Friday, December 30, 2011

That's Right, I'm a Nerd

So that I can give my time and attention to Christmas, husband, and a freaked out seven-year-old, I'm going to repost some of my favorite blogs from earlier. I'm told this is what some bloggers do... Rest assured, I will be back.

If you haven’t gathered by now from my repeated Doctor Who references, I’m a huge nerd. And I’m cool with that. Even though I may have appeard to have a certain je ne sais cool in my distant past, as a proto-goth, member (okay, follower) of the eighties Chapel Hill music scene, I am going to go out on a limb here and say, I do not maintain one drop of that coolness quotient in this nerdy mom-bod of mine.

THE church lady.
But I am comfortable with being a church lady who cooks with cream of mushroom soup... Who occasionally teaches Sunday School and takes her kid to Cub Scouts... Who loves Doctor Who and Buffy the Vampire Slayer and willingly attends Comic-Con with her husband. Any hipness I may have had at any time, is gone, daddy gone...

I accept myself as someone who does not shun “classic rock” because it’s ubiquitous – and it’s just not cool in some circles. My husband (who wouldn’t touch classic rock with a ten foot pole – unless it was Neil Young, maybe)  teases me that I say, “this is a good song” about every song that we hear in the muzak they play in Five Guys... but that just isn’t true. I just have no artificial limits on what I will consider for my list of “good songs.”  I actually listen to the classic rock station in the car sometimes... and I believe there is nothing at all wrong with singing along with the Steve Miller Band or Queen. (Click here for a great scene in a recent episode of Louis where he was taking his kids on a trip and jamming out to Who Are You ... His kids are like, “Whatever, Dad...” It’s just like my life.) Sure, I draw the line at Journey or REO Speedwagon, but other than crummy 80s bands like that, I am on board with classic rock. 

Besides being a discriminating music fan, my husband has been a movie critic for a couple of different newspapers. As movies go, I like indy flicks, but am not ashamed to admit that I enjoy a Mel Gibson film  (I know, I know, the dude’s got problems) or a chick flick now and again. A really cool artist I know asked his Facebook friends, “What do you think of Tim Burton?” All the cool artsy people were saying deep stuff about his art and and how it’s too popular, but my answer was, “Johnny Depp. Yum.” See...? Very non-cool. It gave me an renewed appreciation for this Crash Test Dummies song about hanging out with artists.

Yes, despite appearances, this nerdiness of mine, has been lifelong – even when wearing my cool costume in the groovy eighties. My roommate and I would have parties and we would always bake a cake and have nibbles ... at first, people thought it was strange. (Imagine a bunch of goths sitting around eating cake.) But after the first one or two parties, people began to warm to it and walk straight over to the food table when they arrived. I would bake my boyfriend’s friends cakes on their birthdays... Okay, maybe it was a little odd... for that time and that group of people. 

And then I started going to church. How uncool can you get? And I’ve embraced the inherent uncoolness of it all. I love the Emergent Church – I truly dig what they are about, but occasionally a little judgmental demon screams in the back of my brain that those guys might as well just wear signs that exclaim, “I AM NOT UNCOOL!” Go with it guys, church is nerdy... and there’s nothing wrong with that! Of course we are talking about a definition of cool that is in the world, and not God’s definition of cool. I realized at a certain point that the lady who led our women’s Bible study and homeschooled her kids and wore church dresses every day of the week, and the spinster that lived with her mother were probably goddesses of cool at God’s nightclub... This is the kind of cool the church is. As far as most people's definition of cool or hip... NOT.

Don't let the beret fool
you – I'm super nerdy.
For a while I wavered... I listened to my “I gotta be cool” thoughts, but eventually I just got tired. I guess if I were truly cool, maintaining my hipness would be effortless. But it's just not... and I realized... it’s just too limiting. Why would I deny myself simple things like baking and certain songs just because they have negative HQ (hipness quotient)? I’d rather dance all over the floor than just in a tiny spot. 

There was a show last year called Happy Endings, which had an episode where one of the single women starts dating a hipster. At first she tries to go along with all his irony and apathy, but in the end, cannot contain herself and begins to yell out all the things she loves and exits a room crowded with his hipster friends tap dancing and singing show tunes. And that girl is me. There is just so much in the world to enjoy that I can only maintain a facade of irony and apathy for so long. And if that’s uncool... well, that’s me!

Sometimes Weird Al says it best:

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