I don’t listen to much morning-show radio. When I’m flying up the freeway, late for school, I prefer listening to something loud and obnoxious, like old-school Ozzy or Rob Zombie.
So I was rather surprised and pleased when a friend of mine informed me that a popular Utah radio station’s morning talk show hosts had commented on one of my articles. And called me a nerd.
"Nerd" is a rather illustrious title, compared to what I’m used to. Especially coming from folks who are paid to insult people at length for five hours every morning.
You see, I started out as a born loser. I grew up in Southern California in a horrible little meth town where weakness was not tolerated. Even the nerds had an edge: brains.
I was just a space cadet and was unfortunate enough to have a mom who dressed me in bell-bottoms in the early ’80s. The bus stop was the second-most miserable place in the world besides school, the bus rounding out the top three.
I had a lot of rocks thrown at me there. These days, all the schools are cracking down on bullying, thanks to studies that show the horrible long-term effects on the bullied. Took them long enough to figure it out. Maybe someone should have clobbered a social scientist with a rock a bit sooner. But I digress.
Eventually I rose from the ashes of the term "loser" to become a "misfit" and/or "troublemaker" in middle school. We smoked, we drank, we ditched school. Sometimes I didn’t come home for weeks.
I take full responsibility for the gray hairs on my parents’ heads.
I spent two weeks walking around L.A. with an ax when I’d had enough of people trying to solicit prostitution from me. I don’t care how hungry I get, the world’s greatest pastrami sandwich isn’t worth that much.
It took me a while to figure out that I actually wanted to expand my knowledge of life, the universe, and everything beyond what the school of hard knocks could teach me. I went back to school.
Now I’m a history nut and can nerd-out on people the second they ask me anything about the Civil War or most mythologies.
But I love the medieval stuff almost as much as my husband does. I was even affiliated with ARMA (Association for Renaissance Martial Arts) for a while and can swing a sword halfway decently.
My husband has a wonderful, nerdy impression on me. He is the biggest STAR WARS freak I’ve ever met, a collector to the extreme, and still plays Dungeons and dorks, er, Dragons every weekend with the same guys from high school.
Then he likes to go and do things that scare the bejesus out of me, like rock climbing — often without equipment. For a beanpole, his balance is remarkable, but that doesn’t stop me from worrying.
He’s actually pretty careful for an adrenaline junkie, so I let him get away with it, as long as he keeps that life-sized,
cardboard-cutout of R2D2 and C3PO out of the living room.
Of course, my friend stopped at "nerd" and the fact that the Radio From Hell folks couldn’t pronounce my name (no one can, really, unless you speak fluent German). They could have done worse, I guess, but I don’t mind.
Oh, and I got some hate mail for the same article. But I’ve gotten hate mail for suggesting people spend less on brand-name clothing and more on humanitarian efforts, so I guess I can get hate mail for just about anything.
Thanks for noticing me, X96. Now everyone knows that I’m not just a "liberal" (a four-letter word in these parts, even if not all your views are liberal) or a "space cadet" or "hippie chick."
In at least three counties, everyone knows I’m a nerd.