Popular Nerds

During dinner tonight, I made an announcement.

“Guess what, everyone! Today at work, I joined the ranks of the cool people. Seriously. I. Am. Now. Part. Of. The. Cool. Crowd.” I nodded proudly. “I {slight pause for effect} now have six – yes, six monitors. And four of them are stacked up on each other in two rows. I know. You are impressed. Only the coolest people in the lab have that.”

“Mom,” Daryl said, “You just said in the lab. That’s such a nerdy thing to say. In the lab.”

“Ok. Did you hear me express pride about having six monitors? I think that already makes me enough of a nerd.”

“I’m a nerd,” said Jane.

“No you aren’t. You gave up being a nerd awhile ago,” I responded.

“Not true! I’m still a nerd.”

“No you aren’t. You’re a jock. You can’t be both a nerd and a jock. It doesn’t work that way. Besides, didn’t Gary call you one of the most popular girls in the school last year? Nerds aren’t popular.”

“Yes, I can be both. I still like school and make good grades and like to read.”

“Ok, so you are a jock that does well in school. You can’t be a nerd and a jock though.”

She continued to argue the point as Daryl chimed in, “There are several popular groups at my school. There’s David and Jack and those guys that are strong and play football on the playground and then there’s Harry and Aaron and I who are really into Pokemon.”

I started laughing. “Honey, I’m sorry, but the guys really into Pokemon aren’t ‘cool’. You’re a nerd and I love that about you.”

“Oh yeah? Lots of people in the school know who I am.”

“That doesn’t make you popular – just well known. Lots of people knew who I was too.”

“I’d say that probably all the first graders know who I am. And the third graders too because Ms. Tanner brags about how many reading AR points I got.”

“Honey, if they know who you are because the teacher brags about how much you read, that makes you a nerd and a teacher’s pet, not popular necessarily.”

Jane reinserted herself by naming a couple of the more popular athletic boys and claiming they are some of the biggest nerds she knows. “They even call themselves nerds. They are the biggest nerds I know – next to him, that is,” she finished, gesturing to her brother.

“Did you hear that Daryl? She just said you are the biggest nerd she knows! That’s awesome! High five buddy!”

We exchanged smiles and a big high five. Yes, this is a typical conversation in our family. Every family needs something to be proud of and to spark some friendly competition amongst its members.

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One thought on “Popular Nerds

  1. I wish I could be as cool as you. I only have a couple of monitors. I have to wait to get home to have enough desktop monitor space to do as much as my ADHD wants. At least I have my tablet at my desk, though! 🙂

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