in the latest re-release as you are.